During my first year at U of T I learned a lot. I learned that if P then Q, and I also learned to never wear sweatpants on Bloor Street West. People always associate U of T with stress and Starbucks. The new “s” in town should be STYLE. U of T has such a diverse array of fashion hotspots that you get a different vibe from East to West.
Before coming to this school I was like “OMG I so need to buy adult clothes” … so I went to H&M and bought anything that screamed “I listen to obscure bands and don’t eat meat.” That was my first impression of U of T students (I’m from New College, which is at the heart of hipster central). However, after the first semester, I realized that there were SO many different environments here and there is still room for my own style. So I thought it would be fun to put to test the critical reasoning skills I gained in my first year and use them to map out 5 fashion hot-spots on campus.
Methodology: I don’t intend to stereotype by localizing the styles. Rather I created outfits based on observation, empiricism. I have established the following dichotomies according to my observations:
Victoria College (plaid skirt on map) : Rugby-inspired looks. Oxford meets Robert Pattinson. Hey, I ain’t complain’. The highlight of my day is bumping into a Vic boy with Raybans and a classic blazer. It gives me hope that one day I will find my very own Nick Jonas. Vic looks often include Keds, Boyfriend Blazers, Raybans, crests, Rugby stripes and a coffee mug, of course.
Bloor Street West (pencil grid on map): Lady Gaga meets everyday. Where every latest fashion trend can be spotted. I love window shopping on Bloor during classes. Well actually I don’t really go into the high-end stores…I just like to people watch. Bloor West outfits give me couture-in-the-city fits. You know that feeling when you see a classic Chanel bag paired with breathtaking Yves Saint Laurent heels? A rare sight in suburbia.
Hipster Central (pink zone on map): U of T hipsters are not negative soul drainers like average Toronto hipsters past the age of 25. U of T is home to intellectual hipsters: a new cross-breed which has an amazing taste in music and tells the most interesting tales.
Drama Club (theatre masks on map): This area has many refined badasses and caged explorers — you know, those who have dreams to TRAVEL the world, learn to ride a motorcycle or learn the secrets of a language for fun WITHOUT being tied down by school commitments. Their style is so eclectic that it makes you wonder what they are doing in school.
St. Mikes at Night (disco ball on map): St.Mikes is known for many things, especially their parties. But not many people realize that St. Mikes consists of many fierce nocturnal fashionistas. They only come out at nighttime after studying. Decked in sequins, colour and dramatic angles, these ladies are the queens of the club!
Now that I’ve completed my first year I have learned to appreciate the diversity of styles rather than try to assimilate. The key to fitting in at U of T (fashion-wise) is ironically not blending in. Theres nothing wrong with buying carbon copies from H&M and Forever 21 as long as you add your own spin to your outfit. Don’t feel shy to wear a crazy headpiece or hat! If it catches attention, chances are that it’s FIERCE. Fashion is subjective. An objective fashion code does not exist. So make it your own and have fun with it! Feel free to play around with the famous U of T looks above to create a very own “adult” look of your own, future first years!
For all the current U of T students, try out these summer outfits! They totally complement the greenery on campus: