How to stay stylish on a budget

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Asian Fashion (Κώστας /Flickr Creative Commons)

Fashion has long been looked at as a feminine industry, something that some men disregard as meaningless and as something exclusive to celebrities and people of status due to economic and social factors. But all jargon and complicated explanations aside, fashion applies to everyone because feeling confident benefits everyone! Whether it is for acing an interview, making a first impression on a person of interest or simply dressing for various occasions, fashion plays a large part in the lives of all genders, and it is time the benefits of the industry are made accessible to everyone. Besides, with so many schools using the Husky as their mascot, why not make UConn stand out as the most stylish? 

Attaining the widely-acclaimed compliment of being called stylish is primarily predicated on two factors: personality and money. Let’s not waste time stating obvious tips like having confidence and wearing clothes that fit appropriately. If you cared enough to read this article, I’m assuming you already know these things and are wondering how to bring your style to the next level without paying an arm and a leg.   

Color Blocking 

Color blocking is the most basic aspect of fashion because it determines the pallet of color in an outfit. Celebrity stylists use color blocking to accentuate the features of the celebrity they are styling and this is based on the build, face shape and skin tone of the person. Now here’s the secret that all those sponsored commercials don’t tell you: Everyone can look good for really cheap regardless of other factors with some tactical choices. Neutral colors such as olive, navy, black and tan look good on everyone and having a minimalist approach with these choices actually creates a posh aesthetic look without breaking the bank. The key is to find clothes that complement your skin undertone, don’t make you look too washed out and bring out your natural glow. Bright colors often look great with warm skin undertones that are commonly found in olive, brown and dark skin. It is important to note, however, that all brighter colors look best when complemented with less flashy choices in jeans, hats and other parts of the outfit — you don’t want to look too showy. Furthermore, cool colors like lavenders, blues and burgundy look great on light skin. Contrast is everything here as an outfit is like a work of art. Stores such as H&M, Pacsun and Forever 21 are great choices for affordable trendy clothes.  

Layering  

Now that you all are stunting with your new fits, have made the color wheel your religion and have understood what looks good with what. So what’s the next step? It’s time to add the layers because, as Meek Mill eloquently said, “There are levels to this.” A simple bomber, flannel or leather jacket over a T-shirt can make a basic everyday outfit appear as one worthy of magazine catalog consideration. Lastly, showing a little skin is a great way to sell a layered outfit. Some examples of this being done right are when guys roll up their shirts to show some forearm or real dress shirts with the first two buttons undone or when girls wear off-the-shoulder tops and skirts. The goal here is to present yourself in a way that catches the eyes of others while maintaining an aura of classiness. Now, if you live in New England or anywhere cold enough to give the Patriots an advantage, then thermals, scarves, boots (Timberlands are a safe bet) and cardigans are all viable options to help you become the style god you aspire to be.  

Accessorizing  

Accessories represent the icing on the cake for outfits. They create an air of class and status and it is this notion of power that is deemed as attractive to many. This is why royalty routinely deck themselves in gold and other valuables. The key is to keep accessories classy and minimal. Avoid over-stacking them on one part of the body; this will throw off the body’s natural proportions. Typically, gages, some large earrings and other similar accessories are said to give off an unprofessional vibe and are worn to make a statement as they disrupt an outfit’s natural proportion. For most instances, it is recommendable to wear accessories that are not overly gaudy and create subtle contrast to add polish to a look. These especially complement outfits with heavier pieces during winter months, which to many New Englanders, makes up about 8 months of the year. This is the move to end up on UConn Baddies on Instagram!  

Clothing is a form of expression and at the end of the day, is subject to opinion. Anyone can decide to dress like Post Malone or another celebrity who has an outlandish look to prove a point, but one must understand that any medium for expression creates a certain perception about the individual. There is no definitive right or wrong way to dress, but there are lanes. So, if you are a kid from the suburbs, do NOT go and dress like you’re straight outta Compton. Instead, let’s try for H&M posterchild.  


Karthik Iyer is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at karthik.iyer@uconn.edu .

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