Fiona O’Loughlin is guilty of one fashion crime.
“I steal stuff from my mom’s closet,” O'Loughlin, a sophomore English major, said while wearing a strapless top, army pants and leather Dr. Martens boots.
To be clear, theft looks good on her.
Spring 2019 seems to be the season of sartorial rebirth.
Across campus, students are donning their brightest colors, freshest vintage and coziest streetwear. The old is new again. Vogue fashion writer Steff Yotka said designers are capitalizing on the popularity of thrifting by shilling mass-produced garments that mimic handmade clothing. For spring ‘19 collections, Yotka said designers, including J.W. Anderson, Rio Uribe and Julie de Libran, are working with macramé, fishnet and crochet to “elevate the handmade to luxury-goods status.” Although they mimic low-culture, these luxury garments will sell for thousands of dollars a piece.
But students are rocking the same styles for less.
Affordability remains a limiting factor for many fashion-conscious students. Despite the advent of fast fashion and the digital marketplace, thrift stores remain a more-than-worthy local shopping destination.
O’Loughlin recommends searching for affordable inspiration close to home this spring.
“You can find beautiful pieces at Salvation Army if you’re willing to put in the work and look,” O’Loughlin said.
Beyond Salvation Army, students can find highly curated vintage streetwear at Buffalo thrift stores such as Second Chic, My Cuzin Vintage and The Cellar, owned by UB alum Yusef Burgos.
Micah Marte, a sophomore film studies major and a New York City native, suggests thrift store Search & Destroy for students visiting the city. She said she also finds current trends at online stores Boohoo and Dolls Kill.
As consumers move online and small businesses enjoy a hard-earned renaissance, malls and big-box retailers suffer the most. But the ‘90s and 2000s fashion trends are coming back to life despite this shift.
Vogue reports a “messily undone … casual silhouette” will be the trend to beat next season.
“2000s fashion is coming back and it’s kind of frightening,” O’Loughlin said. “Wide-leg pants, flare jeans … I like them, but I understand why people think they should not come back.”
These baggier, roomier outfits stand in stark contrast to the skinny-jean-obsessed 2010s.
Some deride these looks as unflattering, but many students can get behind the comfortable, cozy trend.
Marte channels a more spring-like energy, drawing inspiration from the beauty of natural scenery while piecing together her outfits.
“In spring, fully-bloomed flowers make the park look so much nicer. I want my clothes to work the same way,” Marte said, explaining her love of floral patterns and baby pink.
Both Marte and O’Loughlin expressed interest in consignment jewelry, rings and layered necklaces.
However, rings and necklaces are not O’Loughlin’s most unique accessory.
“I have a big tattoo on my leg, which is nice, because it’s kind of like an accessory,” O’Loughlin said. “I definitely want to wear clothes that show it off.”
John Madsen is the assistant features editor and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.