Campus chic

Accessories are making their triumphant comeback as clothing shifts towards minimalism. With main pieces now serving as the backdrop to an overall look, the spotlight shines on small adornments.

At the Marc Jacobs spring show, oversized bauble necklaces shifted the focus from clothing to accessories. Calvin Klein debuted an almost entirely white collection of pieces, with emphasis on simplicity and seamlessness. In order to keep from being too bland, the collection included post-modern sandals, cut and laced in unexpected ways. For Rodarte’s show, designers collaborated with Christian Louboutin, whose high-end shoes are known for their trademark red soles; Louboutin designed strappy sandals with metal studs, offsetting the femininity of the collection.

Runway fashion always tends to be over the top, but it nevertheless serves to be a promising way to find inspiration and new ways of wearing pieces. This is especially true for smaller accessories — spring has already come, and around campus, many have been sporting sunglasses of all different shapes and designs. Sophomore drama major Katie Wieland, first-year humanities and arts major Robin Huntley, and senior chemical engineering student Ester Barbuto are all perfect examples of how great the right pair of sunglasses can look.
“Moschino is definitely my favorite designer. I also love J.Crew for more affordable buys,” Barbuto said, and her style reflects her preppy chic influence. Aviators like hers have been long-time favorites of students and celebrities alike, and Barbuto’s add a slight sense of mystery and androgyny. However, with her feminine outfit, they complement her overall look.

Wieland, a fan of the ’40s era, sports a white, square pair to contrast her vintage style. “I shop mostly at consignment stores for good vintage finds,” she said.

Lastly, Huntley wears thrifted wayfarers; but to add to her quirkiness, they are printed with small roses all over the frame.
All three wear their sunglasses the perfect way, but the key is to make sure the face frames them well — they should not overwhelm the face, nor should they be ill-fitting. The details and style are up to the wearer.

Summery shoes are just as important; if they don’t fit right and are uncomfortable, they can be painful and detract from the day. Wieland’s strappy sandals, a popular look on runways, are full of details and fit just right. They complement her dress and lengthen her legs, but because they have a chunkier heel, don’t feel uncomfortable after a short time.

Huntley wears the ultimate in comfort sandals, three-strap Birkenstocks. “I’m definitely very laid-back, and my clothing reflects it,” Huntley said. The sandals not only look unexpected, but, when paired with a laid-back dress, what results is a look that’s both comfortable and chic.

Barbuto wears nude peep-toe wedges with a satin upper that tie her overall look together. They are basic in color and structure, but because satin shoes have torn through runways this season, Barbuto shows off her knowledge of the latest trends. Wedges in general are also excellent alternatives between flats and heels, because they provide support without sacrificing style.

Whether it’s sunglasses, shoes, bags, or even earrings, accessories are more welcome than ever. It isn’t about how they look: It is all about how they are worn and what they are worn with. Taking the time to get the right fit is also imperative, because otherwise even stylish items won’t be worn. Huntley, Wieland, and Barbuto demonstrate excellent examples of how they wear trends and show off their chic styles — all by drawing inspiration from vastly different sources.