College Campus Style feat. Alex Wilson

September 8th, 2011

It’s that time of year again – back to campus.

College style can be tricky. You want to look presentable and job worthy, but not too stiff or uptight for a casual environment.

For this post we reached out to Alex Wilson, a student in the Design/Art/Architecture/Planning program (DAAP) at the University of Cincinnati.

We caught up with Alex for his first week on campus, and he showed us that you don’t have to spend a lot to look good. “Since I’m in college, I work on a budget for my wardrobe – I’m no stranger to the thrift store and ebay.”

1. Monday

“I like american workwear looks like this one because they’re comfortable and masculine.”

About the Bag: “This rucksack is great because it’s strong and has plenty of pockets for whatever I need for a day of classes.”

Bonus Tip: “The timex watch was a thrift i found for six bucks, and I haven’t see too many other blue-faced Easy Reader’s around.”

Bonus Tip II: “Dress shoes” are not “dress” shoes anymore. Brogues and wingtips of all kinds are made with sportier fabrics and softer soles. Like these canvas joints with the rubber bottoms – more sneaker than corporate in my opinion.

Bonus Tip III: The beauty of this look is that every piece will get better with age and wear. That’s not shopping, that’s investing.


Sky Blue Broadcloth Shirt

  • Jeans by Gap ·
  • Beige Suede Wingtips by Polo ·
  • Rucksack from local army-navy store ·
  • Timex Watch (thrifted) ·
  • Aviator Sunglasses by PacSun
  • · Blue Shirt by Banana Republic

2. Tuesday

“Channeling vintage prep here. Something about a baseball jacket with a fitted cap and white sneakers means back to school  to me… Best thing about this jacket, is that it’s fleece – warm without being heavy and comfortable like a sweatshirt.”

About the Bag: Find a canvas backpack, in a neutral earth tone, and you’ll find yourself carrying it everywhere.

Bonus Tip:  Just because it’s laidback doesn’t mean it shouldn’t fit properly.

Bonus Tip II: A pair of white low-top canvas sneakers can round-out a whole lot of outfits.


Khaki Cotton Trouser

  • Grey baseball cap by New Era ·
  • Baseball jacket by H&M ·
  • White v-neck t-shirt by Hanes ·
  • Watch by Timex ·
  • Backpack by Urban Outfitters ·
  • Handkerchief Vintage
  • · Khaki chinos by Levis

3. Wednesday

“As a boy growing up, my mother enjoyed watching musicals. She was particularly fond of Singin’ in the Rain… I count count how many times I’ve seen that movie, but I do know is that Gene Kelly understood style, and color. He is one of my style icons and this look is inspired by him.”

About the Bag: A leather laptop case is the perfect cross between a briefcase and a portfolio. It’s great for business casual events – or when you only have a few notes for class.

Bonus Tip: Don’t be afraid of a little color mixing in the fall. Just keep it muted, in a classic silhouette (like a cable knit v-neck and button-down collar)

  • Grey v-neck sweater by Polo Ralph Lauren ·
  • Pink plaid shirt Vintage ·
  • V-neck Sweater by Ralph Lauren Polo ·
  • Pink plaid shirt Vintage ·
  • Jeans by Gap ·
  • White driving mocs by Tonino Lamborghini ·
  • Watch by Kenneth Cole ·
  • Black leather laptop case by Kenneth Cole

4. Thursday

“This is one of my go-to looks for a class presentation, or to attend an academic event on campus…a guest speaker, for example.”

About the Bag: The classic messenger. An easy bookbag for a casual, but not too casual outfit. Perfect synergy with this look.

Bonus Tip: A dark cardigan is the perfect layer to look casual and presentable. It frames a shirt & tie similarly to a blazer, but is much more relaxed and comfortable.

Bonus Tip II: Boat shoes, preferably in the brown family, can serve as a more casual alternative to loafers. One of the reasons they have become so popular is their versatility, and comfort.

Bonus Tip III: Sometimes a nice pair of glasses can complete a look. Think about your outfit before popping in those contacts.

  • Navy cardigan by Gap ·
  • White shirt by Kenneth Cole ·
  • Tie bar from TheTieBar ·
  • Khaki jeans by Levis ·
  • Brown Belt by Tanner Goods ·
  • Brown boat shoes by Sperry ·
  • Black frames by Ray-Ban ·
  • Brown messenger bag by Andrew Marc

5. Friday

About the bag: “Sometimes as a design student you have to carry a lot of sh-t. Between fabrics, patterns, rulers, markers, sketch pads, sewing supplies, etc. the duffle sure comes in handy.”

Bonus Tip: A small duffle bag, especially a worn-in one, is perfect if you have top carry equipment, gym clothes and any other luggage along with your books, laptop, etc.

Bonus Tip II: Sometimes the weather call for only a fine gage sweater. That’s good weather.

  • Tan v-neck sweater by J. Crew ·
  • Orange chinos by Dockers ·
  • Driving mocs by Tonino Lamborghini ·
  • Watch by Skagen ·
  • Shades from Street Vendor ·
  • Leather duffle bag by Andrew Marc

6. Weekend

“This is an outfit I draw from experience. My dad is a woodsman so I grew up hunting…I’m no stranger to the color palette here.”

About the Bag: Take s simple nylon backpack, make a statement with it.

Bonus Tip: “This outfit is perfect for the sporadic Cincinnati weather in the Fall. The flannel shirt and down vest keep me warm, but I can easily lose a layer if it heats up.”

Bonus Tip II: You don’t have to spend a lot to look good. Understand that and color/pattern are most important, and shop within your budget. There are plenty options if you know where to look, even on a students budget.

  • Olive down vest Vintage ·
  • Plaid flannel shirt Vintage ·
  • White v-neck t-shirt by Hanes ·
  • Grey denim jeans by Levis ·
  • Brown leather belt by Gap ·
  • Boots by Supra ·
  • Watch by Timex ·
  • Aviator sunglasses by Pac-Sun ·
  • Orange nylon backpack by American Apparel

Thanks for reading and special thanks to Alex for participating!

Yours in style,

Dan Trepanier


Photography by William Mata