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Coast-to-Coast Fashion: Student styles from across the nation

Written by Cassandra Gonzales

Biola sophomore Madison Krueger was walking into class when a girl stopped her mid-stride to compliment her outfit. Another girl, pointing to Krueger’s sweater asked, “Where do you get your style ideas from? You’re always dressed so stylishly!” Krueger shrugged and replied, “I’m from Washington; I just shop at the local stores.”

In a community of more than 6,000 students from all across the country, Kreuger is just one example of how students represent their hometowns through their personal style. Biola, like almost any other college, is a social melting pot, and in many ways, students share more and more common ground with each other as their time here goes on. Fashion, however, gives students a way not only to express their personalities, but also to maintain a connection to the places they call home.

The East Coast

East Coast style is usually classic, minimalist and urban, characterized by cooler colors — especially black — and often labeled as “preppy.” From Washington, D.C. to New York City, the home of high fashion, outfit pieces from major brand names such as Ralph Lauren, J. Crew and Lilly Pulitzer frequently appear in classy ensembles fit for big city streets.

Girls usually wear: Leggings, high-heeled boots, oversized sweaters, tailored pieces

Guys usually wear: Bright-colored polos, blazers, cardigans, ties, khakis, loafers

The South

From genteel ladies to cotton farmers and from cattle ranchers to country singers, the south has a way of making a name for itself. Playing off of the Southern drawl and laid-back poise, female fashions from this region are airy and elegant. Males, on the other hand, sport robustly practical styles suited to the hard-working attitude of the region. Popular name brands include Tory Burch, Sperry and True Religion.

Girls usually wear: Embellished jeans, sundresses, statement jewelry, flowered pieces

Guys usually wear: Jeans, flannel shirts, t-shirts, belts, boots

The Midwest

Hearkening back to its agricultural heritage, the Midwest relies on comfort and convenience. In big cities such as Chicago, fashion pieces like designer purses and floral tops have made their mark, but Midwesterners often fall back on more casual looks. Outfits are adapted to the drastic weather changes of four distinct seasons through the use of layers and the simple-yet-stylish practicality found in sweatshirts and jeans.

Girls usually wear: Boots, hoodies, scarves, jackets, jeans, cardigans

Guys usually wear: College football shirts, Levis, baseball hats, fleece pullovers, flannel shirts and jackets

The Wild West

In the rugged land of the Rocky Mountains and the Grand Canyon, where hiking and biking are often preferred over shopping, fashion is characterized by practicality. Name-brand athletic clothes are nearly as common as name-brand jeans, a Wild Westerner’s favorite accessory is bright color, and, of course, ranch-hand-inspired pieces like boots or sturdy flannel button-downs are prevalent across this resilient region.

Girls usually wear: Basic tees, neon tank tops, flannel jackets, flip-flops, athletic apparel.

Guys usually wear: Hoodies, jeans, baseball caps, western-style shirts, tees and athletic shoes.

West Coast

The West Coast, home to Hollywood and some of the best beaches in the world, hosts a striking variety of individuals with an equally diverse sense of fashion. However, living within miles of the ocean has a noticeable impact on style, and has created a culture of simply assembled, but conspicuously unique outfits brought to life by bright colors and certain essential accessories. Rainbow sandals, cutoff jeans, and other distinctive staples give West Coast fashion a fun, edgy feel year round.

Girls usually wear: Floral tank tops, over-sized tunic tops or shirt dresses, brightly colored skinny jeans, flip flops, wedges, TOMS.

Guys usually wear: Tanks, t-shirts, flannels, skinny jeans, cutoffs, flip flops, skater shoes, TOMS.

Pacific Northwest

The Pacific Northwest takes layering to the next level, with a strong emphasis on texture and earth tones to play on the rich natural environments of Oregon and Washington. Stylishly relaxed outfits, featuring vests or flannels on both guys and girls, dominate urban hotspots like Portland and Seattle, while Northwesterners living outside the city stay comfortable in reliable brands such as North Face, REI and Columbia.

Girls usually wear: Earth-toned layers, military jackets and boots, vests, hoodies, jeans, colorful scarves and beanies.

Guys usually wear: Hoodies, beanies, vests, flannels, thicker fleece jackets, jeans, athletic shoes

Where We Come From: Representation of Biola students by state

Top 10
California: 3,138
Washington: 175
Oregon: 102
Arizona: 77
Colorado: 60
Illinois: 58
Texas: 58
Hawaii: 54
Minnesota: 45
Nevada: 25

15-24 students:

Idaho, Florida, Montana, Pennsylvania

10-14 students:

Alaska, Georgia, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Virginia, Wisconsin

5-9 students:

Connecticut, Iowa, Kansaas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah

2-4 students:

Arkansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, South Carolina, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming

1 student:

Alabama, Delaware, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Dakota, Tennessee

No students: Rhode Island, West Virginia

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