One of the best places to observe new fashion trends is a college campus. As a Lehigh student, I find myself constantly looking around Lehigh to identify the next big shift the fashion industry is taking.
You may be asking yourself, what does this random woman know about what I should be wearing? Well, as an apparel design student, extreme fashion enthusiast and college athlete trying to look decent while sweating profusely, I can tell you I know what fabrics, textiles and other mechanics of fashion are important. So while you don’t have to read on, I’m a woman who’s very invested in what’s going on in fashion.
Style is an important reflection of who a person is. These trends are just what I see the most as I study the outfit of each person leaving my classes, waiting in line at The Grind or going for a run at the gym.
Whether a certain pair of shoes is at the top of your birthday list or at the back of your bedroom closet waiting to be carelessly thrown on, let your next purchase make you feel good. And if it matters to you what people at Lehigh are into, let this be your starting point.
I’m guilty of bandwagoning the Hoka trend. I would be proud to join any Hoka support group. This may sound cheesy, but their impressive foot support is the very reason I took up running again. Any of my friends can attest to the fact that I’m clumsy enough to sprain my ankle from simply walking, and these shoes saved me (and my rowing career).
To some, they may be too chunky-looking and appear large on the foot. The flashy color combos are also not subtle. A neon blue sneaker with green undertones may not be for everybody, especially when they retail for almost $200.
But in spite of this, I think Hokas are worth the investment. If $200 is going to make it seem like I am walking on a cloud, I am sold! But if this style isn’t for you, the less flashy brand, On Cloud, running for about the same price or a bit less, might be a suitable alternative.
These open-toed shoes have been a popular choice for a long time, whether they’re clogs, thong sandals or furry slip-ons. But the newest addition to the Birkenstock fad is the Boston clog.
Two years ago, I would have preached this to be the ugliest shoe I’d ever seen, until I tried it on — it’s luxurious. They slip on and off easily and can be dressed up or down. Birks, especially Boston clogs, are popular as a gender-neutral option for their comfort and accessibility.
Once again, these shoes are a bit on the pricey side. But the quality and sustainable manufacturing of Birkenstocks may be reason to make the splurge. As a closet staple, they’re definitely worth the price point considering there’s no need to collect more than one pair. But if you’d like to save $150, there are cheaper alternatives out there like Chacos.
Relatively speaking, Converse aren’t winning any quality awards. I see the all-white platforms at least once a day. Converse has plenty of other options, styles and even customizations. The ubiquity of the brand means you can find them across different niches, and they easily suit different aesthetics. Whether it’s on a relaxed skater or paired with a date-party dress, they suit pretty much any occasion.
Compared to all the other shoes in the world, Converse aren’t a top-tier shoe. They are stylish and can elevate an outfit, but their comfort level is far below par. If you’re committed to wearing these daily, be ready to replace them annually.
For a stylish, flat shoe, nothing beats a classic Chuck Taylor. But if those also aren’t your cup of tea, Nike Blazers or Vans are two great alternatives.
I know it’s the end of summer and we’re just entering early fall, but these furry icons are already out and about. While they arguably make the foot look like a moose hoof, I also find they are fashionable while being delightfully warm.
While Uggs are seen more as the boots worn in the winter, they consistently release new styles every season. Some are revamped classics and others are a bit more questionable. From the original Bailey Button and Bow styles to the more recent Tasman, Uggs are in full form at Lehigh.
Some styles are definitely going to be worth the investment, while others, not so much. The slippers and minis are a go-to and definitely worth the price tag. However, the more extravagant suede styles are a bit too delicate to be paying over $150.
Some alternatives to Uggs are the L.L. Bean slippers and boots. They pretty much achieve the same look and do the same thing at a lower price.
These are versatile. Reeboks’ simplicity makes them a perfect choice for any outfit, whether it be sporty or refined. What makes Reebok special is the brand has been around for a while, but they constantly revamp their products as trends change.
The “Club C” sneaker is the shoe I see the most around campus. They range from vintage to classic leather to platform. The reason they have become extremely popular is likely their price point, between $60 and $90.
Reeboks are not only my favorite sneaker, but possibly my favorite shoe.
That isn’t to say they are entirely special. There are the New Balance 550s, the Adidas Sambas or Campus 00s, and these can also help you achieve the same iconic white sneaker look.