A Little College Fashion Philosophy


Calia Minasian

There is always an immense amount of pressure that surfaces up at the beginning of every school year when wanting to gather new, fresh, and exciting outfits in order to make that stunning first impression. Starting off at a brand new place and a brand new school gives you the opportunity to start anew, or to even expand and sophisticate your current personal style. Being at a university, you’ll find that individuality and creativity most certainly encompass many of the students’ fashion senses on campus, so don’t hesitate to express yourself!

To elaborate on what exemplifies the general UCSB and Isla Vista style, here’s a little colorful yet broad insight into UCSB flair. Although there are diverse and vibrant styles emerging from each and every individual, some things we all have in common are the laid back, practical, comfortable, and beach town looks that clearly shine through our everyday fashion choices. Students often bike around campus, as you’ve probably heard, so it’s important to dress practical and comfortable while still maintaining some of your personal style. For example, students like to invest in biking shorts that they slip on under their skirts or dresses. This definitely allows for a wider variety of outfits to wear to class when biking! The gals tend to mix it up with comfy floral tank tops and your everyday denim shorts, while also shifting towards solid color V-necks with fun printed skirts at times. Most guys tend to keep it simple with a T-shirt and shorts ranging from many different brands such as RVCA, Stussy, and Volcom, while others like to groove it up with beanies, plaid button up shirts, and skinny jeans. One thing that is definitely a popular trend among the guys and girls here on campus are Toms shoes. They are not only comfortable and great for biking, but also come in several different colors and patterns that will match with any ensemble, while also giving you the breezy UCSB beach  persona that the overall community embodies.

One of the most spectacular things about Santa Barbara is the shopping. If you lack a vehicle, don’t worry. State Street is only a short bus ride away from campus. There are a wide variety of clothing stores such as a massive three story Forever 21, along with Urban Outfitters, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, American Apparel, Levi’s, Volcom, and of course multiple other surf shops. Speaking of surf shops, there is a  local surf shop called Isla Vista Surf Co. located right on the corner of Pardall Road and Embarcadero Del Norte if you desire that effortless and comfortable beach vibe. State Street also has several vintage stores that will definitely provide you with a one of a kind look. To name some of my personal favorites, I would recommend checking out Yellowstone Vintage, Midnite Sun, and Punch.

The most important aspect about coming onto a college campus is expressing your own personal style to the peers around you. UCSB style thrives upon the diversity and individuality that is carried among each and every student’s definition of what is hip and trendy. You may even inspire and pass on some of your style to your roommates and hallmates around you! Several students are, after all,  coming  from a different town, city, state, or perhaps even country. Blending together a hybrid of fashion senses is not only interesting, but enticing for incoming students. Be prepared to explore and observe UCSB styles, as well as creating your own.

Photo by: Rosana Liang