Video game characters. Drew Barrymore. Your grandpa’s closet. Fashion inspiration can come from nearly anywhere, and for some students on campus, the more creative, the better.
With temperatures expected to plunge in the coming days, students are not just taking advantage of their final days of warmth to show off their outfits, but are simultaneously preparing for the upcoming season of layering sweaters, tights and scarves.
Medill first-year Josephine White said she values the creative styles she sees on campus. After seeing an Instagram account spotlighting fall ‘fits at Vassar College, White wanted to see something similar at Northwestern. This September, White created @nufitss, a page where students can submit their most stylish outfits for a chance to be featured.
“I remember one of the girls that showed me around [campus] before I came was like, ‘One of the things is people know how to dress at Northwestern,’” White said. “So, I felt like it'd be cool if there was something that could document that.”
The page’s bio reads: “It’s called fashion bitches,” and its 43 (and counting) posts of diverse, innovative student styles definitely back this statement up. The page highlights a plethora of ways students express themselves through clothes, ranging from the familiar tank top and cargo pants streetwear combination to checkered pink suit sets.
White and two of her friends, Weinberg first-years Alec Easter and Malcolm Gittens run the account. Gittens posts to the account’s Instagram stories, and both Easter and Gittens are a part of the approval process of each outfit posted to the Instagram account. Running the account has also helped White build a personal social network among her peers, she said.
“It forced me out of my shell when I got here,” White said. “I didn't really know anyone, so it was a mechanism that I used to go out and just start talking to random people. I think it helped me get more acclimated, which is nice.”
White is not alone in this. Whether featured on the account or simply following it, "the official Northwestern fitss page," as its bio calls itself, has become a talking point for students looking to make new connections.
Having been featured on the account three times thus far, Weinberg first-year Courtney Riley Williamson is familiar with the friendly atmosphere the account can facilitate. Strangers will recognize her from the account, creating an entry point for conversations she may not have had otherwise, she explained.
For Williamson, being a singer means connecting with others and expressing oneself is especially important. She says that at the heart of this fashion expression is building confidence within oneself.
“Even if you're not feeling confident in how you look one day, being able to dress yourself and be confident in what you wear definitely gives you an extra boost of confidence that you might not know you needed,” she said.
Expression and connecting with others is core to fashion, and something that accounts like @nufitss celebrate, White said.
“Even before you open your mouth, people look at you and automatically categorize you or have an idea about you,” she said. “I think that fashion is a way where you can tell someone who you are before you talk. If I see someone with a good fashion sense I’m like, ‘Oh, they're creative. That's someone I want to get to know because I'm into fashion. So, I think fashion is a form of art, a form of self expression.”