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  • Lily Warden

UMSL's Trendy Tritons

By: Lily Warden

With the rise of social media, trends can come and go quicker than ever before. In today’s age, it can be difficult to determine what is considered “trendy” and what is considered “unfashionable." In an ever-changing fashion landscape, what do UMSL students consider trendy? And where do they go to find what’s trending? 

On the topic of what is trendy on campus, Jean Daniel, a freshman studying business administration, says “Now, it’s hot outside so I see people wearing t-shirts and clothes for warmer weather. I also see a lot of students wearing Nike and Adidas. Sometimes, I see people wearing Champion too. To see what’s trending, I use Google to look up fashion trends. I also look to famous people to see how they dress for inspiration.” 

Champion UMSL sweatshirt as seen on campus by UMSL Triton Store

Graduate student Alyson Potts, studying English literature, commented “I try to pay attention to trends. I know shorts and hoodies seem to be prevailing a lot. I think the biker shorts are starting to go out of style. I don’t see people wearing them as much anymore. Claw clips are definitely a big trend. I was just wearing one on the way to school. I think a lot of people are still repping Nike shoes, I’ve seen those all the time. I also see a lot of Hey Dudes too, probably because they’re so comfy. If I’m at a mall, I usually look around to see what everyone else is wearing. I’m also on TikTok so I see what other people are wearing. I look at those and think ‘Those look really cute’. I look for ideas on TikTok, like how to accessorize or layer things. I tend to look online to see what’s trending.” 

Nike tennis shoes commonly worn on campus by Footwear News

Caitlin Silverberg, a senior studying biology, also shares her thoughts. She says “For women, I see a lot of chunky tennis shoes on campus. I also see jeans with cropped hoodies or jackets. Claw clips are still popular, for sure. For men, I see baseball caps and crewneck sweatshirts. I usually go on TikTok to see what’s trending.” 

A trendy outfit that might be seen on campus by Pinterest

The most prominent fashion trend on UMSL gathered from student responses is athleisure. According to Merriam-Webster, athleisure is defined as “casual clothing designed to be worn for both exercising and for general use.” Articles like t-shirts, shorts, crewnecks and tennis shoes are all considered athleisure as well as brands such as Nike, Adidas and Champion.

It is no surprise to see why athletic wear is one of the most popular fashion trends on campus. At the core of athleisure, it boils down to comfort. Most college students want to be comfortable when studying. Hoodies, shorts and tennis shoes are more comfortable to walk to class in than dress pants and blazers.  

UMSL is not the only college campus seeing athleisure rise in popularity. Schools like Brigham Young University in Utah and the University of Michigan have also seen a rise in comfortable wear on their campuses. Kaitlyn, a student at the University of Missouri-Columbia, says “Many of the students do not worry about dressing up for class. It's college, nobody cares what you wear. A lot of kids just like to be comfortable when they go to class, especially if it is an 8 a.m.!”  

Athletic trends on college campuses reflect a larger movement of Americans dressing for comfort. Americans tend to dress less formally and more comfortably when compared to other countries. Europeans tend to wear clothes that reflect elegance, class and sophistication. It is not uncommon to see blazers, trousers, belts and neutral colors on the streets of European cities. On the other hand, Americans tend to wear clothes that reflect comfort and individuality. Fabrics like spandex, nylon and polyester are commonly found in American offices. College students are simply replicating fashion trends seen in American culture when dressing for class. 

In addition to athleisure, another common trend among UMSL students is where they go to find what’s trending. Based on student responses, going online or to social media sites is the fastest and easiest way to find what’s trending fashion-wise. Social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and TikTok have a plethora of content showing trendy outfits and accessories. According to Gitnux, about 98 percent of U.S. college students use some form of social media. With such a high percentage of students on social media, it’s likely that most tune in online to get fashion inspiration.  

Next time you walk on campus or study in the library, look around and see what your fellow Tritons are wearing for the latest fashion inspiration.  


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