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Trends on Campus: Prepping with Collars Sweaters

By Ruby Gee     11/29/11 6:00pm

Embracing their inner prep, Rice students have been spotted all over campus sporting the collars and sweaters trend. Will Rice freshman Genevieve Tariton and Hanszen sophomore Vishnu Kumar were just two of the many students spotted wearing this layered combination in light of the chilly weather. Though both wear dress shirts underneath their relatively fitted V-neck sweaters, Tariton and Kumar demonstrated two very different looks.

By wearing a black sweater, Tariton allows the lovely stripes of her multi-colored shirt to really pop in her outfit. Similarly colored but of a decidedly different pattern, Tariton's slip-ons are a nice touch to her outfit, as they allow for visual repetition without being too matchy-matchy. She successfully gives her look a more casual feel by wearing cuffed skinny jeans and letting the edges of her shirt sleeve and bottom peak out. Kumar, on the other hand, has created a more formal look by tucking his lightly-colored dress shirt into soft brown corduroys. The lavender collar and light grey sweater combination creates an understated look that works well with the brown tones that dominate the rest of his outfit. Excepting the lavender dress shirt underneath, Kumar's very classic take on the trend bears strong resemblance to earlier forms of this trend.

In the 1920s, American men started wearing casual open-collared white shirts with V-neck sweaters, and later with crewneck sweaters as well. The 1950s saw a resurgence of this look, as preppy fashion began to dominate the collegiate fashion scene among Ivy League universities. However, the sweater and collar combination truly hit mainstream fashion in 1980s, as a clean-cut look for male and female preps alike. Stars of the time, like Michael Jackson, contributed to the development of the sweaters and collars trend by switching out the classic white dress shirts for eclectically patterned button-downs. The preppy collar and sweater has become a mainstay in American fashion since then, reincarnating every time in a slightly different form.

This season, it has become trendy for women to wear chunky knit sweaters with innocent-looking Peter Pan collared blouses or elaborate detachable collars decorated with jewels or studs. In men's fashion, we've seen a continuation of the fitted look, with an emphasis on neutral combinations and the addition of quirky bow ties.

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