Style Spotted: Unconventional Denim

This semester’s iteration of StyleSpotted will be a monthly series that focuses on trends worn by NYU students accompanied by their own brief fashion-bios.

Blue jeans have certainly evolved since the first pair was invented by Levi Strauss in the 1860s. Nowadays, practically anything in the fashion world has its own denim version — denim dresses, rompers, hats, you name it. Denim has increasingly become more and more unconventional, as more and more people are sporting unique pieces, such as denim they may have altered or added onto themselves. Here are some NYU students showing their take on unconventional denim.

Olivia Cheng (Stern Freshman)

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What draws your attention to clothing with such embellishments?

It’s customizable and personal; the repetition of the embellishment is eye-catching as well. If it’s specifically a pin or patch, I like ones that have a bit of humor or irony to them.

Have you been noticing this trend more often?

Alessandro Michele’s Gucci does an amazing job with the more maximalist approach that uses patches or needlework. Miu Miu and Louis Vuitton have turned out collections with a sort of military vibe as well that use pins/patches.

How would you define your style?

I love a good boot and leather jacket.  Personal style is unique on everyone, whether they realize it or not. I think clothes are subjective and tied to emotions so I don’t really define my style — it changes a lot and I just like to be experimental and wear whatever I’m liking in the present.

What are your favorite stores/websites to shop at?

I mostly thrift, but other times Alexander Wang, Acne Studios and Opening Ceremony. Online, I like e-boutiques like SSense and Otte because of the way the stock is curated. Even if you’re just browsing, it’s interesting to see the independent owners’ perspective.

Where do you like to find pins and patches?

If it’s vintage, then thrift shops, Depop, or Etsy. In retail, American Two Shot has a great selection.

Anna Yao (Liberal Studies Sophomore)

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In your opinion, what makes denim unconventional? How does the piece you own differ from traditional denim clothing pieces?

Nowadays, the skinny jeans trend seems to be fading and patchy, unique denim pieces are becoming more popular. My patched denim skirt is from Re Donne, and my favorite aspect of the design has to be the frayed edges. I also love to wear denim on denim even though people typically say not to.

What draws your attention to clothing with such embellishments? 

You can style denim so many different ways. Pairing it with a sweatshirt gives it a casual or sporty look, and you can pull off a hipster vibe when pairing it with a simple choker.

Have you been noticing the trend of more often?

Denim has been and currently is everywhere. There are many new ways to wear denim nowadays. I recently even saw this great trench coat made of denim.

How would you define your style?

I would describe my style as classy but laid back at the same time. It’s unique because I go for an androgynous vibe, such as pairing skirts with sneakers.

What are your favorite stores/websites to shop at?

I really like Urban Outfitters and Matches Fashion, which sells high end products but also affordable, good quality clothes at the same time.

Sora Nithikasem (CAS Freshman)

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In your opinion, what makes denim unconventional? How does the piece you own differ from traditional denim clothing pieces?

I feel like a lot of people wear denim because it’s so versatile. Denim allows people to express themselves, for example, through personalized embroidery. I first discovered people painting on denim jackets last month and I currently see a lot more people on the streets with this trend. I recently painted my denim jacket with acrylic paint since i usually do acrylic painting, and I chose the title of one of my favorite books, “Le Petit Prince”.

What draws your attention to clothing with such embellishments?

I like the idea of self expression through something that people use everyday, little designs allow anyone to add a little piece of themselves onto their clothing. Right now I love ironing patches onto my jackets but I would love to try embroidering as well.

How would you define your style?

For me I think color is really important, I tend to go towards pastels like blues, pinks and yellows. I think it attracts attention and just looks nice all together.

What are your favorite stores/websites to shop at?

Branding doesn’t matter that much to me when it comes to personalizing clothing.

Where do you like to find pins and patches?

They’re super easy to find online on websites such as Ebay and Amazon. Brandy Melville has quite a few patches as well as Express. It’s cool that you can find so many various pins off markets in New York.

Jonah Schwimmer (Gallatin Freshman)

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In your opinion, what makes denim unconventional? How does the piece you own differ from traditional denim clothing pieces?

I think unconventional denim is largely influenced by 90’s punk-rock culture. The grunge style and custom patches are something that make the denim piece personal to me.

What draws your attention to clothing with such embellishments?

I think this type of clothing looks casual but when put together with a nice jacket it can look spiffy and laid back at the same time. It’s just versatile. I have a friend who painted on the back of her jacket with cloth paint. You have the potential to customize denim and that makes it so interesting.

Have you been noticing the trend of more often?

I’ve been noticing people wearing two shades of denim together. Another huge trend I’ve been noticing around are denim dad hats, which I’m a big fan of.

How would you define your style?

I incorporate a lot of pastels as well as solid colors in my clothing. My style is partly influenced from L.A, as I grew up there. Their streetwear community is huge. When I wear t-shirts I love wearing graphic tees. My favorite is this vintage Katy Perry graphic tee from a Japanese vintage thrift store called Search and Destroy. Another look I wear a lot is various glasses with my pant legs tucked into high black socks and sandals.

Do you have a certain celebrity or store that you draw style inspiration from?

I think Lil Yachty’s style is unparalleled and extremely unique. I partly draw inspiration from Kanye for his oversized and one color clothing. Striped shirts are huge for me, as well as the color light pink, which is gentle and aesthetically appealing.

Photos by Dylan Siegel.

Joy Yang is a contributing writer. Email her at violetvision@nyunews.com.

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