What UW students are wearing From tote bags to claw clips: Winter fashion on campus


They say school isn’t a fashion show, but University of Waterloo students are here to prove that wrong. Take a quick stroll through any of the UW campuses and you’ll be met with looks that rival those found in fashion schools. 

A common trend amongst students is tote bags. While they are a great way to carry around books, laptops, and any school-related necessities, they’re also the perfect way to show off your interests. The most common one seems to be the Harry Styles Love on Tour tote bag. Shreya Jain, a 2B Global Business and Digital Arts (GBDA) student, explained why she has been loving her tote bag: “It’s so much more convenient than a backpack, and backpacks can be bulky and uncomfortable when over an already bulky winter jacket.” Jain mentioned the “super puff” from Aritzia (one that she says seems to be an incredibly popular coat on campus) as one that fits better with a tote bag rather than a traditional backpack. 

With winter weather still in full effect, you’re more likely to see dark colours and neutrals than bright and bold. As Grace Osmond, 2B Social Development Studies, pointed out, “Neutrals, and especially darker colours, are just so easy to style, they’re quick to be thrown on and everything just works so well with each other,” adding to a commonality amongst students and their reasoning behind outfits — comfort, warmth, and overall cute factor. Humreet Sandhu, 2B Legal Studies, notes that comfort is priority, “My main goal when choosing an outfit for a 9 a.m. class is comfort, I don’t want to be stuck in a three-hour lecture being uncomfortable the entire time.” 

Walking around campus, it is easy to see that over-the-ear headphones have taken over. They provide more comfort than traditional earbuds, offer great sound quality, and they’re the perfect accessory for any outfit. All people interviewed noted that walking across campus with over-the-ear headphones makes any outfit a bit cuter and gives major main character energy. When asked which trends she’s been enjoying, Manal Khan, 2B GBDA, comments on what seems to be a growing trend, “Loose fit pants. For one, skinny jeans just aren’t as comfortable, but any sort of looser fitting pants, whether that be jeans or joggers, make any outfit seem a bit more put together, a bit more intentional.” She also mentioned how claw clips can be found throughout campus and are arguably the most popular hair accessory right now. 

It can be hard to find a balance between staying warm on walks to class and wearing an outfit that makes you feel good during winter. But the students of UW walk that line in style.