Describing the style of the University of San Francisco (USF) is nearly impossible for the mere fact that our campus is composed of students from every corner of the globe from Hong Kong to Belgium and from Russia to Dubai. Like the city of San Francisco, we are a school rich in diversity. USF is a unique community; rather than being unified by our Greek life or football team (or lack thereof…), what connects all of us is the city. Our experience at USF is molded by what we encounter in the bustling streets of downtown, the sunny days at Dolores Park and the painfully long lines at Ike’s.
San Francisco style is, in part, dictated by our unpredictable weather and plentiful hills. We’re known for our microclimates — most notably, the thick layer of fog in the Richmond while the Mission basks the sunlight. Layering becomes a skill to be mastered (think of it as a rite of passage), and platforms come before stilettos. This doesn’t mean our individual style becomes compromised — any Fashionista will tell you that nothing gets in the way of that vintage skirt from Wasteland or their favorite cut-offs — but we’re simply going to throw on a rain coat and warm weather accessories. This Fashionista is the poster child of layering for the typical San Francisco day. I love the way all her neutral colors work without being too flat. The varying lengths give her a balanced silhouette and different textures add dimension to the outfit. Her look has a laidback, edgy and individualistic vibe, all of which describe San Francisco to a T.
Some variation of a vintage skirt is common on even the coldest days because San Franciscans and the students of USF are seasoned thrifters who love all things vintage. We don’t joke around here — thrifting is a sport and we will fight to the death for those vintage Celine pants. Even the San Francisco transplants from Orange County (yup, that’s me) can’t resist the vintage and secondhand boutiques the city has to offer.
We may not be in the heart of a high-fashion hub like New York University, but the students of USF have an advantage — we live in San Francisco where you can be whatever and whomever you please. Want to wear a Joy Division T-shirt every day and carry around your mason jar of organic tea with vegan Dr. Martens on? Go ahead! Are you in the mood for dressing up like Betty Draper from Mad Men? We love it. Feel like wearing nothing at all? The Castro welcomes you. You can come here and approach style the way you want — we’ll embrace you with Blue Bottle coffee and bottomless mimosas for Sunday morning brunch.
This article is part of the ongoing, exclusive column series for USA TODAY COLLEGE. A new post will appear every Wednesday. Be sure to tune in each week for the best in university fashion trends!
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