Matt Wechter

I went to bed last night after making a mental list of my schedule. My roommates and I had a long and busy day ahead of us. These included particularly stressful activities such as going to class, the beach, dinner and downtown.

Thank god I woke up early, because I was in for a shock.

 When I went to look in my closet and dresser for something to wear, I couldn’t believe my eyes. There was literally nothing in them except for unclothed hangers and empty drawers.

I figured the incident must be part of a really dumb practical joke, so I went upstairs to ask my roommates about my mysterious vanishing wardrobe, only to find them equally confused.

For some strange reason, all of our closets were empty. But rather than worry about trivial little things like where our clothes were or who took them, we decided to go ahead and solve the problem. We went shopping.

We piled into my car in a mess of Cal Poly sweatpants, tank tops and fuzzy animal slippers. After stopping for breakfast, it dawned on us we had no idea where to go or what to wear.

While Cal Poly may never be described as the ultimate fashion mecca, students here certainly have their own style.

It’s easy to see the California coast attitude reflected in the easy, hip and casual clothes found on campus. Cal Poly’s Central Coast location blends northern and southern California brands in a mix that can be only described as West Coast.

“There is definitely a difference between Northern and Southern California styles. I’ve noticed more of a hippie style up north, and more of a beach feel down south,” agriculture business senior Carly Cesare said.  “For the most part, if someone wants to dress trendy or casual they will. It’s all what you prefer.”

We decided the proper attire for class would be a mix of trendy and casual. After a quick conference, we decided to check out the new Abercrombie and Fitch and Banana Republic. 

“There’s a good mix of styles at Cal Poly. You see everything from surfer-y types to girls in Juicy Couture to high maintenance fashion,” liberal studies senior Ashlee Eisinger said. “I’ve noticed girls wearing skirts with ruffles, longer tanks and big designer bags from Coach or Dooney & Bourke.”

Armed with this information, my roommates and I headed off to Coverings. Right away, we noticed the Michael Stars, Splendid and C & C California tanks, and I quickly grew curious about trends for fall.

Business senior and Coverings employee Allison Bruso told me the new way to pull off the bohemian look was to get layered.

“Thick, chunky sweaters, big belts and long, layered necklaces are going to be popular. Celebrities like Jessica Simpson, Mischa Barton and Sienna Miller are really influencing what people buy,” Bruso said. “Wooden accents are all over accessories like bangles.”

After browsing the racks, I picked out a pair of Citizens of Humanity jeans and Jeffrey Campbell shoes. With one quick swipe of plastic, we set off to find swimsuits for the beach.

Next, we went to SLO Swim and found ourselves overwhelmed with the variety and amount of swimsuits. Although the store’s owner, Shelley Filip, was out on a buying trip, employee Linda Rudd shared her knowledge.

“Surf-cut suits are big right now, as are string bikinis,” Rudd said. “Embellishments are going to be huge for fall. We’re seeing beads and sequins on the new suits.”

Each of us picked out suits made by companies like Vix, O’Neill and Roxy. We were so excited by our purchases, we headed down to Central Coast Surfboards to look for more board shorts and cover-ups.

“I really like the brands at CCS. They have Reefs or Rainbow sandals that I see a lot of on campus,” psychology senior Michelle Slaney said, “(and) they’re big on surf and skate brands like Volcom and Billabong. The zip-up sweatshirts are pretty popular.”

We headed across the street to find something to wear at dinner. Uptown Jean Co. had a great selection of shoes and jeans.  My roommates liked the Lucky Brand and Rock and Republic jeans.

“We sell a lot of Kenneth Cole heels. For fall, there’s lots of embroidery and dark jeans,” said Erinne Lisby, business junior and Uptown Jean Co. employee. “In terms of colors, we’re getting in browns and golds. We also carry Guess and Ben Sherman brands.”

Our last stop was Express to find outfits for the night. Luxe tops and dress pants in a variety of colors filled the room. The store also had a good selection of jewelry and purses.

“For going out, most girls wear pumps or stilettos,” Cesare said. “Chandelier earrings, name brand jeans and cute tops are staples.” 

With our arms full of bags, we trekked back to the parking garage. Although we were all satisfied with our purchases, we couldn’t help but wonder what happened to our original clothes.

Oh well, at least we’ll be well dressed – and with just enough time to make it to class.

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