While many students are starting their spring semester at the University of Maryland, others studying abroad adapt to new academic and social lifestyles as they settle into their routines overseas.
With shifts in cultural norms come fashion and wardrobe adjustments. The Campus Trainer contacted a few UMD students abroad to track how their style has adapted since departing College Park.
Mina Nicholas is a junior double majoring in linguistics and hearing and speech sciences. She is currently studying at Edinburgh University in Edinburgh, Scotland “Since being abroad, I’ve noticed a lot more diversity in how everyone dresses. You’ll see one person wearing sweats and another completely decked out in a super specific style right next to each other. Furthermore, I feel like the general style is a bit more conservative, I’ve started wearing a lot more baggy clothes and more color blocking.”
Mina recommends neutral colors and dependable basic pieces both for everyday wear and social outings. She said students at Edinburgh dress up more for class, opting for jeans and slacks rather than the casual loungewear sets she was accustomed to at College Park. In preparation for her journey abroad, Mina went thrift shopping frequently to track down unique pieces and accessories, and says she prefers sustainable, timeless options instead of fast-fashion trends.
Image Credit: Photos by Mina Nicholas
Lilly Manning is a junior marketing major studying in Florence, Italy “In many places I've visited in Europe, there is a different culture around clothing. I almost never see anyone walking around wearing athleisure or sweatpants; it’s considered sloppy and not socially acceptable, like in the US. It’s been fun and a change of pace dressing up for class and being excited to express myself through clothes without feeling like I look out of place or am trying too hard.”
Lilly said that going abroad has helped her further develop her sense of style. Now she opts for leather jackets and flats on her way to class instead of her uniform of sneakers and leisure sets studying at UMD. Her favorite places to shop for basics include Brandy Melville, Beginning Boutique, and Lucky Brand.
Image Credit: Photos by Lilly Manning
Meghan Shaffer is a junior human development major studying in Florence, Italy “The biggest difference I've noticed about fashion abroad is the neutrals! You see some pops of color here and there, but it’s definitely more normal to be wearing darker colors in Italy this time of year. It is also pretty normal here to wear blazers, dress pants, and clothing that is considered nicer and more professional in America on a daily basis here. And lots and lots of leather.”
Meghan said that she wants to incorporate more aspects of her style abroad into her everyday wardrobe upon her arrival back in the United States, both in her hometown in Florida and throughout her senior year back in College Park. She recommends investing in dependable jackets and accessories for students looking to go abroad, layering pieces to create a more polished look with minimal effort.
Image Credit: Photos by Meghan Shaffer
Mina, Lilly and Meghan all credit their experiences abroad thus far as crucial to developing their sense of style and individuality, and plan to incorporate aspects of their international fashion into their everyday wear back in College Park. For students looking to explore more neutral, basic pieces, popular options include Zara, Nordstrom, Eileen Fisher, Madewell and Aritzia. For those interested in exploring more sustainable fashion, thrifting in person and online at locales such as Poshmark, thredUP and Depop can produce great finds at relatively affordable prices.