Discovering the Joy of Fashion on Campus

By, Josh Grewal & Lauren Raziano, Staff Writer & Social Media Editor

Fashion seems to be a universal language, particularly at Manhattan College. With a very diverse campus, it is inevitable to see each student’s uniqueness by the way they dress and the reasoning behind their respective clothing attire. Much like personality, fashion is a depiction of the person at hand and what they seem to portray.

Liola Moody, a senior political science and international relations major, is the founder of Turnstyle thrift store in Thomas Hall. She sees the store as a link between fashion and happiness at MC.

“Turnstyle definitely promotes joy because our whole slogan is ‘My style…your turn’ and I think there’s a lot to be said about the influence of fashion from others, especially in your community,” Moody said.

Turnstyle is operated by accepting donations from Manhattan College students and allows students to purchase gently used items that can now be recycled into their personal style.

“Turnstyle offers that opportunity by being able to quite literally turn in your style for something new,” Moody said. “I think it’s really cool to be able to see people in clothing that I used to wear, I know my friends have said similar things. I’ve seen people come to the store and I’m like, ‘Oh my god, that’s my jacket that you’re buying,’ and I think that sense of community, sharing fashion, and ideas brings a lot of joy.”

Moody also shared her thoughts about how joyfulness can impact what you wear and how you act.

“I think it can have a huge impact, I think that on days that you get up and you put yourself together you tend to feel a lot better, a lot more confident,” Moody said. “I think the same goes for fashion, when you’re wearing something that you feel really good in and that you picked out, that you take a lot of pride in, you tend to have a lot more confidence and just feel better about yourself.”

Moody encouraged others to try new styles and be confident in what they wear.

“There’s really only so many fashion faux pas you can make and so many mistakes you can make,” Moody said. “I’d say just do it and have fun and just as long as you feel good, you look good.”

Rory O’Connor, a freshman psychology major, spoke on how fashion can usually put people’s style into a box and told not to dress a certain way. He vividly spoke about how fashion should be free, as it is a form of self expression.

“I would say just don’t let anyone put you in a box because I have like clear memories of being young and trying to figure out my style and making terrible fashion choices and also trying things and being ridiculed by friends or whatever,” O’Connor said. “People told me, ‘Oh, that’s not your style.’ But, nothing determines what you can and can’t wear. It’s a mentality thing.”

A part of joyful fashion is wearing what makes someone feel confident and comfortable, and O’Connor has identified his style niche.

“I think my style has changed since moving to New York. I’m moving more into New York style because it’s similar to what I like. My favorite type of clothes are workwear which is prominent here, and I love the way people dress over here with layers and heavy stuff,” O’Connor said.

Xavier Peña, also a freshman psychology major, spoke about fashion and clothes being an extension of oneself. As clothes can depict many things about the people that style them. With New York being a very fashionable city, it is common for people to dress outside the norm.

“Fashion is a form of expressing yourself, and it says who you are as a person. I personally take pleasure in trying different styles and putting together different pieces of clothing,” Peña said. “This creates a form of originality, which I think every person should strive for, because the diversity in the world is something that should be celebrated.”

It seems many people look to others, such as celebrities and music artists to be inspired. The creativity of other people should be celebrated, as it goes to show just how diverse the world can be. When asked about his inspirations, Peña replied with the following.

“I would definitely say growing up. I used to look up to a lot of fashion people like fashion moguls like A$AP Rocky, Tyler the Creator…I’ll just look up to these rappers and see their styles,” Peña said.

Many people find it hard to choose what clothes fit them or what looks good. Peña had words of advice for people who might be thinking exactly that. As he stated there were many times when he would question his own choice of clothing, because he couldn’t tell if it looked “good” or not.

“My advice is you definitely have to try new things and new areas and just do your research on different brands and different styles,” Peña said. “There’s many different websites that can show you outfits. Like I said before, you do what you want and you be yourself. That’s the number one thing you could do because you can never be like [anyone else].”

Ashley Cross, Ph.D., professor of women and gender studies, acknowledges that Manhattan College students are able to portray their style just by going to college in New York City.

“You can’t be not stylish in New York, right? You’ve got to really think about what you’re wearing, from your earrings to your suit,” Cross said. “You just have to be aware about that. So I certainly pay attention to be you know, to be well dressed and not unkempt.”

Cross knows her style fits the New York aesthetic.

“I think happiness and joy are in my style because I wear what I want to wear and what I like to wear. I love black, I mostly wear black, that’s very New York, but I also try to wear some colors too,” Cross said.

Cross is aware that having a cheerful character can be more important than style when leading a classroom discussion.

“I don’t know that happiness and joy is in my clothing as much as it is in my persona and how I try to come across in the classroom and on campus with energy and openness,” she said. “I try to bring energy and enthusiasm and I try to listen to all my students, no matter what their backgrounds are or how well they’re doing in the class.” Style changes very frequently and Dr. Cross expressed that she is aware students and faculty have elevated their style to match it.

“I think there’s a lot of stylish people among the students and among the faculty, and I think you know, people of your generation are much much better, better dressed and more aware than people in my generation were in college,” she said.

Dr. Cross also has a positive outlook about her unique and powerful hairstyle, “I think my style is about my silver hair, which has come back even better, after I lost it all because of the chemo!” Cross wrote in a follow-up email to The Quadrangle.

Whether it’s her style, her classroom, or sharing joy with others, Dr. Cross always shares a positive outlook.

“We need joy in this world.” Dr. Cross said. “It’s a pretty hard world we’re all living in and the pandemic is ongoing, and people are tired and there can’t be enough joy. You know, we’re just living, we’re alive in the world and that’s kind of an amazing thing.”