We all want to look good. Cool, stylish, pretty – nobody will deny that these adjectives are desirable when it comes to appearance. But we also must ask ourselves: How do we get there? There is of course the “glam” route. Girly and fabulous, it does not deny the effort put into it. Instead, the glam girl is proud of her fashion conciousness on a daily basis and shows it off with heels and bright, trendy pieces. The grunge girl is a horse of another color (most likely a dark, neutral color). Though acutely aware of fashion, she opts for “trashy,” trends-easy clothes with just the right amount of irony in them. Think mom shorts and muscle tees topped off with odd yet surprisingly flattering hair.
These looks, while both undeniably stylish, represent two opposing ideologies towards fashion. When the glamour girl dresses up, she looks like she’s dressing up. She wants to look as pretty as possible. On the other hand, when the grungster dresses up, her look, despite being substantially informed, is effortless, as if she just rolled out of bed looking that cool. Every fashion move she makes should, by all fashion logic, look unflattering, but she manages to make it look good. So which ideology do you go by?
Despite being epitomized by red carpet bombshells and impossibly modelesque bloggers, the glam look is surprisingly accessible for college students. A normal day of classes gets a dose of glam with chunky block heels (a more accessible alternative to stilletos) in either a strappy sandal shape or an ankle bootie. Pair these with some of this spring’s hottest trends, such as a mini color block shift in bright, unexpected colors such as mint. Or for a more “casual glam” look, pair a crisp button-up shirt with skinny jeans rolled up past the ankles and chic flats. Makeup should be clean but with one bright feature, such as coral lips, to give your look an extra pop. And of course, the glam girl loves her accessories. This season, the glam girls jewelry of choice consists of chunky metal, lending just the right amount of edge to her girly look.
The grungster is also welcomed on campus, and in fact, that easy, effortless look is perfect for the pre-class morning rush. Key pieces allow the grunge girl to stand out and look good without the fuss. Her outfits begin with high-waisted cutoffs paired with tights and boots or impossibly skinny jeans with boyish loafers or sneakers. On top she opts for strategically apathetic shirts, either in the form of soft cotton T-shirts (often cut with scissors to achieve the desired fit), or perfectly patterned button downs, invariably buttoned all the way up. She rarely leaves the house without her leather jacket and her small, circular sunglasses. While the glam-girl goes for jewelry, the grunge girl’s accessory of choice comes in the form of studding. Buying studs in bulk packs, she can have a DIY adventure as she studs her favorite pieces, whether that be a leather jacket, a pair of thrifted shorts or simply the collar of a shirt.
Despite the fact that her hair has an effortless messiness to it, she is constantly thinking of ways to update it to keep it from being boring and pretty. While last year she may have gone razor-crazy with the undercut trends, this year her focus is on bangs and color. Nothing can be edgier than short, choppy bangs (the Zoey Deschanel-bangs-in-your-eyes look is so last year) that hit mid-forehead. Though unconventional and edgy, this cut is surprisingly flattering, drawing attention to strong eyebrow shapes and the eyes. Hair dye also provides a fun look for the grunge girl as she opts for unnaturally cool colors. Whether it be bleached blonde, pink or lilac, the top of the head is a perfect location for an unexpected pop of color. Though dying the complete head one color is a humongous commitment, this look can be made more practical through dip dying: Dying just the ends of ones hair adds the perfect bit of color without committing to the constant root touch-up.
To go grunge or to go glam, that is the question. Most likely, you may find that you naturally lean one way or the other. Both looks have advantages. The glam look allows you to look and feel pretty and girly. You put effort into your look, and you get credit for it. The grunge look never seems too fussy. Even though you may be acutely aware of all of your fashion choices, sometimes you don’t want everyone to know. The grunge look allows you to dress up without necessarily looking like you tried too hard. In the end, however, you do not need to commit to either look. Nobody is opposed to variation, so instead, base your style off your mood.
Maggie Schafer is an English/Creative Writing and Sociology major. Let her know your opinions on the latest trends at firstname.lastname@example.org.