Weinberg freshman Nicholas Hoag was walking from his seminar when his subtle pairing of ripped Diesel jeans, a blank white tee, navy cardigan and Vivienne Westwood necklace caught the eye of Instagram page @nufitss.
“I wasn’t expecting to be photographed, which is the beauty of the page,” Hoag said.
From clear Patrick Bateman-inspired raincoats to Comme des Garçons bags, corsets and more, the student-run Instagram page has amassed more than 400 followers by highlighting the eclectic fashion choices Northwestern students make each morning.
The @nufitss team found Communication sophomore Sam Webster while she was chowing down at Norris University Center, and by the end of the day, Webster was featured on the page. Among the page’s fashion history discussions and weekly hot take Friday debates, Webster’s strawberry-colored cottage-core ensemble marked the 45th featured outfit displayed on the account.
“I was eating a sandwich, and a very cool-looking person approaches me,” Webster said. “I freaked out because I had a longstanding goal of getting on that page since I found it on Instagram.”
The page was created by Medill freshman Josephine White, who was inspired to start the page after her brother was featured on @watchingvassar, a similar account at Vassar College.
When she was a high school freshman, White, who is Black, dove into the world of fashion as a path to self-discovery while attending a predominantly white high school. With stylistic inspiration ranging from Mugler to Pinterest boards, White’s personal style became a versatile mix of streetwear and pencil skirts.
“I like fashion a lot — just putting on different outfits,” White said. “I was hoping (@nufitss would) be a place where Northwestern students could connect through fashion.”
Rock-inspired archival fashion — crossed with classic Americana — is the fashion taste of Weinberg freshman Malcolm Gittens, who joined the @nufitss team after helping White search campus for possible outfit features.
Gittens now creates fashion history posts for the account, but his interest in fashion rose from the need for a creative outlet and seeing the iconic tartan wedding dress of fashion legend Vivienne Westwood’s 1993-1994 “Anglomania” Autumn-Winter collection.
“I was always in a family who was very into economics and work and school,” Gittens said. “But for me, I always want to express creativity in some way. That showed me that clothing could be fun and artistic and interesting.”
Once White or Gittens spots a good outfit on campus, they ask the person for a picture and then send the photo to their review board to initiate the curation process.
Review board member and Weinberg freshman Alec Easter, who often dons a workwear style composed of Carhartt and Dickies, says balance is what makes a good outfit.
“I like to emphasize the fact that different doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good fit,” Easter said. “For me, it’s proportions — a proper balance of doing something new and (innovation) — that still comes together and looks like it’s clothes.”
While their personal styles differ, the moderators agree that the student body needs more variations in winter wear. The @nufitss team wants to see more leg warmers, trench coats and fur coats around campus and less Canada Goose coats.
The page shares an online space similar to Northwestern student-fashion account @northwesterngarb, which also aims to highlight Northwestern student expression through clothing.
In the midst of Northwestern’s time-crushing quarter system, the moderators of @nufitss said they hope to make their page a community space beyond sharing the best outfits of the student body, with plans for on-the-street interviews and clothing store recommendations.
“It’s just a matter of finding time, but there’s a lot of potential,” White said. “I’m looking forward to what the page will grow into because I know we have a lot of ideas.”
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