NYU students are rare birds of fashion. You can't always pick them out of a crowd of locals. Outside of the Washington Square bubble, they tend to blend in with the "real" New Yorkers, right down the the Trader Joe's reusable bags on their arms. That is, until you see them nervously flash their fake ID's at Sly Fox, or over hear their conversations about James Franco auditing one of their classes. Really though, how do you dress like an NYU student? Just as the New York uniform is pretty diverse, the NYU student uniform is difficult to define.
NYU is a HUGE school, made up of 16 different colleges that all have varying dress codes. Rather than a mutable sartorial type, NYU students represent a melange of gypsies, tramps, and the progeny of possibly white-collar thieves. There are the practical yet trendy Tisch film kids, clad in premium denim and cotton in the hues of a stormy sky. The LA private school transplants that look like they've walked off of a Saint Laurent runway are probably Gallatin kids. Steinhardt communications girls tote Longchamp bags and wear Tory Burch flats, while the Stern kids are pretty much always in suits. So let’s dive in… Here is how to dress like the many shades of NYU Student.
No matter what school you're in, get yourself a STRAND tote bag
It's the all-purpose, award-winning laptop caddy that doubles as your purse.
Hunter Boots for basically everyone when it rains
Sure, these premium galoshes have a bit of an obnoxious connotation. They're basically a status symbol reserved for wading through dirty water. But DUH, NYU kids have plenty of money to burn.
You can try to avoid it, but you will buy something from the Marc by Marc Jacobs accessory store at some point
This little mart, known for Marc-brand tchotchkies that are less expensive than most of his stuff, it a real NYU kid destination. A delicate 18-dollar necklace is totally worth it, because it's Marc Jacobs and you're new to New York. This is you seizing the day!
Dress to impress
You're living in one of the taste-making capitals of the world, and the hardcore kids will dress on-trend like, all the time. Get ready to meet a whole lot of kids who wear a crap load of All Saints, dress to be street-spotted, and speak endlessly of their love for Rick Owens.
Buy an American Apparel figure skater dress, or any of its permutations
When you're a welcome week freshman, drunk on excitement and anxiety, it seems like the best idea ever to spend 68 dollars on a "going out" dress from American Apparel. You will wear the crap out of this item for the first 3 months of school, then retire it indefinitely.
Buy a sensible coat... seriously
Seriously, eff fashion on this topic. In the winter, you'll be compelled to buy a fashionable, non-puffy jacket. Once it's 10 degrees with the wind chill, you'll be happy to have your Michelin Man cocoon coat.
Stern kids wear business casual, or just plain business wear
Business school kids don't play. They wear suits to class, and they order the business woman special.
If you're in Steinhardt, get yourself some Tory Burch
Steinhardt, NYU's school of applied psychology, music, and everything else that they didn't know how to classify, is home to the communications program. If you see a pair of Tory Burch flats, you're most likely looking at a fashion PR intern.
Tisch kids dress like affluent, trendy porters
Pragmatism is the operative word when dressing like a Tischie. Although this is the art school, and you'd guess that they'd really go ham on their wardrobe, many of them wear jeans and tees most of the time. You can spot these kids in black cheap Mondays, paired with deliberately worn-in tees and beanies.
Gallatin kids are trend-monsters, or only wear Patagonia
The students of NYU's individualized study school, Gallatin, are a mixture of ultra-trendy kids, compulsive thrifters and vintage addicts, bohos, vegans, and Urban Outfitters sale rack kids. Some kids wear exclusively Opening Ceremony, others wear tons of Patagonia, some make their own clothing, and others look like they copied the styling from a Hedi Slimane editorial. The emphasis here is "broadcast your individuality!!"
CAS kids are a mixture of it all, and the most normal-looking
The College of Arts and Sciences people look like normal New Yorkers. They can range from super-stylized, to "Princesses of Long Island" to artsy minimalists, to career-dressers. One thing's for sure. They went to the Barney's sample sale, and bought one thing that they almost never wear.
So, congratulations, class of 2018! Enjoy your late night cookies, all-nighters at Bobst, and living in the greatest city on Earth!