Tunes and Trends; Music in the fashion world

Sarah Rosenberg

Walking through the halls of the Quinnipiac dorm buildings, there is always one of the most popular tunes blasting from the bathroom or from the rooms lining the hallways. By now, everyone must know the words to Katy Perry’s “Hot N’ Cold” or Britney Spears’ “Womanizer.” Music has indefinitely become the avenue for college kids across campus with songs that are defining the way we live, and now, the way we dress.

With new artists and lyrical trends popping up on the radio, the Internet and on the television, music has become more than what we hear on KC 101. Music has influenced everyday wardrobes with an emphasis on hip hop, country, punk and even “indie” styles. These days, one can take a guess as to what a person’s musical interests are by the appearance he or she keeps up: colors chosen, jewelry, shoes and even the way jeans fit. Nowadays, however, music is more than just the sounds blasting from your classmates’ headphones.

At the most popular clubs in New Haven, the disc jockeys can’t resist playing the ultimate hip-hop songs to dance to. Hip-hop has evolved into a variety of different looks, influenced by the suave and sophisticated rappers of our time, ranging from Kanye West to Lupe Fiasco and the Gym Class Heroes.

“There has definitely been a change in the hip hop world because back in the day, it was all about saggy jeans and long T-shirts. Now, if you take a look at artists like Pharrell and Kanye West, you see hip- hop’s style has converged to be more preppy and put together,” Tatianna Sosa, a Quinnipiac freshman, said.

Artists like West and Pharrell are delving into the wear of bright polo shirts, fitted sweatshirts with eye-popping designs, patterned scarves, and unique athletic sneakers. Hip hop’s devotees are donning Nikes with bold colors, Ed Hardy T-shirts, cardigans and fearless aviator sunglasses. The daring musical ventures of such artists, from their elaborate stage sets to their business projects, has emulated the clothes they wear on stage and on their album covers, and everyone is quick to take that style to the street.

Country music has been accompanying hip hop on the charts, led by the likes of Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood; young girls have noticed their take on the little-bit-of-country way of fashion. Swift has accurately idealized the classic cowboy boot, pairing her favorite country kicks with demure sundresses, baby-doll minis, and flowing skirts. Underwood has also coined a personal look, detailing denim with chunky belts and knee-high boots. Their easy and carefree hairstyles and natural-looking makeup allude to the easygoing nature of their music, but stray away from the cliché of working in the haystacks and stables. These girls never let their straw cowboy hats touch the ground and their country class is apparent in all magazines and photo opportunities.

Music as well as fashion is a necessary form of expression, and “punk” has certainly been the most striking musical outlet to advocate personal style. Led by the likes of Fall Out Boy, Boys Like Girls, Paramore and My Chemical Romance, bands who are all about nonconformity, the generation’s infamous rebels without a cause, are enlisting theses bands’ help for fashion advice. Studded belts and checkered Vans slip-ons are being joined by loud, graphic T-shirts, tight skinny jeans of all hues and wild hair dye jobs. Today’s so-called “punks” have favored the charity clothing brand, “To Write Love on Her Arms,” with T-shirts and sweatshirts worn by their favorite ruffian musicians.
Perhaps the most revolutionary style to emerge is that inspired by today’s alternative, or “indie” rock stars. Hitting music’s wavelengths with a driving force, the bands leading the way are suiting up in outfits that seem to match their quirk and unconventional lyrical habits. The Kooks, The Fratellis, Cute is What We Aim For, The Strokes and The All-American Rejects are just a few of the bands resorting to funky collared shirts, ripped cardigans, vintage blazers, fitted vests, decorative fedora hats and old-time loafers for the full effect of their music. Their style certainly screams New York City Village or, at times, Old Hollywood, for the kids who want to make a statement or even a bargain, sifting through thrift stores and consignment shops for those hard-to-find numbers no one else is to wear. These bands’ outfits are more jamming than their upbeat and guitar-charged harmonies, and the generation has yet to turn a blind eye to their impact.

As of late, music is much more than what you hear on the drive to school or during your daily shower: It’s in what you wear and what you choose to spend your money on at local stores. Music has changed the way clothes are being made and designers are rethinking their latest fashion lines. The artists and bands we see in “Spin” or “Rolling Stone” magazines are much more creative with their style as well as their music, and no avid listener can deny their hidden influence on style along with the words they sing and the instruments they play on their latest album.
Now, fashion is in music as much as it is in our closets, and everyone is listening closely.