Classic style with a touch of kitsch

When it comes to fashion, Queen’s students have two options: throw on whatever’s on top of your laundry pile or wear an outfit.

Ryan Peng is decidedly in the second camp. In the worst of times, when most of us would recoil into sweats and cover our three-day-old hair with the nearest beanie, Peng, ArtSci ’16, always looks like he’s stepped right off the pages of some underground fashion ’zine you’ve never heard of.

Seeking some inspiration, I sat down with Peng to get his perspective of fashion at Queen’s.

How do you think the men’s fashion scene on campus differs from the women’s?

I don’t know if it’s just the overall trend, but I feel like men’s fashion, they’re not as colourful, whereas women’s fashion, they’re more out there. They’re more expressive, they have more cuts, more styles, whereas men’s you just have the basics and then you get your really graphic designs. So, I feel like women’s fashion is more prominent at Queen’s than the men’s, but I have to admit there are some really on-point outfits that I do spot here and there.

How do you create such pulled-together looks when you’re running around from one thing to the next?

The outfits I have, they’re not that hard to pull together. It’s basically black skinnies and a kind of statement shirt with a cardi. So it’s not that hard to maintain and with shirts you can unbutton, button, so it’s the little details that make the outfits kind of pop, make it different from other guys’ outfits.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve taken with your style? Did it pay off?

Last year I decided to get this floral suit. Like, floral blazer, floral pants. The sales associate encouraged me toward the whole thing together with black dress shoes and I did, to a wedding. I didn’t wear anything inside the blazer, so there was just the blazer and then there was my skin. And then there was my floral pants and my loafers. I got some compliments — I was the flower boy. I think that was quite risqué of me.

If you could change anything about the fashion culture on campus, what would it be?

I just wish that everyone could put themselves into the stuff they wear. I feel like a lot of people, they wear the same style, or even the same outfit, to try to blend in. But I don’t think people should blend in — they should stand out and just be who they are.

What do you think Queen’s does well?

Because sneakers are back in, a lot of people have some really on-point sneakers. I really like the bold colours with a simple outfit to go to the gym. I guess colours motivate me, so I feel like more colours would be great.

What do you consider the closet essentials for guys?

The equivalent to a little black dress is the little white shirt; every guy needs a fitted white dress shirt, a pair of good quality dress shoes and cool socks.

And what are your closet essentials for girls?

For girls, a little black dress, black skinnies and self-confidence.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

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