04/22/2013 06:08 pm ET | Updated Jun 22, 2013

Students Balance Studies and Style at Purdue University

What do you think of when you hear, "Purdue University"? It probably has something to do with academics or sports. You'd probably think that a school in the middle of Indiana, which is known for its engineering program, couldn't possibly know anything when it comes to the art of style. That is where you'd be wrong. While Purdue might not be as influential in the realm of fashion when compared to some other schools, there are still students on campus that continue to impress me with their bold clothing choices and unique sense of personal style.

Purdue places a strong emphasis on academics and a lot of students are here on scholarship. That means that many are either too busy with school to care about fashion or simply don't have it in the budget to sport the latest trends. This is where creativity and resourcefulness come into play. Since most of us students are on a tight budget, bargain and thrift shopping plus DIY fashion is always my go-to advice when I want to spruce up my wardrobe. Since fashion seems to go in cycles and certain items are making a comeback (think, vintage Levi mom jeans), this is how the fashion conscious students that inhabit Purdue University are able to stay on trend without going broke.

If I were to describe the ultimate trendsetter at Purdue the first word that comes to mind is unique. At a school with almost 40,000 students, those who dress in a way that make me take a second look are the ones I have the most respect for. A trendsetter at Purdue is someone who isn't afraid to take risks and be adventurous with their clothing choices. They're creative but comfortable, with a free spirit and a knack for bargain hunting.

This fashion savvy student is one that I think perfectly encompasses what I would describe as a trendsetter on Purdue's campus. With a floral printed dress she picked up at a vintage store, she creates a feminine and bohemian style that is all her own. She says that she loves shopping at secondhand stores because the pieces are so unique and rich with history. It also ensures that you'll never show up in the same outfit as someone else! She layers a simple tank under the dress and ties a scarf in her hair for some visual interest. The stacks of bangles and rings combined with her boyish sunglasses create an aesthetically pleasing way to toughen up the otherwise girly ensemble. She completes her outfit with an embroidered bag, another one of kind piece she got in Mexico.

Having great style doesn't mean you have to have a fat wallet and this Fashionista proves it. All you need is a little imagination and some free time to spend perusing bargain stores. I love when I see students on campus who really make their style their own. There's nothing better than being inspired by other students on campus.

Claire File is a senior at Purdue University majoring in retail management and communications. When she is not blogging for CollegeFashionista, she's working on her own personal style blog. This summer she will be moving to Chicago to being working for Nordstrom in the sales department.




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