Quad Style: Sam Royall
Meet Sam, a third year Computer Science and Philosophy double major. He spends most of his time on campus doing things related to music, fashion, and technology.
What is your relationship to fashion? Has it changed over time?
I started getting into fashion when I was younger through watching movies. I wanted to look like the characters I liked in film, and because of that I was initially much more into traditional menswear. This got me into the big designers in men’s formalwear, but I’ve definitely moved away from that. As I became more interested in fashion, I learned about brands like CDG, Acne, JW Anderson, Needles, Maison Margiela, Thom Browne, Gucci, etc., and started following them closely. However, I’ve recently developed a new-found love for brands I’ve always worn but never really thought of as very “fashionable.”
I think people can get caught up in fashion and feel like they always need to wear “fashionable” brands, but there’s really nothing cooler than the classics. Brands like Carhartt WIP, and ubiquitous brands like Nike, Levis, The North Face, and Patagonia, are staples in their own rights, but I like to think of them as just as important, although in different sense, to my style as the brands I listed earlier. Because of this, I like to throw together clothes that represent each of these periods in my life and really enjoy wearing things that might not generally be seen as going together.
Where do you like to shop?
I love going to stores around Chicago, like Notre and random places in Wicker Park, but I tend to buy must of my stuff from online retailers or specific brands’ e-stores. It’s just too easy to find stuff on sale to justify spending money at actual clothing stores. I tend to just look around when I go shopping around the city. I love seeing and trying on clothes even if I’m not planning on buying.
Where do you find style inspiration?
I mainly just keep up to date with brands and their look-books. It’s always cool to see the editorials released by stores I like, and browse Instagram sometimes to see what kind of stuff people I follow are wearing. Also, looking around when I walk Downtown or around campus is big. Seeing how people decide to dress (even if not consciously) is a big inspiration for me.
Why is fashion important to you?
This might be an idealistic view, but I think that just by how you dress, you can tell people a lot about yourself. The way people are perceived has a lot to do with how they present themselves. I think fashion is a really big part of that. I’m not worried about being judged. On the contrary, I like that people, just by seeing me walk around, can learn something about me – my interests, what I think looks good, and maybe even something about my personality. In that sense, I think the way you dress is really important, and I think it is a lot of fun to feel like you’re expressing yourself through the way you choose to dress.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to throw together random pieces of clothing, which might be seen as coming from different “styles.” I might wear pants and shoes that would tend to go with more formal outfits with a graphic tee or hoodie that might be considered more on the streetwear side of things. I like putting things like a colorful Patagonia puffer or North Face jacket with something that is more traditionally seen as fashionable. I think this shows that I like “clothes” as a blanket term rather than fashion itself, which might imply that I want to stick only to brands that are considered fashionable.
At the end of the day, I just like to make outfits out of things I like that look good together. (I always try to throw some color in, even if it is overcast and freezing outside, like it generally is.)
Do you have any fashion regrets?
Everyone has worn a wack outfit before. But I tend to think that style is a gradual process that can’t be reached unless a certain amount of experimentation has been done. That being said, you’re going to mess up if you’re doing it right. So I don’t really regret any of the fashion choices I’ve made.
All images courtesy of Kyle Lee. To view more of his photography, check out his Instagram account @jooksingkyle.