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Night Out: An Evolution of College Fashion

Updated: Feb 15, 2023

By Charlotte Hudson

The weekend is here, and it’s time to put on your favorite outfit for a fun night out. Fitted crop tops and wide leg jeans, corset tops and leather pants, mini dresses and mini skirts are this year’s going-out fashion trends that have become an easy style and staple for the nighttime scene on campus today.

Styles are constantly changing, and while it might be hard to imagine wearing anything other than these essential go-tos, many of the styles we wear today are recycled looks from what our parents wore, creating timeless looks that work for every time period. Let’s take a look at some of the best nighttime college fashion looks throughout the decades.

The 80’s:

We owe the popularity of the crop top to the 80’s, which still stands as a staple for today. Bright colors, light jeans, shoulder pads and big shoes were the perfect outfits for a night out on the town. Styled with big hair and statement jewelry, the 80’s set the foundation for many evolving looks to come.

The 90’s:

Vests, leather, and all things plaid made up the key features of a 90’s going-out look. Brand name clothing, puffy jackets and baggy jeans were options for a more casual look, but still just as fashionable.

The 2000’s

The era of the low rise jeans is dedicated to the 2000’s, which we’ve now seen make a comeback. Worn perfectly with crop tops, this decade allowed for a re-emergence of consistent fashion trends that we now consider essential to our outfits today.

The 2010’s

While today we’ve gotten rid of the skinny jean, the 2010’s are where the skinny jean thrived. Paired with off the shoulder tops and graphic tees full of bold patterns, this decade set the scene for the continuation of old trends. Long, layerable necklaces and scarves were accessories found popularly worn with these outfits.


Corset tops, a recent re-emerging trend, like the popular Out From Under Modern Love Lace Corset from Urban Outfitters are seen everywhere around campus on a night out. Crop tops with staple colors like black and white fit perfectly with wide leg jeans or leather pants. Mini fitted dresses and skirts make an appearance to give a fashionable yet simple going-out look.

LEXI / Lexi on Pinterest

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