David Zhu ’21 pairs a light green sweater vest, white shirt, and light blue jeans with a gray jacket that drapes over his shoulders. A light sheen of nail polish covers his nails, and accessories place the finishing touches on his look.
“I’m pretty trendy. I wouldn’t say I’m super unique, but I keep up with everything that I see on Instagram [and on other] social media. My style, I wouldn’t say, is extremely special, but I think it’s aesthetic in a sense,” said Zhu.
Zhu takes inspiration from TikTok and various social media sites. He also subscribes to a softer color palette and is often aligned with the season.
“If I see something I like online, I save the video and look through the comments and see where they got the clothing from, and then I see if I want to buy it… [I have] lighter colors, [like] pink, sage, and lavender. Is it called a soft aesthetic? I think that’s mainly my style. Nothing too edgy, but it’s light and spring,” said Zhu.
According to Zhu’s friends, he has grown more conscious of his style since Junior Year. Friend Sophia Lee ’21 stated that Zhu’s style has evolved, citing his attention to detail and accessories as a staple of his current style.
“[Zhu] will sometimes match his nails to outfits and small intricate pieces—like shoes, that kind of thing. [I admire]… the consideration he puts [into] an outfit… There’s a lot of love and a lot of care that goes into his outfits,” said Lee.
Another friend, Ross Vieira ’21 has also noticed Zhu’s stylistic evolution. He said that during Zhu’s time at Andover, Zhu has grown to use his outfits as a platform of self-expression and has developed a passion for his style.
“I think [Zhu’s] style has really evolved a lot over the years. I met him [Junior] year, and he [wore] a basic, everyday style, like what I still wear: hoodies, maybe jeans, khakis, running shoes, stuff like that. As he’s grown into himself as a student, he’s really learned what he likes to wear and learned how to express himself with his clothes,” said Vieira.
A recent evolution in Zhu’s style has taken place over quarantine. Returning home to Shanghai, China with one week’s worth of clothing when campus closed last spring, Zhu experienced a stylistic reset when he had to purchase a large amount of new clothes, along with spending more time on social media.
“In quarantine, everyone is on TikTok, everyday, so I saw a lot of new styles and outfits I wanted to try out but never got the chance to, either because I was on campus or I already had so many clothes. So back home in Shanghai, I really got to explore everything and buy pieces of clothing I usually wouldn’t have, and that started my closet now,” said Zhu.