Styling a purple and gray cable-knit sweater with vintage black jeans and Dr. Martens (“Docs”), Ethan Sun ’23 artistically pairs thrifted items with staple pieces of his fashion. Sun experiments with various elements of his aesthetic while maintaining consistency to create a personalized look. To add contrast, he adds a pearl necklace and silver rings as accessories that complement the darker colors in his outfit.
“Whenever I wear something, I generally try to do something constant… [I] have my boots, these pants I usually wear a lot, and this sweater I haven’t worn in a while… it’s kind of like mixing and matching things that are staples of my wardrobe plus different things that I cycle through,” said Sun.
Although Sun’s style could fall under ‘grunge academia’, he does not conform to a specific, streamline aesthetic when choosing his outfits. A friend of his, Cris Ramnath ’23, commented on Sun’s natural understanding of how to coordinate outfits and the development of statement pieces.
“He knows what looks good and dresses neatly. My favorite outfit of his is the one with the red jacket he usually wears, alongside his Docs. The red bomber jacket and Docs are both staple items that are commonly worn by Ethan, and it just feels “Ethan” because it adds to the comfort [and] neat aesthetic of his fashion,” said Ramnath in an email to The Phillipian.
Sun draws inspiration for his outfits from many sources, but he finds YouTube videos that give simple fashion tips particularly helpful. Another source that inspires Sun’s fashion is his sister. She compelled him to start thinking creatively about his outfits while pushing him to try out new and different styles.
“[My greatest fashion inspiration is] my sister—seeing her start to wear good clothing and then accessing what she wears was another big part of me starting to care about what I wear and think critically about my outfits because she also has a more creative style and that got me thinking to myself what I could wear,” said Sun.
Growing up in Texas, Sun often felt restricted by the climate and wore “basic” pieces, usually picked out by his parents. However, since coming to Andover, Sun has found easier access to thrift stores, allowing him more freedom to explore his fashion sense.
“Since I got here, it has been a lot [easier] to go thrifting on my own time. Thrifting is a big [part] of how I started to develop my style, because it is less market-controlled. It is not big people and CEOs trying to market you slim fit jeans and flannel, which I appreciate a lot,” said Sun.
Sun appreciates the fact that fashion pushes him to keep an open mind and go outside of his comfort zone. Sun has done so by wearing pieces such as a translucent button up or pearl jewelry. One goal Sun has for himself is to start integrating brighter colors into his wardrobe.
Sun said, “I want to incorporate more color. That is the biggest way I stay safe is that…if I only wear only black then it is hard to mess up but I want to start color blocking more and start learning colors. Because a lot of the stuff I wear is pants, sweaters, etc, so going into [an] even more ‘out there’ style or exploring more genres that I have strayed away from.”