5 fashion styles you’ll spot in SMU

By Aashna Poddar, SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business

Singapore is known to be one of the most fashionable cities in the world and SMU, located right in the heart of the city, does this title justice. Or does it?

Over my last one and a half years in SMU, I have observed that most of us have a certain style of dressing that we stick to almost throughout the year. Based purely on my observations (and a fair amount of gawking), here are 5 fashion styles you’ll spot in SMU.


There’s no messing with these Fashionistas, they know every latest look out there, and they’re wearing them. Most of us wonder how they have the energy to dress impeccably every single day with every last strand hair-sprayed into shape while we’re still struggling to stay awake in the morning! Crop tops, middies, maxis—they are literally every inch fashionable, and not to mention, fabulous. It’s not just the girls; many SMU guys are strong competitors in the Diva Department. Hats off to them!


School T-shirt, CBD* T-shirt, CCA* T-shirt, obscure event T-shirt, camp T-shirt; they have them all! Nobody does team spirit like they do. They’ve possibly attended every single event in SMU that hands out free shirts and they’re regulars at the Stuff sales. The SMU Shop cannot have more loyal patrons than them. When you meet these people for the first time, you usually don’t have to ask them their school because it’s emblazoned across their shirts. You think they take it too far? Wait till you see their SMU flip-flops.



Many people mistake the people in this category for the Professor in week 1 of every semester. No, they don’t look older than the average student; they’re just dressed for work on a daily basis. The men win hands down in this category because their love for tailored pants and crisp collars is at a different level. These guys make Barney Stinson proud and have matching briefcases and messenger bags to boot. They really mean business.



You guessed it right, these people love working out (surprise, surprise). Their clothes however, really drive the point home. The Gym Junkies don’t just workout in exercise clothes, they live in them. They swear by dri-fit and, thankfully, deodorant. Sometimes I wonder if they come all the way to school just to work out and on the off chance, attend a few classes. If the FBTs and tank tops aren’t a dead-giveaway, you’re sure to find them wearing the latest Nike trainers. If I sounded bitter through this paragraph, it has nothing to do with my incorrigible laziness, I swear.


This category covers the remaining majority of the student population. Whatever is on the top of the pile in their cupboards, they put that on. It’s that simple really. They have mastered the out-of-bed look. Clothes are worn only because it’s societally unacceptable not to. Literally anything goes for them.

Out of all categories, the last seems to outdo all others in terms of consistency though. From the very first week to the last, they simply do not care. They recruit many exhausted SMUggers along the way and the conversion rate is incredibly high post-recess week. Even the fashionably fabulous succumb to the comfort of getting ready in fifteen minutes. After all, we don’t really need to look spiffy while camping in the library.

Dressing up during the last weeks of term?


* CBD: Constituent body; CCA: Co-curricular activity

One thought on “5 fashion styles you’ll spot in SMU

  1. Alex Buka

    Great overview! The same goes on in every university. Especially the greatest audience is of THE PASSIVE POTATOES. “I have a definite opinion on tha: I DON’T CARE” – ha-ha-ha-haa 🙂

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