It’s a Bar? It’s a Grain? Its Granola!: Confusion Corner columnist Daly Martorano explores the presence of granola fashion at the College


While watching my peers walk to class or to the dining halls, I notice how similarly we all dress. It appears that many College of William and Mary students have joined the granola fashion wave. I don’t know where the style originated, but as an out-of-state student, I find our student body’s fashion choices to be very distinct. This is not a campus full of preppy people wearing Vineyard Vines. Rather, the College is a campus wearing athletic clothes that you would never actually workout in.  

Granola fashion is derived from clothing that is suitable for hiking and low-intensity exercise. Flannels, the center of granola fashion, are typically the wardrobe staple of farmers and lumberjacks. Many people wear flannels hiking to protect from poking tree branches or bug bites. Flannels are also a perfect light-weight fabric that will keep you warm which is why they are good for exercise. For students at the College, a flannel may be a good choice for a hike on the Lake Matoaka trails. Despite the practical uses of flannels, they have moved beyond their athletic nature. Granola fashion is a subgroup of athleisure that has grown over the past decade. Many people today choose comfort over fashion. But granola fashion offers the best of both worlds. Comfortable fashion is especially appealing to college students who want to look trendy but not like they are trying too hard. Granola fashion is perfect for this — it is the “I just rolled out of bed for my 8 a.m., but I still look trendy” look.  

Granola fashion consists of muted colored clothing that is loose. That is how flannels came to be a trademark for this type of fashion. Granola fashion can use athletic clothing or be ’70s hippies-inspired, such as long skirts with nature patterns combined with intricate jewelry. On campus, another trademark of granola fashion is the Birkenstock. If you own these and wear them practically every day, then you are partaking in the granola look. You may even wear them with socks in the winter because you refuse to wear other shoes.  

To recreate a granola fashion style, there are a few simple steps to follow. Say you want a granola look for a casual Tuesday. The first step is to find some baggy jeans, leggings or even yoga pants. Then, match that with a white or black crop top and throw on a flannel. If you don’t own a flannel, thrifted “grandma” sweaters are back in fashion too. Finally, throw on Birkenstocks, and if you are feeling crazy, wear socks too. For a trendy hiking outfit, leggings and a flannel are really all you need; the point is simplicity. If you are going somewhere nice but want to keep to your granola roots, a flannel is not the best option. . Instead, try a pair of black jeans and pair it with a bell-sleeve top. If it is warmer out, I suggest wearing a long skirt with a crop top. If you accessorize with multiple necklaces and rings, you might feel even more confident in your outfit.  

The nice thing about granola clothing is that you can mix and match basic clothes and create a trendy outfit. You may already have clothes that, when combined, will create the perfect ensemble. If you do not have a granola-catered wardrobe, I have a store guide for you. If you are looking for cheap options for granola fashion, I recommend starting at thrift stores. Thrifting is a huge enterprise, but at thrift stores you can find cheap basics that can serve as a dupe for a more expensive alternative. Depop is also a great option, it is a free app where people can buy and sell their clothes I have found great deals for high-quality clothing on there. If you want new clothes that are still inexpensive, Target has some great finds. You can find flannels, crop tops, leggings and jeans all in one quick and convenient trip from campus. Time is a huge factor with all of our busy schedules, so Target is a great option. If you are willing to spend more money, Free People sells bohemian-style tops, skirts, jeans and accessories. If you are hoping for authentic athletic wear, I recommend looking at REI or Patagonia for high quality workout clothes that are still fashionable.  

Now that you have a better understanding of what granola fashion is and where to buy it, you can use these tips the next time you’re shopping. You will feel stylish and confident walking around campus in the granola aesthetic.  


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