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Fashion Forward: Tim Shang, former University of Iowa student and Instagram stories master

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Little Village: Fashion Forward explores the unique elements of personal style and expression with some of Iowa City’s resident fashionistas.

Statement pieces allow Shang to craft his personal style –– photo courtesy of Tim Shang

I’m originally from China. My hometown is a small-sized city, but a small-sized city in China still has 1 million people. I came to Iowa for college, my major was finance, and I just graduated from University of Iowa. Soon, I will go to an internship in New York. After my internship, I will go to graduate school and after graduate school I will probably work in financial services, like growth management.

When I was a child, all my clothes were from my parents. Honestly, they had good taste for their clothes, but the clothes for me were kind of boring. I grew up in a business family: my parents are businessman and businesswoman. My father is very typical –– suit jacket, shirt and pants and for shoes, leather shoes. My mother is kind of an office lady outfit –– office lady skirt or a one-piece dress. Most of her clothes are black or white.

For me on a typical day, like for my internship or for work, it’s definitely white shirt, pants and leather shoes. But for my own time, like if I go to school, I try to wear something nice but not too fancy. I don’t want all my classmates to feel distant from me.

A sampling from Tim’s jewelry and accessory collection –– photo by Frankie Schneckloth

I don’t want to wear the same clothes for two days and I try and wear something different every day of the week. I like to put on different accessories on my body to decorate or match my clothes. I will buy a lot of shoes. Sometimes accessories. Bracelets — I buy a lot of bracelets because I think bracelets are easy to match your clothes. Like the same clothes, if you wear a bracelet or some accessory, can make your clothes kind of different.

My style has changed a lot from my freshman year to my senior year. My freshman and sophomore year, I also wore jeans, but I was younger and I preferred more color. Now I prefer simple colors like black or white. I like some designed clothes, but just with some details — not too much detail. Four years ago, I preferred a piece of clothing that had so many details and so many colors. But now I prefer classic color and little details. If you are too fashionable, some people will love it very much, but some people won’t have the same taste for your fashion, you know, because fashion is subjective. But I think black or white are classic colors, you can enjoy yourself whatever the occasion and feel more confident. If you dress nice to go out, you will have good confidence. And your self-confidence will impress people, and it’s easier to make friends and have people remember you.

Tim highlights favorite items in his closet including a faux fur varsity jacket. –– photo by Frankie Schneckloth

I really love the clothes I just bought for this season. This year, I’ve become a fan of fur, faux fur. I never wore any faux fur clothes before or any fur clothes before, but this year I saw some designs that especially fit me. I thought, “I should buy them!” My new try is faux fur.

Because my major was business, I prefer investment [pieces] . [When buying clothes] I need to consider better design, consider if it is practical. When I was a student, I needed to pick clothes I could wear in more than one style for more than one occasion, so I would consider clothes designed with a practical purpose.

Shang on a recent warm-weather vacation –– photo courtesy of Tim Shang

I like summer, you know. Summer you can change your clothes very frequently, but in winter you have to care about the weather. You need to put more clothes on. I prefer summer because people wear less clothes that not only show off your clothes, but also your body shape. In winter, some people with a good body shape will not show off their advantages — they’re covering up with a bunch of sweaters or a coat.

Shang even cleans his apartment in style –– photo courtesy of Tim Shang

A Tippie College of Business shirt to remember his time in Iowa City –– photo by Frankie Schneckloth

I will probably not keep most of my designer clothes. The designer clothes, they’re fashion trends that change a lot. I would keep some of them that have a meaningful design. Some clothes are very meaningful to me. Definitely I will keep an Iowa shirt.

My tip: The one important thing is removing your wrinkles from your clothes. The same clothes, the one with no wrinkles, will look more nice than the same clothes with wrinkles. So that’s why I bought this. [picks up handheld garment steamer] It’s very important. The wrinkles will damage the texture of your clothes and their quality. So removing wrinkles from your clothes is an important step. That’s my fashion tip.

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