Buy Curious

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Brrrrrrrrring! School's in session! This week, Buy Curious hit the UC Berkeley campus to check out the latest in back-to-school fashion. While navigating through the throngs of students and social groups (the sea of jeans, sweatshirts, and UGGs was overwhelming!), we spotted a few who stood out from the pack. From pooch accessories to nerd-chic to exposed underwear, one thing's for certain: This isn't your parents' UC Berkeley.

STYLE FILE [#1] Sunshine broke through the chilly weather this week, but some were still shivering, especially those from Los Angeles. These girls shone like innocent snow-bunnies scampering on their way to the sorority house. [#2] You're at Berkeley. You've beaten students with 4.3 GPAs and perfect SAT scores to become one with the elite nerds. Embrace your inner geekdom. This student ventures dangerously close to passing for a Mormon recruiter with the white shirt and black tie, except that his side-swept locks hint that he may have romped around the night before with a hot hipster chick. But probably not. [#3] This UC Berkeley staff member and alumnus is rockin' a largely absent retro look on campus: a '60s minidress and knit hat ... and being African American. [#4] We spotted this young man at a table by himself, with a hand-painted cardboard sign that read "The Anti Human." Apparently, he's formed a group to "make critical interventions in to the depressingly monolithic culture of 21st century 'late' capitalism -- or, failing that, to analyze the conditions that make such interventions impossible." By himself. He also demonstrates that thrift stores are still the primary source for cash-strapped students to dress. That, and the closet of a deranged six-year-old. [#5] We didn't try to guess what was up with this undergrad � instead, we simply read her mind. "Life at Cal really sucks sometimes, especially in the whole guy department, but putting this adorable argyle sweater on Jo-Jo this morning made me feel so much better. He's so cute and just the best � damn it, Jo-Jo, will you stop staring at those girls over there in the floofy white jackets and boots as if you'd rather be in their perfect puffy arms? Fuck it � I'm buying a bunny after Econ class." [#6] We hate to rip a guy who wears his heart on his hood, and yet somehow, we think a belt is in order here. [#7] This former technogeek and future public defender (the binder clip is a dead giveaway) is Berkeley to a T. When she's not studying, she's shopping � yet she eschews makeup and wears her red-streaked hair in pigtails to show that she's no fashionista. Rock & Shop SF Shop, drink, and dance tonight at a San Francisco fashion soiree hosted by Berkeley's own Brownie's Vintage. $5 (and proof that you're 21) gets you in the door � but with half a dozen local shops including Down at Lulu's and Pretty Penny representing, don't think you'll get out without spending a few more bucks. When: Fri. Jan 19, 7pm Where: 111 Minna Gallery, 111 Minna St, San Francisco If Your Date Cancels/It rains/You Can't Sleep:
Check out all the gorgeous stuff marked down by a whopping 70 percent this week at ShopBop. Breaking News!! Scrap the Two-Ton Purse We know you love lugging your dumpster-size hobo bag everywhere, but a press release we glimpsed this week states that it'll throw your body off balance and lead to more pain than you can imagine. (Arthritis, anyone?) According to Dr. Jane Sadler of Texas' Baylor Medical Center, a heavy bag "creates strain along the neck and into the nerves that exit the neck and down the shoulder so it can be very painful later on." She says that even a cell phone, wallet, and a makeup bag is too much. (Who the heck totes around an entire makeup bag?) Sadler's solution? Carry only credit cards and cash, not an entire wallet. And clip the phone onto your clothing. (Right. Because our aim in life is to look ridiculous.) Our advice? Pick a lightweight bag to stuff with your wallet, lip-gloss, the book you'll read on BART, and everything else you need � skip the heavy, bulky leather. Have a fashion dilemma? Send your quandary to Buy Clueless, the East Bay's first online fashion advice column. Send your query to � Lauren Gard and Kathleen Richards Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.