Syracuse Fits highlights the best dressed

Syracuse Fits highlights the best dressed

The popular Instagram account was created to unite the fashion community and pay tribute to unique outfits on campus.

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Jamie Korenblat
Photographer Calysta Lee captures students on the promenade at Syracuse University.

The Instagram account, Syracuse Fits (@sufits_) has gained a following by capturing people, in their natural element, walking. SU Fits was created by Duane Tilghman, a sophomore at SU studying health and exercise science. The origins of his account began in 2021 as a fashion account re-posting people’s outfits, connecting fashion audiences all over the world. After taking a break from the account, Tilghman revived the account when he arrived at Syracuse wanting to create a similar message. 

Inspired by the account @vcufits and the @thepeoplegallery_, Tilghman began posting outfit of the day videos similar to man on the street interviews. This content intrigued senior Jamari McNabb who was inspired by the account @watchingnewyork. He presented the type of content to Tilghman, and they started going off that theme. Soon after, first year Calysta Lee direct messaged the account asking to help. The team decided how they wanted the account to look, and it took off from there.

The account relies on who is walking by and what they’re wearing. When the easy alternative is to show up in sweatpants to class, students featured on the account are opting for outfits that show their personalities, and SU Fits is there to highlight that.

“It’s a good opportunity for students to express themselves and I’m a really big believer in self-expression,” Tilghman said. “I’m happy we have the platform where students can really express themselves and be their true selves through their outfits.”

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Today, the account has a total of over 4,000 followers and counting. Although Tilghman, Lee and McNabb chose not to be highlighted, their impact on SU Fits has reached many. Tilghman strongly believes the account gives students an opportunity to hold fashion discussions.

“It just gives a good talking point and good discussion points for just students to bond over fashion and just highlight the fashion that’s going on on campus,” Tilghman said. 

Every person has a different style. When you work in fashion, or appreciate it, you may come across some style choices you might not like as much as others. Tilghman notes that he keeps an open mind to all outfits posted as long as the person brings it together.

“It’s so subjective. And at this point in my life, I’ve seen different trends, I’ve learned different trends. I’ve experienced a lot of things to the point where like, as long as you pull it off and like you wear it confidently, I always can respect it,” Tilghman said.

Lee strongly notes that the people featured don’t get featured because they know a photographer happens to be on the promenade at a certain time or day, but instead because students genuinely like sporting their unique outfits. 

“The whole point of SU Fits is to appreciate outfits that might not have been appreciated otherwise. Like it says in the bio, “highlighting the best dressed” so it’s like highlighting, not revealing. We’re not bringing it to you, we’re just highlighting what already exists,” Lee said. 

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Calysta Lee

Both Lee and Tilghman note that they chose not to expose their names on the account, keeping their credentials hidden from their followers. Lee also pointed out that taking photos for the account is not for the fashion but to practice her photo craft.

“I’m not a fashion major. I don’t have any credentials to say what is a good outfit or not. Basically, how I go about it is what makes a good photo or not because that is my major,” Lee said. “It’s just practice for me to practice photography and kind of have a fun time, to be part of something cool.”

The end goal of SU Fits was to start conversation surrounding fashion appreciation. After hearing discussion from fellow students discussing how much the account means to them, Lee realizes that the account has accomplished just that.

“It’s really special that I can be a part of something that makes people excited, whether you’re just appreciating other people’s fashion or maybe having their own fashion style appreciated,” Lee said.