Fashion effort impacts student mentality

Students+experiment+with+different+fashion+trends+they+like+at+school.

Danielle Stein

Students experiment with different fashion trends they like at school.

Clare McCoy, Photographer

Oftentimes, watching movies or shows that take place in the 1800s makes me feel envious of the girls that got to wear corsets and ball gowns all day. The poised and refined etiquette of that era has enamored and inspired me to present myself in a dignified way. Admittedly, those times were deeply flawed, but I sometimes wish that I could observe what it was like to see everyone dressed up nicely – to see people play to their strengths instead of trends.

People may say that they are just expressing themselves in their own way, and while self-expression is important, there’s a difference between wearing what you want and dressing sloppy. This issue has seemingly lingered over the years; since it is more socially acceptable to wear pajamas, people will.

Whatever your level of fashion knowledge is, it’s not impossible to tell what looks like effort and what doesn’t. However, going up to someone and dissing them is absolutely not the solution to lazy fashion, and although some care about it deeply, it is by no means our most pressing issue of today. But it’s important that people put more thought into themselves and how they’re dressed; to look presentable and to express their personalities.

When surveyed, the majority of students said that they believe there’s value in presenting yourself nicely at school. However, most of those respondents also stated that it’s either totally fine or occasionally fine to wear pajamas in public.

It’s ironic that so many people believe that it’s valuable to dress nice, yet don’t view pajamas as inappropriate. It’s understandable to have a loss of morale right before a school break or an exam, but otherwise people should be putting more effort into dressing nicely.

A lot of people don’t care about fashion, but that isn’t the problem. When you wear pajamas every day to school, you’re never going to be treated like an adult. And especially as we get older, wearing these kinds of clothes feels weird. It’s imperative that you grow your personal and professional wardrobe while you’re young so as you enter the workforce, you will have the tools to make the perfect impression and to communicate your seriousness.

Sloppy apparel seems to be a generally American approach, considering that many other cultures frown upon such casual outfits. All around the world, most societies believe that you must go out looking your best. If you dress like you don’t care, people are going to treat you with less respect because they’ll assume you don’t care. To get respect, you have to give it, and the way to gain universal respect is to dress like you want it. 

Dressing in a certain manner shows everyone around you that you care to be there. Not everyone has to be passionate about what they wear at school, but you have to at least pretend to be interested.

First impressions are key as we enter adulthood, and they might be the difference between getting your dream job or getting rejected. Dressing nice isn’t about wearing expensive designer clothing either – it’s about looking clean and put together. But the fun part about clothing is that there are so many ways to be comfortable and look nice at the same time.

Everyone says that you can either be fashionable or be cozy, but wearing a simple pair of stretchy jeans, linen shorts, or a flowy skirt with a clean or well fitting shirt can totally elevate your look. Even with a basic outfit, there are ways to accessorize to make yourself look and feel nice; a necklace or watch, for example, can refine even the simplest of outfits.

Presentation is important, and as much as we believe the world is moving away from appearance, humans will always judge others. Even if fashion isn’t an interest of yours, you should build a wardrobe that reflects you and makes you feel good.