Photo from theodysseyonline.com
By Amber Ramroop
As autumn rolls in, the leaves begin to fall, the temperature drops at a dramatic rate, and there are more gloomy days than sunny days. Our bodies start to go into a human equivalent form of hibernation where everything becomes heavier and our bodies become weaker. Naturally, us college students would do anything to keep warm and comfortable. With each passing day, t-shirts are replaced with sweatshirts sporting the “Stony Brook” logo, jeans are replaced with sweatpants that are two sizes too big, and capris-like leggings are replaced with longer, thicker leggings. The campus begins its seasonal change of “I want to make a good first impression” to “It’s halfway through the semester, I don’t give a rats ass anymore” look.
The transition into the fall/ winter fashion is quickly sweeping campus. Everyday another person succumbs to the overwhelming urge to wear a simple outfit that takes as much time as it does to brush your teeth in the morning. I don’t think this is so much a conscious decision, like the Man-Romper fad, but rather a fashion trend that becomes prevalent only in the colder months, as well as the semester trudges along. Soon enough, 90% of the campus will show up to school in some form of this attire – just glance around yourself next time you’re in lecture or in the SAC.
As every other college student, even I am guilty of coming to school in the most laid-back, basic clothing simply out of convenience. As a commuter student, it is fast and easy to wear these kinds of outfits, especially if I wake up late and have to rush to get to class 14 miles away with guaranteed relentless traffic.
Wearing sweats keeps us warm and comfortable during the countless hours spent on campus. Where most lecture halls and classrooms have the air conditioning on the Arctic weather setting, and you sit in the most awkward seats that are as comfortable as sitting on a mall Santa as an adult. The school stores are very encouraging, they have sales all the time on sweats, 25% here, 50% there; so it’s very easy to fill up your closet on sweats rather than cutesy outfits that you would wear in high school. It’s like those things that you know you don’t need like the latest iPhone or the cute pair of Gucci heels but you can’t help yourself, because it’s on sale after all.
Is it the most appropriate thing to wear?
Most days, I would think so, because classes can get stressful and the last thing you think about is what you’re wearing to class. You get up out of bed, throw on a pair of sweatpants rather than the “snap, shuffle, and pop” into your favorite skinny jeans, and a sweatshirt to cover up the t-shirt you fell asleep in last night. Also, there is no telling where this weather is going – when you get up in the morning it feels like it might snow and by noon it feels like the best place to be is the beach; so a sweatshirt is convenient for the ever changing temperature throughout the day.
However, sometimes it’s better to put a little effort into what you wear on campus. Like put on a nice button down shirt your mom always told you to wear and you always looked at her strange for, and a non-holey pair of jeans. For example, when going to an exam or to an event on campus, it would be better to put a little more than five minutes worth of effort when getting ready, allowing you to mentally and physically prepare for important events: the main goal is to succeed, after all.
What is never really okay is leggings. They are not pants, no matter what anyone says. Some may say “Oh, but if they are worn right it’s okay” or “I love them, they’re so stylish,” – they are wrong. No one wants to see all your nooks and crevasses at 9 am lecture. They are not comfy and cozy like sweatpants, and not professional like jeans or khakis. They are simply weird and should be discouraged from the public.
I’m not trying to discourage anyone to stop wearing sweats. By all means, please do. They are good for the average student who needs to focus on classes, for keeping the attention on material rather than what you are wearing, or how cold it is in the room. But the next time you have an exam, or go to one of those on-campus job fairs, don’t show up like a homeless man. Snap out of the mid-semester college zombie character that you have become and be someone who you would be proud of. How you dress says a lot about your character. If you put off a first impression that you don’t care about how you look, it’s most likely people will see you as someone who doesn’t care about much else.