STORY BY MOLLY LAMOUREUX
With the return of cold weather comes the return of the college student’s winter wardrobe. Your 8 a.m. class wouldn’t be complete without rushing inside from the cold sporting a scarf, boots and a pair of infamous gray, baggy sweatpants.
Sweatpants have recently become a common piece of daily attire on college campuses due to their unlimited comfort and casual ease. While sweatpants previously were only appropriate for gym use or loungewear, they have become widely accepted by students as a classroom staple.
Michael Dolan, a sophomore psychology major, wears sweatpants at least three days a week to class.
“You’re basically still wearing your pajamas to class, but it’s no big deal,” Dolan said. “It looks like you just felt like being comfy that day.”
Sweatpants are seemingly more acceptable than semi-formal wear in the classroom, according to students.
“It’s almost more odd if someone is dressed up in a suit or dress because it looks like it’s something they had to do,” Dolan said.
While the sweatpants pandemic appears to only be growing, some students don’t agree with the new fashion statement. Madison Ottenbacher, a sophomore graphic design major, believes in dressing for the job that you want.
“No matter what job that is, I don’t think that sweatpants are going to get you there,” Ottenbacher said. “You never know when a situation is going to arise where you’re going to have to make a first impression.”
Ottenbacher further explained that comfort can be attainable without having to dress down.
“It may be a little harder for guys, but with all the new fashion trends, girls have plenty of comfort-friendly options that aren’t sweatpants like harem pants or maxi skirts.”
Students aren’t the only ones who have opinions on their wardrobe preferences. Professors also take notice of how students dress for class.
Carlyn Crowe, internship coordinator of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, discussed the importance of appearance when it comes to a professional environment.
“If you’re in my class, I’m going to take notice about how you dress,” Crowe said. “The impression you give in that class is going to influence me when you come into me to talk about internships … That’s going to tell me how you might act in a professional setting too. Would I recommend you to my top internship employer? Maybe not. (What you wear) makes a difference.”
Crowe continued to talk about how student attire can have an effect on how students perform in the classroom.
“If you come to class dressed to learn, then you’re going to learn. If you come to class dressed in your pajamas, then maybe you’re going to fall asleep,” Crowe said.
“My friends and I are always more productive when we’re dressed nicely. Personally I feel better; more motivated to do work when I put effort into my appearance.”
Casual comfort also varies between students. Jeans haven’t ceased to exist on campus, and neither have khakis or skirts. Crowe praises the Drake student body appearance as a whole.
“You don’t have to dress up every day (for class), and you’re not expected to,” Crowe said. “Students here at Drake seem to dress, for the most part, with respect. They’re conscious of (appearances).”