The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

T-shirts, jeans, tennis shoes, but no sagging, please

NE+Campus+student+Cameron+Allsup+models+what+many+students+believe+is+appropriate+and+inappropriate+attire.+The+preferred+style+among+TCC+students+is+casual+and+comfortable+without+appearing+lazy.+Getting+too+dressed+up+is+thought+to+be+a+distraction+and+also+an+inappropriate+choice+of+fashion+by+many+students.%0D%0APhoto+illustrations+by+Jayci+Gillie%2FThe+Collegian
NE Campus student Cameron Allsup models what many students believe is appropriate and inappropriate attire. The preferred style among TCC students is casual and comfortable without appearing lazy. Getting too dressed up is thought to be a distraction and also an inappropriate choice of fashion by many students. Photo illustrations by Jayci Gillie/The Collegian

By Jasmine Fagan/reporter

NE Campus student Cameron Allsup models what many students believe is appropriate and inappropriate attire. The preferred style among TCC students is casual and comfortable without appearing lazy. Getting too dressed up is thought to be a distraction and also an inappropriate choice of fashion by many students.
Photo illustrations by Jayci Gillie/The Collegian

Nestled in the South Campus Student Center reading a book, Amy Greene, a 19-year-old English major, was dressed in dark skinny jeans, Converse tennis shoes and a light blue jean chambray shirt. She described her college wardrobe as comfortable and stylish at the same time.

“I love jeans, tennis shoes, T-shirts and a purse big enough for all my crap,” she said.

Appropriate college class dress is vital for those who want to be taken seriously by instructors, deans and peers, but students frequently attend class in attire that many would classify as inappropriate.

Although Greene is not worried with what her friends have to say about her clothes, she

Photo illustrations by Jayci Gillie/The Collegian

does have her opinion of what not to wear in the classroom.

“You know how you see those people wearing house shoes and pajama pants to class? That is inappropriate,” she said. “You aren’t at home, so why look like that? Anything revealing, too.”

Greene, though, said she isn’t too interested in keeping up with trends.

“I want to be taken seriously,” she said. “I like fashion, but if it is between a good reference for a job and a ‘you look cute’ from a peer, I’ll choose a reference. I have not fully mastered looking like a model and at the same time impressing my teachers, so I keep it simple to avoid crossing the line.”

For Crystal Marie Phelps, a 24-year-old political science major on South Campus and the University of North Texas, normal college gear is casual, usually opting for jeans and T-shirts.

“Clothing is important when I don’t have to sit in class all day,” she said. “What motivates my choice is how tired I am in the morning.”

Wardrobe choices aren’t important to Phelps when she’s at school.

“School is a place where I have to sit for hours,” she said. “I see the same people over and over. Some people dress as if they are in a professional environment. School is where you go to learn — that is it.”

Phelps had a simple description of inappropriate choices for the classroom.

“Basically, anything that will give you negative attention,” she said.

Talana Johnson, 30, a mother of three who attends NW Campus, thinks simpler is better.

“I think that loose fitting jeans, tennis shoes, sandals, a blouse or T-shirt, maxi dresses, shorts (not too short) are all good examples of appropriate college wear,” she said.

Johnson also has a dress code for men.

“Men should never sag [a trend where pants are worn below the waist],” she said. “They shouldn’t sag anywhere, but especially school. Also, basketball shorts shouldn’t be worn. In my opinion, that is the equivalent to women in leggings as pants or pajama pants.”

Johnson said she could be speaking from her age and experience, but she believes students should make an effort to look presentable.

“Most of the time if someone does not know you personally, they will make judgments about you solely based on what you are wearing,” she said. “It is important to dress how you want to be judged. You should put in the effort to look nice, just how you would if you were going to your job. You never know who you will meet or who will see you.”

Criminal justice major Brandon O’Connor, 20, said women may not realize the result of their wardrobe choices.

“Girls love to wear those yoga pants, and they wonder why we stare at their butts all day,” he said. “Honestly, it is uncomfortable for men. We don’t want to be dogs or whatever … so we try not to stare, but we can’t really help it. They also wear tight jeans that always show their underwear. I don’t know if they do it for attention or if they really are unaware that everyone can see their thong.”

Men aren’t judged as harshly, O’Connor said.

“Guys don’t have it so brutal,” he said. “We can wear sweats, wife beaters, jersey shorts, and we don’t get talked about like girls do.”

However, O’Connor does deem one style inappropriate.

“Sagging basically is the only thing,” he said. “It is just so different because most men don’t really care about what they wear, so we don’t embarrass ourselves wearing outrageous things like girls. A man in sweats, a T-shirt, tennis shoes and a hat looks way better than a girl in the same exact outfit. That’s just how it is.”

Ryan O’Connell, the creative director of ThoughtCatalog.com, writes a daily blog about young people, primarily college age. In his May 16 post, “Why 20-somethings Need to Start Dressing Better,” he reminded young adults that after spending years dressing like they wanted to, it was time to make sure their attire was age-appropriate.

“When you’re in your mid-20s, though, this can be a surprisingly difficult thing to do,” he writes. “After all, what’s deemed age-appropriate for a 25-year-old? I’m not sure anyone has the answer to that. We just know what kind of clothing no longer feels natural for us to wear. When we graduated and had to start going on job interviews, we looked at our wardrobe and realized that we were screwed. Nothing in our closets screamed, ‘Real adult person who could excel at a full-time job.’”

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