Female college class attire sees wide range
Published: Monday, October 29, 2012
Updated: Monday, April 22, 2013 19:04
Last Friday afternoon after class, Junior Emily Genshawwas sitting on a bench on The Green wearing dark brown ankle boots, jeans and a yellow cardigan accessorized with a multi-colored scarf. She said while she does not put a lot of thought into her outfits, she tries to look nice.
“I don’t dress up to impress anyone really,” Grenshaw said. “But I do think pajamas are for bed, not for class.”
Genshaw said as an English education major, she is required to dress up some days for her class where she has to teach. Students such as Genshaw, with field experiences or classes that require specific attire, have certain dress codes. However, some female students dress up every day.
Fashion and apparel studies professor Jaehee Jung stated in an email message that students are influenced to dress a certain way by their peers. She said the people students interact with contribute to how they dress.
Students in Jung’s class did a research project that found different majors had influences on the way students dress on campus. However, Jung said she notices one particular style most often in the classroom.
“What I see most frequently is an 'updated grunge look' in which students wear skinny jeans with heels or boots [such as] rider or UGG boots, and carry designer handbags,” Jung said.
Senior fashion merchandising major Samantha Tocker said for girls in her major, dressing up does not come from pressure but more out of desire and interest. There are so few men who study fashion, she said, so she thinks girls dress up for their own benefit or to fit in within the major. Tocker said she has her own reason for dressing up for class.
“If you look good, then you feel good, and that just makes the whole day a lot better,” Tocker said.
Senior Mary Beth Goldsmith said she plans her attire around her agenda for the day. As a commuter with a full schedule, she said her wardrobe is all about comfort.
“After a full day of classes, I have work and then I have to drive home, so I usually dress casual, whatever’s comfortable and easy,” Goldsmith said.
Sophomore business major Audrey Boales said she plans her outfits around her schedule for the day. She said if she is busy, tired or overwhelmed, she is less concerned with her attire.
Boales said she thinks there is some pressure to dress up, which could be because of students’ socio-economic statuses.
“A lot [of students] are from New York, New Jersey and Maryland that come from wealthy families,” she said.
Jung said the pressure for female students to dress up stems from their upbringing and the need to give off a positive image to others. She said social pressures exist for women who have learned to be interested in beauty and attractiveness from an early age.
Sophomore fashion merchandising and apparel design dual major Alexi Corhamsaid she thinks Delaware students do not dress formally compared to more urban universities.
“At a state school like UD where the campus is clearly defined and the majority of the people you see are other students, the dress code is more relaxed,” Corham said.
She said undergraduates who go to school in a city are mixed in with urban residents, which can raise the standard of dress.
Jashanae Day,a senior at West Chester Universityin West Chester, Pa.,said on her campus she notices there is a stigma attached to dressing up for class.
“I think there is a little bit of a social pressure to not look as nice for class,” Day said. “A lot of times people will wonder why you’re ‘so dressed up’ when you’re wearing a pair of jeans and a nice shirt and having a good hair day.”
Erica Searfoss,a junior at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Va., said the majority of girls at her university dress up for class, but their wardrobe also depends on the time of year.
“The typical attire for girls differs,” Searfoss said. “In the spring and fall months, I would say that sundresses are really popular. In the winter, a lot of girls wear yoga or sweatpants and sweatshirts, more laid back and comfortable clothes.”
At the university, Tocker said the typical female wardrobe includes leggings, Sperry’s, UGGs and a slightly oversized top such as a hoodie or a shirt.
Junior Sam Cohen said he thinks a lot of girls wear similar clothing and in terms of style, there is not much diversity amongst females’ wardrobes.
“I do notice if a girl is wearing sweatpants opposed to being dressed up,” Cohen said. “But either way, I don’t think girls at Delaware put too much emphasis on the way they dress, which is a good thing in my opinion.”