I read some very disturbing news today:
The College of Business at Illinois State University is taking the
imperative to "dress for success" literally. Starting this fall,
students majoring in marketing or business teacher education will have
to watch what they wear, donning business casual attire in class — or
risk getting kicked out for the day. (Source)
Wow. That's grounds for transfer. After all, I
spent roughly the entire four years of my college career wearing the
same pair of blue sweatpants, and I am extremely distressed by the
prospect that some students may be losing their right to do the same.
Sure, college is supposed to prepare you for the real world,
but it's also supposed to be a delightfully isolated community where
you cross the street without looking, scream curse words without
offending children, and--this is the cornerstone of the whole thing,
really--dress like a slob.
and I were pretty extreme in our adaptation of collegiate slovenliness;
at one point during junior year we lived on an all-girl floor and
basically stopped even wearing pants. Kelly would walk around in a
green fleece robe all of the time, and I could usually be seen wearing
a thrift store T-shirt and a blanket.
Usually though, our dressing happened according to this pyramid:
the foundation of the pyramid were grubby sweats, our bread and
butter. We wore these whenever we were in our dorms or the dining
hall, and we had a gigantic shared cache of hoodies, zip-ups, Maryland
pants, and super-wide drawstring pajamas to fit our every need (because
pretty much every need we had involved comfort or convenience).
Next on the pyramid were our "cute" sweatpants. "Cute" is
probably a misleading term, but basically we had a second set of
slightly more presentable sweats that we would wear to class and to the
nicer dining hall. These were your capri sweats, yoga pants, fitted
sweats, etc--we even had a set of slightly cuter hoodies and zip-ups that we saved for such formal occasions.
So, 95.45% of our college activities involved outfits from
either group of sweats, but at the tippy top of the pyramid we also had our going-out clothes for
Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. And although those may have been our most attractive hours of the week, I will always remember us like this:
Because really, even your nicest outfit isn't gonna do much to class up the fact that you're drinking Arbor Mist out of a plastic mug.