Written by: Eva Zhu, Peak Associate
When I’m at school, I’m either there to participate in friendly debates or fall asleep in every single one of my lectures, not to impress people with fancy clothing. It takes me all of two minutes to pick out an outfit because I care so little. I rifle through “the chair” and find anything that doesn’t smell or have stains.
But there’s a line between “not trying and still looking semi-decent” and “wearing slides and leggings to school.”
The time it takes to put on a pair of nicer pants or a dress is not much longer than it is to pull on the cheap and safe leggings. True, you might not care about what your peers think of you, but if nothing else, is it really respectful to your professors — who still dress nice even though they’re busier than we are — to show up looking like you just rolled out of bed?
What you wear says a lot about you. Just putting effort into choosing the clothes you wear in the morning sends the message that you’re ready to take on whatever the day has in store for you, and that you respect the people around you.
I always hold myself more confidently when I’m wearing something that I both look and feel good in. I don’t have to look like a million bucks, but looking like I care also means that I don’t have to run in the opposite direction if I spot someone I want to talk to. How disheartening would it be if you finally spotted that cute person you’ve been dying to chat up, but couldn’t, because you look and feel like a hot mess?
The worst mark of bad dressing though? Socks and slides. Everytime I see someone in an otherwise great outfit — maybe jeans and a cute sweater — wearing socks and slides, I die a little inside. It’s like this generation’s version of socks and sandals, but somehow worse. To me, wearing this atrocious combination is a giant “fuck you” to the people you respect in life. It’s like saying “I tried . . . but then I gave up.”
This isn’t to say a student needs to spend hours preparing an outfit that costs more than their tuition to attend a quiet 10 a.m. lecture. There’s a time and place for dressing up, and school usually isn’t it (with the exception of some unfortunate business students wearing classy suits for presentations). Carrying your books in a $400 handbag doesn’t make you better than anyone; you look pretentious as you show off your personal wealth.
You don’t need come to school in a shirt that costs more than my entire closet, but it’s also not hard to dress like you have your life together. Put the leggings and slides back on the shelf in favour of something that you’d have a long chat with your professor in. Come to school looking like you’ve got this, and I guarantee that you and everyone around you will feel good if you do.