Mall à la mode

Bridget Safranek, Contributing Writer

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Photo by Elizabeth Kerin.

Name: Joe Valentine
Classification: Freshman
Major: Philosophy
Hometown: Washington, D.C.

BS: How has attending the University of Dallas affected your style?
JV: It’s definitely more liberal, you have more choices … for my first two years of high school, I would wear whatever, but … my last two years were very preppy, New England style … I wore a tie every day because I went to a boarding school. Now here, it’s been a mix of those two and it’s fun to have more options.

BS: Have you seen your style change since you’ve been at UD?
JV: When I first got here, I dressed a little more scholarly-like, but now that I’ve been here a little longer, it’s gotten more relaxed – and with a little James Dean touch.

BS: Do you have a philosophy of fashion? For example, what do you think in your head when you pick out your clothes in the morning?
JV: I always try to put on a collared shirt in the mornings when I go to class, just as a sign of respect for the teachers. Fashion’s one of the most important things. If you show up in sweatpants and pajamas, it’s going to affect your mood, and it gives off a certain appearance. The people who wear a tie to class every day [say] something about the way they view their studies. And so I try to dress up at least a little for every class, just out of respect.

BS: You mentioned that the way you dress affects your mood, and you also mentioned that you dress out of respect for others. So do you dress for yourself or for others? Or which do you think is more important?
JV: Mainly for others, like, it just depends on the time and place. If you go to class, you’re dressing for your teacher, like, you should dress appropriately for the situation. When you’re going to the gym, you dress how that is, so it depends on the situation. So in this way, I guess, you’re dressing for others.

BS: Do you have an article of clothing that you consider your signature piece?
JV: A button-down collared shirt with three buttons unbuttoned.

BS: What is the first thing that you notice about someone’s fashion choices? Or more particularly, what do you think communicates respect?
JV: If you wear like, pajamas and baggy sweatpants to class every day, it shows that you’re maybe not as serious, well, maybe you are, but fashion sends a message about how serious you are about school and stuff. First impressions are very important. If you wear a tie to class every day, it’s going to affect how you perform, I guess.

BS: Do you have any fashion pet peeves?
JV: Oh, I’m going to have to think about this one. Obviously, sloppy dressing and stuff. Oh, when people wear unnatural colors, very flamboyant colors, like a neon green t-shirt. It makes sense if you’re going to the gym or something, but when people are just going to class and they’re wearing very unnatural pink or hot red shirts, I think that’s pretty distracting.

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