Making a case for classy casual on campus

Carolyn Mackenzie, Contributing Writer

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Though dressing casually seems to have a negative stigma on campus, lately the trend seems to be rising in popularity at UD. Photo by Kaity Chaikowsky.

Visitors to the University of Dallas often comment on the lack of pajama-wearing students around campus and in class. Many students seem to take the “dress for success” motto to heart and often sport a style more business casual than bedhead-grunge.

But some students are seeing casual trends emerging from all corners. Styles old and new, such as jogger pants and Converse shoes, have become decidedly more prominent at UD. Here’s why you should hop on the bandwagon:

1. Casual clothes help your GPA. Junior Chanel Carter praises the comfort of casual fashion choices. She claims that comfort is the most important element of style, an element that even helps her in the classroom. “I can’t focus on anything if I’m not comfortable,” Carter said. “In class, taking a test [or] studying, I always make sure I’m comfortable or I just won’t be able to perform my best.” Sophomore Samuel Pate agrees that this trend is perfect for class. “You get these joggers, which are casual but they’re not … way out there,” Pate said. “It’s something that you could wear to class. You put a sweater on with it, and it’s casual, but it’s not disrespectfully casual.”

2. You’ll be an ambassador against a campus-wide stigma. Senior Elizabeth Schmitz recognizes the dangerous line that casual trends can toe. “A lot of times people have this stigma between casual and sloppy,” Schmitz said. “Sometimes some people will think [that] when you’re casual you’re in ‘study clothes.’ There’s a difference between study and workout clothes, like leggings and casual daytime wear. I think that’s a setback.” The “study clothes” trend is here to stay — and there’s already a new word for it: athleisure. “When Lululemon really took off, I think that’s a perfect word to describe it: athleisure,” Schmitz said. “I know people who don’t work out but they own a ton of workout clothes [and] just … go sit in Braniff.”

3. You’ll bond with your parents. Pate believes this style has lived on from our parents’ era. Schmitz too, acknowledges present ‘80s vibes. “Your parents recognizing things is kind of cool,” Schmitz said. “It’s [a] full circle.” You can even bond with your grandparents, since, as Sam Pate said, some trends are also reacting against the ‘80s and channeling even older trends.

4. They complement your natural beauty. “[Casual is] more natural, in the sense that it brings out natural beauty,” Schmitz said. “You don’t have to be fully done up to still look cute. And that’s not saying you look grungy. If you wear a really cute top and some leggings and some Converse and your hair is in a bun, you still look put-together. You have a look, but you don’t have to wake up three hours early and do your hair.”

Will casual make a big comeback at UD? Only time will tell. But in the words of Schmitz: “it’s kind of a snowball effect.”

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