Yakquelin Garduno ‘21, Staff Writer

Source: Yakquelin Garduno

Across Immaculata University’s campus the diversity of the student body is evident; various ethnicities, ages, and backgrounds brought together with education as the common interest. However, one difference exists undiscussed: clothing. How students choose to present themselves is reflective of their society, academic environment, and personal beliefs. In a highly visual and competitive world, appearance seems to dominate your chances of success. However, American students differ on this belief, adopting informal and formal dress as they choose, a freedom not universally adopted.

Across the nation, some students attend class in loungewear一slippers, oversized t-shirts, sweatpants, leggings一choosing comfort and ease. For them, appearance is an added burden that increases the stress of college. While others favor a more put-together presentation, accessorizing, styling, and primping, believing the outside influences the inside.

Yasiri Martinez, a psychology major at Immaculata, finds herself dressing down to class. “It’s easier. It’s quick,” she says as she sports leggings, a sweater, and some sneakers. Many agree, citing time as their biggest concern. For students in early morning classes, their focus is getting to class prepared, studying, and arriving to class on time. This is especially true for commuter and history major Angela Cade, who says, “If I have a test I don’t worry about it.” Casual dress dominates American universities, a cultural shift from the tuxedos and full skirts of the early 1900s.

However, there is a beauty in having the freedom to choose. This attitude is not particularly true in all parts of the world. In France, many high schools have bans on ripped jeans and sweatpants. Similarly, private universities in Africa ban tight-fitting or transparent clothes, beach wear, bathroom slippers, and much more. Their restrictions are based on a belief that professional clothing creates professional attitudes and therefore increases the likelihood of success.

A similar sentiment was expressed by sophomore Itzayana Lara, a nursing major at Immaculata. When asked about her decision to dress up for important presentations, she says, “Yeah, obviously you have to dress up.” For her, looking your best provides a sense of empowerment, “I don’t have to, but it makes me feel more put together.” In fact, research has shown that the clothes you wear can affect your performance, increasing confidence and altering the way one thinks, enlarging perspective and promoting abstract thoughts (inc.com). While she admits she now typically dresses down, she attributes it to an ever-increasing workload.

As a whole, Immaculata University does not place restrictions on students’ clothing,  allowing students both creativity and comfort. The freedom to present yourself as you like, assert your personality, and accept others decisions gives students a glimpse into life off of campus and ensures students provide themselves a better chance of success. However, as attitudes towards clothing shift and differ among countries, it is important to remember to care for the person in the clothing, and not the clothing itself.


Louis, Molly St. “Research Shows That the Clothes You Wear Actually Change the Way

You Perform.” Inc.com, Inc., 8 June 2017,