The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

The Student Newspaper of DePaul University

The DePaulia

Dressing up for class, love it or hate it?

Provided by Talia Gierut
Talia Gierut’s outfit on her way to her classes on the Loop Campus.

We may not have a Division I football team or a Greek row, but at least we don’t show up to class in a stained t-shirt and pajamas. 

Campus culture varies depending on the location of your campus, the sports, the social life, the types of students accepted, and the types of majors. However, at many universities, putting on a pair of jeans for class is a call for alarm from your friends and classmates dressed in sweats or athleisure. Is this because of the location of state schools? The large football culture at other schools? The types of students at these schools?

Bennett Gloor, an Indiana University alumni, said most students wore athleisure around her campus because it sat in a “random small town in the middle of nowhere. We had no cool city people to compete with,” Gloor said. “Dressing up was definitely looked at as trying too hard, and if someone showed up to class in little fall boots, that was definitely a no.”

Gloor explained that due to the school’s heavy athletic and Greek culture, there is less focus on how students dressed and presented themselves in their private lives. 

“Sometimes I wished we dressed nicer at school,” she said. “Almost everyone wore their sorority or frat merch or hoodies, so there was little opportunity to show off our individuality. … We did get the opportunity to show off our individuality to the fullest on game days, so it’s possible students just saved their energy for that.”

From business majors to film majors and frats to fencing teams, it was quickly apparent that the university’s cultural diversity was prevalent in more ways than one. This is illustrated in the way students dress for class. 

Talia Gierut, a DePaul senior, dresses nicer for class on a regular day of classes and homework. 

“I like that we have this culture at DePaul because it gives me a diverse perspective on the various cultures at school,” Gierut said.

Don’t get me wrong, DePaul is still a university, and the emphasis is still on learning. Hence, many students do wear the comfortable athleisure one might expect to see on a college campus.  However, putting on a pair of fall boots is far from “a no.”

DePaul’s urban location and relatively diverse student body heavily influence this openness to fashion. The Lincoln Park campus is often considered more traditional and laid back, while DePaul’s business, communication and law schools sit in the Loop, the heart of Chicago, which means students on this campus experience people grabbing a coffee on the way to their 9-5’s in the same cafe’s that students grab a coffee at in between classes. No wonder students dress up when surrounded by blazers and heels all day, especially on the Red Line when you never know who sat in the seat before you. The students who wear pajamas to class most likely don’t have to worry about that.

“I think the fact that we go to school in the city is motivation to dress nicer because you feel immersed in the real world versus just a college campus,” sophomore Francesca Cassata said. “I like that there is this norm at DePaul because if I want to dress in sweats, I can, but if I want to wear a cute outfit on a nice day, I won’t be judged.”

As a student interested in fashion, I love the opportunity to express myself through my outfits both on campus and off. Though I don’t always dress up for class, I love being surrounded by people who do. Most DePaul students seem to love this aspect of DePaul, and students at other schools seem to wish they had more of it. Sounds like a win for DePaul.


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