Eloise Libre | Frankly Candid
Fashion at Tufts
Published: Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, September 24, 2013 01:09
As a self-proclaimed chic and seasoned senior, I have learned a great deal about fashion during my time at Tufts. Though I matriculated clad in the generic blue-jeans-and-fleece outfit of any suburban New England female, I have since acquired what I would deem “style wisdom” — and I shall share it here with you:
A wardrobe reveals a lot about a person. I would venture to say that you could infer someone’s resume by the contents of their closet. These days, we have T-shirts, hoodies, fleeces and bro tanks from every major event we have attended and every group we belong to. CustomInk.com must really love Tufts students because everyone knows we would not be caught dead at an event like Homecoming wearing a generic knit sweater. These custom-made items accumulate to adequately summarize our activities, interests and friend groups: a wearable resume.
But I have noticed somewhat of a contradiction when it comes to wearing this personalized clothing. On the one hand, custom Tufts swag indicates status. After freshman year, I remember thinking that I was extremely cool for having accumulated so many items from my year in college. I knew that I was “in” because I had the clothes to prove it. On the other hand, the general Tufts opinion frowns upon rocking the screen-printed-cotton look too frequently, and maintains that items like these should be reserved for lazy days or the rare trek to the gym. Talk about a hypocritical fashion standard!
Outside of the gym, Tufts (and the real world too, I suppose) expects us to appear put-together and dressed cleanly. While this does not assume you should don your Business Casual Attire on a daily basis, it does suggest that you avoid clothes with bold writing across your chest in order to be taken seriously during class discussions. While I do not necessarily agree with this taste, it certainly represents the norm at Tufts.
My style observations have also revealed a foolproof method that tricks others into assuming you dress with more effort than you actually did: Just add more pieces! Of course, there are some exceptions to this rule involving dangerous overboard accessorizing, but in general, I have found that the more items you throw into an outfit, the more exciting and put-together you appear. I’ll use an example for the ladies: Start with a dress — a simple, one-piece outfit. Add tall boots (Fall Fashion 101), a colorful necklace, a jacket, wide belt, scarf and some earrings if you are really feeling adventurous. Voila! You have instantly entered the world of the cool and fashionable, which also happens to be the world of poise, confidence and academic aplomb.
My final fashion observation is that students, for the most part, value poise above fashion. Some people can successfully pull off sweatpants at a lecture, while others look outright ridiculous as such. In my experience, the key is finding a balance between your personal levels of confidence and style. The strong-willed and outspoken need not exert much effort in their outfits, while those seeking a bout of pride rarely compromise their appearance. Of course, some people gain one from the other: An outfit composed with time and care gives way to a personality that emanates confidence, and vice versa.
Most of all, scrutinizing fashion at Tufts has taught me that lots of different people can successfully rock lots of different styles, as long as those styles are paired with the right attitudes. Owning your outfit and wearing anything shamelessly is far more acceptable than even the classiest of getups. That is, of course, unless you excessively flaunt your Homecoming 2011 shirt outside of the gym.