Comfort at a cost

JUSTINA KAISER | | Contributing Columnist

For an environment dedicated to future success, many Butler University students look a little too comfortable.

Some students dress professionally, but, unless a group presentation is at stake, most appear to dress down rather than up.

Students shuffle past in T-shirts and jeans. Some professors share the same type of wardrobe.

Students—and teachers—should dress presentably. A university is a professional environment, focused on helping young adults find their ways into adulthood.

However, this does not mean students need to dress as though they are already in the workplace. School is still school; it is still a place where students pay thousands of dollars to attend.

Tabitha Barbour, sophomore class president, thinks college students’ unique situation—living where they work—makes them feel more relaxed, in both their actions and in their dress.

“We sort of never leave where we learn,” Barbour said. “And, because of that, we maintain a certain level of comfort at all times.”

However, not all the outfits seen on campus are simply a show of comfort.

Inappropriate dress for day-to-day class is obvious and, unfortunately, not entirely unexpected. These are outfits one would expect to see at a party. Young women wearing crop tops and short shorts, or young men displaying sagging pants and oversized shirts, cross the line of what is considered presentable.

At the other end of the spectrum, pajama bottoms, sweatpants and bulky hoodies are also common—and they may be too informal for class proceedings.

“I do think that there should be a level of appropriateness from when we step into the classroom and are in front of our professors and our peers,” Barbour said, “than when we are in the residence halls or hanging out in more relaxed spaces on campus.”

Courtney Rousseau, Butler student employment coordinator, said students have the right to wear what they want to.

“I think there is a lot of variety here,” Rousseau said. “I think it, overall, depends on multiple factors: year and what college (students) are in.”

However, variety and comfort do not set good examples to future employers. And the defunct wardrobes do not represent the prestige a nationally ranked college should have.

“I think everything has a time and a place,” Rousseau said. “I think it is all about gauging what class you are going to and what professors you are working with.”

Butler students should be conscientious about what they are wearing.

Dressing appropriately sets a good example for a future where students dress may not be a matter of personal preference.

Running around in jeans and sweats may be comfortable, but students need to remember that college is about growing up. Many of the outfits students wear around campus are inappropriate for interviews and meetings.

As long as students know the difference between what they can wear and what they merely “get away” with wearing, transitioning to future outfits will not be too difficult.

Business professional dress, Rousseau said, includes dark suits or dresses with jackets. This might be too much for day-to-day class, but it is always a good example for future employers.

Business casual, on the other hand, is more lenient, according to the Internship and Career Services’ guide to professional success pamphlet. Slacks or skirts replace jeans, sweaters or nice shirts substitute for T-shirts and a “splash of color” may be considered appropriate.

This type of dress is more common on campus and it should be. Students do not need to dress in business casual attire every day, but they should know how to easily put together a business casual outfit if it is needed.

Students may choose how they dress. However, they should also be aware that how college requires a different dress code than everyday life.

Cartoon by Audrey Meyer

Cartoon by Audrey Meyer