By: Cameron Keuning
What is the role of fashion on a college campus? With few exceptions, I say there is none. Yes, professional attire is vital to one’s career. It communicates an air of cleanliness, organization, and respect by the person wearing such clothing. But I find it rather pointless that people can get so caught up in their wardrobe when a t-shirt and jeans or a sweatshirt and sweatpants get the job done on a daily basis.
Of course, I’ve always preferred the paper bag textbook cover, too. Having gone to 12 years of private elementary, middle, and high school, all of which had a school uniform or dress code, I’ve never had a reason to think about my clothing. I just picked out a pair of khakis and a white shirt every day, only changing the tie (and even then, I only cycled through about 5 different ties). But my apathy for fashion hasn’t changed from those days; I’m more comfortable wearing one of my five Michigan t-shirts and a pair of jeans every day than going through the laborious process of matching a top to pants, and worrying what shoes might go better with this shirt than that. I guess I subscribe to the Jim Harbaugh principle: why bother figuring all that out when you can wear the same shirt and khakis every single day. After all, it’s worked for him- his wardrobe is one of the most talked about and well-known on the U of M campus.
Not only is the simple wardrobe, well, simpler, it’s far more cost-effective. Bicentennial t-shirts are $10 apiece at the M Den? Better get two. Those Adidas running shoes on sale for $50 at Dick’s are far more attractive to me than spending hundreds of dollars on Yeezys- and I don’t even run. And what’s the deal with Supreme? Humor me. Google “supreme hoodie.” How much does the first item cost? When I did it, it was $1500. $1500 for a hoodie! I wouldn’t spend that much if it were signed by The Killers, with the lyrics to “Mr. Brightside” written on the back. The point is this: I’m flabbergasted by the importance people put on what they wear, especially when it’ll cost an arm to put in the sleeve of a Canada Goose jacket and a leg for those Lululemon sweats.
At the end of the day, the ideas someone has are far more important than what they wear- unless those ideas include charging hundreds of dollars for a tattered sweater. Yes, I’m looking at you, Kanye.