The Influence of Clothing

By:Lauren Batton and Dominque Ross

College students have the flexibility to wear what they desire to class, whether it be a suit, jeans or even sweats. A lot of people choose a Ferrum sweatshirt, T-shirt and sweats to match. It seems a lot of people are either too lazy or they have little time to put together an outfit. What does this say to their peers and professors with the way they dress?

Some professors have accepted a casual look from their students. Philosophy professor Kimberly Goard said, “I kind of have just trained myself to not think about the way people appear, because I think it’s kind of superficial and I judge people more on the way they interact with people and their facial expressions.”

If someone wore something that had offended her, Goard said, she wouldn’t respond to it. “A lot of times I think the way people dress does indicate their views on who they are and what they want to be. I think people should value more what’s in your head and not on your body, although they are connected.”

Business Professor Demetri Tsanacas seemed to think that few people share Goard’s open-mindedness.

“I believe first impressions are very important and thus the way a person dresses impacts the way we are perceived,” he said. “If you look good, others will be open and receptive to you, even your ideas.

“I realize a person has a right to dress anyway they want, as long as it is not offensive to another person. I could not care to see another person’s underwear no matter how good they look.

“Having said that, it all boils down to the situation, the place and timing.”

Freshman Declan Galvin had a similar view. “Clothes do help you get an idea for how a person is and can lead to people finding out they have shared interest but I also take it with a grain of salt,” he said. He also knows there is a right place and time for certain attire. “If it’s business I tell them to go put something that’s at least business casual. In public or at a party I just try and avoid them. At formal events, I ask if they can dress respectfully.”

Freshman Crystal Wright said, “The way people dress can influence others either positively or negatively. It could also make others feel lesser should they not be as fortunate as others either in finance or physical characteristics.” She felt that others should dress the way they wanted to be seen. “Dress with knowledge that you set.”

Wright said she never says anything to people about how they dress if she dislikes it. “If they are open to comment I may make a suggestion, but in most cases I take the impression or opinion they give me and ignore it. It is not my place to dictate others, but it doesn’t mean I have to stay around those who dress a way I dislike.”

Freshman Briana Dandrige said the way she dresses affects the way she feels and that affects what she does. “If I feel like I look good, then I will feel good,” she said, “and it gives me inspiration to go to class.”

While Dandridge focused on what her clothes do for her, Freshman Tralea Armstrong spoke of the way people dress and how it can affect other people.

“Dressing up for class does set you apart from other students,” she said, “and professors appreciate it because it shows that you’re serious.”

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