• The Official Website of the Exponent, Wisconsin's Oldest Continuously Published Student Newspaper May 17, 2013

Sweatpants, practical but not appropriate

Matthew Ahasay, Opinions Editor

It is 7:55 as John springs out of bed and makes the dash to reach his 8 a.m. class. At the front of the room, his professor is wearing slacks and a button down shirt.

Sweatpants have been a growing trend in high schools and college cam­puses across the country. At one point, sweatpants were considered appropriate attire exclusively for bed or laying about. The casual nature of the warm, loose-fitting com­fort garment has sparked a debate of the appropriate­ness and possible detriment to students who choose to wear them to class.

Professors are expected to look and present them­selves as professionals in in­stitutions of higher learning, and students should meet the same expectations.

Students at University of Wisconsin-Platteville may not think anything of the throngs of their pajama-clad colleagues, but the media and school administrators around the country do.

In Louisiana, Caddo Par­ish Commissioner Michael Williams garnered national attention by proposing leg­islation to ban wearing paja­mas in public. According to the Wall Street Journal, Wil­liams’ proposition has been adopted by school districts in both Florida and Vermont.

“The moral fiber in Amer­ica is dwindling away,” Wil­liams said. “It’s pajamas today; what is it going to be tomorrow?”

As the trend continues to gain momentum, especially among women, the motiva­tion of students has been called into question.

“I wear sweats to class be­cause I am lazy,” Sophomore animal science major Kaitlin Viney said. “It’s easier to get ready in the morning, and it’s more comfortable than wearing jeans every day.”

Despite the ease and com­fort of sweats and pajamas, sweat pants and “the casual campus look” maybe detri­mental to the performance of students in the class room.

“I always get dressed up whenever I have a lot to do or a test,” sophomore crimi­nal justice major John Henry said. “It gets me in the right state of mind to succeed and do my best.”

The core issue of the sweat pants pandemic is if they have a place in the world of higher academia, a milieu that is supposed to groom us into professionals.

The answer is not what you may expect. While many professionals still ad­here to a professional dress code, there are some cor­porations where executives have embraced the casual culture of American fashion.

“I often see our CEO walk around the office in jeans,” said Glori Trummer. “It never used to be like this, but the country is changing, and there is a more relaxed atmosphere in corporate America. I wish that would change.”

Attire is indicative of one’s personality. If one chooses to adopt the casual look, there are certain as­pects of that person’s per­sonality that one could pre­sumably ascertain, correct or not. While there is a time and place for everything, college maybe the grey area between a professional at­mosphere and unprofession­al attire.

We are all here to become something more, someone successful. Is it not time you do yourself a favor and dress for your expected success?

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