Fashion for First-years: A Welcome to the Class of 2010

You can’t run. You can’t hide. If you’re a first-year, there’s no doubt that sophomores, juniors and seniors alike can spot you a mile away. It’s not just the look of utter confusion that’s constantly plastered on your faces, or the fact that you flock to Frank Dining Hall and the O’Connor Campus Center in herds. The dead giveaway that you’re a first year student is your typical first-year wardrobe. When you wander around up the Hill wearing the shirt you got on moving-in day and your Gate-card is dangling from a lanyard around your neck, you’re basically screaming “I’m a first-year! Please glare at me and make me feel more awkward!” Pay attention, first-years, because you’re about to learn everything you’ll ever need to know about the Colgate dress-code. First and foremost, your ‘Gate-card belongs in your wallet, not on a shoestring around your neck. The ‘Gate-card lanyard is absolutely not a necklace. It is, however, one of the worst first-year faux pas ever to plague the Colgate campus. No one really knows why it was created, or why new students think it’s a clever way to carry their cards. If you can’t figure out a more fashionable way to keep track of your ‘Gate-card, you should possibly consider transferring to an easier, less style savvy school, like Hamilton. Another wide-spread first-year faux pas is ‘Gate gear overkill. Congratulations, you’re officially a Colgate student, but it appears that you haven’t realized that pretty much everyone else on campus is too. Not only is it unnecessary to wear your ‘Gate LAX hat, signature belt, flip-flops, Colgate sweatshirt, and track pants all at the same time, it’s unattractive. It’s not a real outfit. You’ll look like a giant maroon blob with flecks of white. Find a more subtle way to express school spirit. For example, bumper-stickers can be fun. So don’t wear the t-shirt to the concert. We get it. You go to school here. You don’t need to remind us every day. Colgate is a considerably preppy school, but don’t over do it. For some reason, many first-years think they’re impressing someone when the walk around in a popped polo, pearls, embroidered lobster pants and J-Crew ribbon flip-flops. You’re not. We’re all familiar with Ralph Lauren, thank you. You don’t need to act as a walking advertisement. This is not the Hamptons or Nantucket so pick one or two elements of prep to accent your outfit, not twelve. Our next point of discussion involves going out clothes. Colgate is in a cold environment. It is neither practical nor appropriate to go downtown half naked. Plunging shirts and mini-skirts are neither chic nor tasteful and if you think your barely-there outfit is going to get you into the Jug, think again. Trust me, upperclassmen are already trying to prey on you. They don’t need any more encouragement. We’ve reached the number one first-year fashion faux pas. Don’t wear something merely because you think it’s “Colgate.” Just because half the campus wears Burberry rain boots or carries a Longchamp bag to class doesn’t necessarily mean you should do the same. There’s nothing truly fabulous about the stereotypical Colgate style and it takes a brave first-year to break the mold. When you get dressed in the morning, your outfit should represent you, not the majority of the student body.Don’t fret first-years. We all made the same mistakes and the class of 2010 will undoubtedly follow suit. Enjoy your first year, dress smart, dress cute, but most importantly, dress for you.