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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Unique fashions on campus showcase student diversity, creativity, & swag

“Guilford fashion is imaginative,” said senior Jesse Kahaner.

While most colleges have an unwritten dress code of t-shirts, jeans and sweatpants, Guilford College has set itself apart in terms of fashion with a wide array of styles and trends ranging from Birkenstock shoes to Chubbies shorts. Guilford fashion is as bold and unconventional as the students that occupy campus.

“I feel more comfortable wearing funky clothes now than I did in high school,” said sophomore Moira Ryder-O’Niell.

Current distinct trends include overalls, Chaco sandals, dashikis and harem pants.

This past spring, a small number of the campus population sported overalls. Come fall, a plethora of students arrived at school with a pair in their suitcase.

People usually wear overalls with a t-shirt or crop top underneath, and the clothing can look attractive paired with any shoe.

“They’re pretty convenient,” said sophomore Risa Pine. “You can just throw them on over a shirt.”

Today, students wear overalls to make a comfortable fashion statement, but in the past they held other purposes.

Overalls first appeared in the U.S. at the beginning of the 20th century, when factory workers wore them for protection. By 1930, children began to wear overalls for comfort. After staying dormant in Americans’ closets for a few decades, the 1990s grunge movement popularized overalls once again.

A consistently popular trend on campus is the Chaco sandal. The sandals have a z-shaped strap design, making them “fit for adventure,” according to the company slogan.

While the shoes were originally intended for whitewater rafting, students wear Chacos for any occasion, whether active or inactive.

“I wear my Chacos everywhere,” said sophomore Addy Allred. “I can wear them to work. I can wear them when I’m going on a hike, and I can wear them in class.”

Students have demonstrated that Chacos can be paired with anything from athletic clothing to a flowery sundress, which gives the outfit a back-to-nature vibe. Chacos have proven to be quite the versatile shoe, especially for warm weather. For those that can’t get enough of them, they can even be worn with thick socks in the winter.

A trend that has slowly risen in popularity is the dashiki, which is typically worn by male students. The garment generates a strong presence through its vivid colors and unique patterns.

The dashiki, a bright pull-over similar to a tunic, is typically worn by men in West Africa, and is made in both formal and informal varieties.

“Some have patterns that illustrate your status in society,” said senior Jordan Clark, who recently visited Ghana.

The dashiki made its way to the U.S. in the 1960s, adorned by hippies living in Haight-Ashbury, the iconic neighborhood in San Francisco. Students typically wear dashikis for comfort, so they are often paired with jeans or comfortable shorts.

Juniors Benjamin Matlack and Barnaby Johnnes appreciate their dashikis to such a great extent that they dedicated an entire day to wearing dashikis: “Dashiki Sunday.” Ever since their first year at Guilford, they have worn their dashikis every week without fail.

“Sunday is a day to relax and wear comfortable clothing, and dashikis are my comfortable wear,” said Johnnes.

Harem pants are another prevalent trend. Popular among female students, harem pants are long, baggy pants that taper at the ankles, and are often adorned with unique patterns.

Guilford students typically wear harem pants with crop tops or t-shirts and either sneakers or sandals. Due to the comfort they provide, they can be worn appropriately in class or even in bed.

“They’re very roomy and comfortable, so you can look good and still feel like you’re in your pajamas,” said sophomore Ambra Parker.

Harem pants originated in India, where they traditionally have a loose, oversized fit. The modern version of the harem pants came to the U.S. in the 1980s, popularized by M.C. Hammer, who coined the term “Hammer pants.”

Since the 1980s, the trend has died down in popularity, but fashion powerhouse Urban Outfitters recently resurrected the loose-fitting pants for a retro style. For those in search of authentic harem pants, one can still find them in thrift stores and online.

These are just a few of the fashions that set Guilford apart from other colleges. Without such a diverse and expressive student body, our school would be just like any other with a generic, unwritten dress code.

Guilford’s one-of-a-kind fashions are typically not as visible outside of the Guilford bubble, so appreciate it while you’re here, and most of all, get inspired.

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