At Penn State we wear blue and white because we bleed blue and white

Penn State pride is the only style we need

The first time I visited Penn State, I wasn’t a fan. One of the first complaints I had was fashion. Everywhere I looked people donned Penn State gear.

Girls wore a t-shirt, yoga pants, and sneakers. Guys wore a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers. My mom said it seemed like a uniform and my sister quipped, “At least you’ll look cute compared to everyone here!” I was wearing a pretty normal outfit (skirt and crop top), but I guess she was right.

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My time turner necklace is something you’ll likely never see someone at Penn State wear

The first day at Penn State, I wore a purple skirt, striped cropped tank top, and my trusty TOMs. This is a pretty standard outfit for me, and it wasn’t really anything special. But when I went to meet my floor, I realized that, yet again, I stuck out awfully. Nearly everyone wore a plain t-shirt and shorts.

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Pretty typical outfit for me

When classes started I noticed a lot of students wore Penn State gear – THON t-shirts, and even old high school sports t-shirts. Attempts at fashion included v-neck t-shirts with skinny jeans or the occasional out-of-style dress paired with converse.

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My main man, Mihir, sporting his Penn State pride

I kept dressing as usual, despite feeling a bit alone in my endeavor to dress nicely. Here’s the thing, though: No one cares. If you like to dress up, good for you! But at Penn State, dressing nicely isn’t about impressing people. You might get a few offhand compliments every now and then, especially if you don’t dress up often, but it really doesn’t matter. Here, dressing nicely is truly for yourself and almost no one else.

Penn State students, just like so many other college students, dress for comfort. We wear Penn State gear because we love our school. We’re proud of it. We wear blue and white because we bleed blue and white. 

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Fashion is subjective – It changes from place to place. In New York, fashion is colorful and bold and individualistic. In Paris, it’s simplistic and sophisticated. Here in Happy Valley, fashion is comfortable and proud. It is pride for Penn State and what we stand for. It is the understanding that looking nice isn’t nearly as important as feeling comfortable and ready to learn. We attend a quality institution here at Penn State, and we like to show that off.

Personally, I still like to dress nicely, but as I said, dressing nicely is always for myself. My style has changed over time, but I have to look elsewhere for inspiration. I used to think Penn State fashion was boring and nonexistent, but the existence of Valley magazine and clubs like Sisters on the Runway proves otherwise.

Penn State may not be the most stylish place, but we have our own unique taste in fashion. And that taste is Penn State pride. 

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