Why do all UVA guys dress like dads?

So much khaki

In a world where menswear is coming to its Renaissance, why is it that so many guys at UVA dress like, dare I say it, dads? On a typical walk to class, passing by the picturesque greenery and Jeffersonian architecture, there is one color that continually stands out: khaki. Yes, this color seems to permeate through the male society like a contagion, and makes Grounds seem more reminiscent of a golf course than an intellectual hub of millennials.

With male fashion becoming ever more present in our society, one would think that college students would be the exemplars of this trend, trying out new styles and designs as the fashion world becomes increasingly expressive, gender neutral and experimental. One of my favorite new trends from this year’s mens’ fashion week was the 70s revival – a return to the paisley, floral and geometric printed shirts with big aviators and suede jackets. 

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Now I realize that your typical UVA guy might not be quite ready to don a loose purple paisley button down, but perhaps they might be willing to try to the pajama inspired trend. Looking like you just got out of bed never looked so good, (sorry for the pun, had to do it). Pale blue loose button downs aren’t that far a cry from the plain blue and white button downs I see on my walk to class, so perhaps some guys would be willing to try out the new look.  

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Supreme and Nike have collaborated to create a very fresh looking sneaker that I would love to wear myself, yet it seems most guys would be more interested in a new Sperry topsider instead. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t heard of any ports near Charlottesville, yet everyone remains prepared to hop on a boat on a moment’s notice. This reminds me of a quote from a UVA guy who shall remain nameless, “You’re wearing Vans??? Those are the most fiscally liberal shoes out there! My crew only wears Sperrys.”

Though now a joke among my friends who experienced this ridiculous situation with me, it got me wondering if that really was a part of the UVA culture – conformity to a perceived stereotype in which everyone has to appear preppy in order to fit in.

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Now, it would be unfair to claim that all UVA guys integrate into the khaki-induced haze. I never thought I would see a frat guy wearing joggers until one of my friends came into the library looking Fresh. Capital F for sure, as it was a welcome surprise from his anachronistically dressed peers. This gave me hope that perhaps one day, UVA guys will want to dress more like the 20 year olds they are, and less like they are about to give you a stern talking-to for coming home past curfew.

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