By Angie Argabrite, Monday, October 24, 2011, at 9:44 am.
The College Catwalk
More and more college students are banishing sweatpants in favor of statement-making luxury labels
That stereotype about the rumple-haired college student who rolls out of bed and into the classroom wearing sneakers and sweatpants is not ringing true these days. Especially along the tree-lined paths of Ivy League campuses, today’s university students can be found hurrying to class in straight-off-the runway outfits and accessories. But don’t think that this trend marks a return to the preppy knits and trenches of the Love Story era or to the all-American ideal that Abercrombie & Fitch peddled so successfully during the ’90s. Paradoxically, the prevailing pressure for college students to put their high-fashion foot forward has discouraged them from abiding by any one style template. Instead, with street-style photographers combing campuses for their newest muses and the advent of websites like CollegeFashion.net and CollegeFashionista.com, students are encouraged to try on individual, verging on eccentric, styles for size. These days even college football teams are making fashion statements, with some teams rolling out multiple new uniforms in a season. How will all this focus on appearance manifest for post-college life? For students of the female persuasion, at least, it may be just the preparation for the real world they need. New research shows that a woman wearing a modest amount of makeup is judged by others as being not only more attractive but also more likeable, trustworthy and competent. As marketers, we sense a clear need for a follow-up study—on how football fashion affects fans’ judgment of gridiron skills.