By Elizabeth Svokos
When it comes to fashion, there are so many routes one can take. There’s preppy, punk, indie, urban, classic, goth, and the list goes on. But at Bryn Mawr College, the preferred fashion trend seems to be “Whatever.”
“Well, I mean, I just grab whatever’s nearest to me,” says Sophomore Hope Filligin. “And clean.” Freshman Whitney Miller looks down at her raggedy boots and plain outfit. “It’s called I have class at 8 in the morning.”
“This is me trying to wake up,” Junior Becca Rossi attempts to defend her regular maroon shirt and jean get-up.
Walking through Bryn Mawr’s campus is walking through aa world of exquisite architecture and foliage more colorful than a samba dancer’s costume. Against this gorgeous backdrop, Bryn Mawr women embody the opposite of style.
But not without reason.
Women attending Bryn Mawr College didn’t get there by watching the Style Channel. The women at this college not only take their academics seriously but about 70 percent of undergraduate students also devote their time to work on campus.
“I work in the dining hall from Monday to Thursday,” says Filligin. “So I have to wear pants and a tee shirt for work.”
Senior Stephanie Migliori is clad in a leather jacket and loose jeans. “I work for the theatre doing tech work and things that usually ruin my clothes,” she explains, “so I have to wear clothes that can be ruined.”
Sports teams on campus are also a factor in the choice of what to wear. A normal sports team will have practice after class around 4p.m. Junior Ariel Puleo, member of the cross-country team and sporting a bright red pea coat, explains that she has to dress according to her practice schedule and if she has time to change into her sports clothes. If she doesn’t, she wears her sports sweats.
The ever-changing Philadelphia weather also plays its role in creating the Bryn Mawr fashion trend.
Juniors Theresa Palasits and Rachel Corey both agree that weather is usually the deciding factor in choosing clothes. Battling the cold seems to be the first concern.
“It gets really cold,” Palasits shudders. “I hate being cold.”
Palasits also raised the issue of her own mood. “If I’m really stressed, I don’t put time into my outfit because I have so many other things on my mind.”
Student’s fashion is also constrained by what they can physically bear. “I can’t wear high heels,” Puleo laughs, “so that definitely dictates what I can and cannot wear. It has to go with flats!”
Even with this general overall lack of fashion sense, Bryn Mawr girls can still spot a student who “tries.”
Junior Rachel Lieberman,says, “I definitely notice the people who put thought into what they wear.”
Even freshmen aren’t afraid to judge fashion on campus. Whitney Miller and Jillian Payne-Johnson walk together from the library, both working the post five-hour study session look.
“Sometimes I see girls wearing leggings and those Ugg boots,” Miller begins, then pauses.. “Listen, leggings are okay, but only if you cover your butt. You can’t just wear leggings and a regular shirt! I can see your underwear!”
Payne-Johnson snickers and chimes in, “That’s not okay!”
Sophomore Amelie Raz realizes that “there are definitely people who clearly put a high value on aesthetics.” Raz prides herself on her predominantly blue wardrobe (“blue goes with everything!”) but also recognizes her and her peers’ lacking eye for fashion.
But this reality doesn’t seem to deter Raz, an intelligent, friendly, and ambitious Biology major.
“I’d like to be one of those girls,” she shrugs and smiles, “but I’m just not.”
Her confidence mirrors the other “regular-clothed” Bryn Mawr students.
At this college, it seems clothes do not make the man. Or in this case, woman.