Thursday, April 2, 2009

University Style

Today I saw a man jogging in a maroon (University of) Virginia sweatshirt. And besides thinking that 70 degrees is far to warm to be jogging in a sweatshirt, I also thought about how wrong it was for someone to be wearing clothing for a college that is in the color of the University's primary in-state rival.

Sometime in the past few years, the color scheme for university clothing broke free from the bounds of the actual colors associated with the actual university and just became a free-for-all. Now you can see good-looking folks walking around with school approved hoodies that match their iPod shuffles. And while it seems petty to pick this fight, many Universities work for decades and even centuries to establish a reputation. In these places Crimson is more than a color. So seeing a teal Maryland shirt makes me a bit sad. I admit that some colleges have terrible color schemes, but if you chose to go to Clemson, then thems the breaks if you want to wear something appropriate when attend sporting events.

I still think there is some wiggle room. Many pro-sports and some college teams have been eager to adopt a third jersey. The entire purpose of this is to make more money, obviously, but it also offers a chance to stretch the color scheme a bit, hopefully in the bounds of good taste. The Wizards third jerseys are a cautionary tale (not shown in the picture are the accompanying gloves so that you can do *JAZZ HANDS*). But the Pittsburgh Penguins third jerseys are kind of fantastic (shame about the team being a bunch of sissy crybabies).

And then there's one other bugaboo of college fashion -- wearing clothing for other Universities. Now it's one thing if you're a professor, or a grad student, but quite another if your an undergrad. Let's take a few scenarios using Stanford as an example. I pick them because Stanford is a fine school and will be unsullied by my reference.

Scenario 1: You went on an overnight visit to Stanford. But you clearly do no go to Stanford, you go to Maryland.

Scenario 2: Your parents/older sibling/great uncle went to Stanford. This is great, and I bet they're super smart. But you aren't attending Stanford, you go to Maryland.

Scenario 3: You transferred from Stanford. I'm glad you made the switch to Maryland, and I hope it's the right one. But now you don't go to Stanford anymore, you go to Maryland.

Clearly you, Mr. Stanford-shirt-wearer, should donate that shirt and buy a Maryland one. Preferably in Red.

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