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Style ‘n Stuff

Kevin Noonan | Friday, August 17, 2012

Notre Dame is all about stereotypes. Don’t let anybody tell you any differently.
Everybody here is smart, so get used to that. Everybody is good at something, even you (possible title for a future best selling self-help book, I’m calling dibs on it right here and now). Everybody here had to work hard to get here, and they have to work hard to stay here, no matter what they might claim about never studying.
Everyone here may have a different idea of what Notre Dame is and what it means to them, but there is a shared and unifying purpose, an ideal of greatness, that drives this University and all of its students, faculty and staff forward.
And on Wednesdays, we wear pink.
You’re a stereotype from the moment you walk on campus, a positive stereotype reflective of the high standards of academic and personal excellence to which we are held.
What does all of this have to do with fashion?
The point is you’re already a stereotype here; you already fit in. You don’t have to carry that into your style.
All of that said, there are some common themes on this campus. Just remember that just because everybody has one doesn’t mean you have to get one.
Everybody has a North Face jacket. Every single person. I have one. Brian Kelly has one. Fr. Hesburgh has one. Mary wears one on the dome when it rains.
That’s an exaggeration, of course. Don’t freak out if you don’t have one and don’t want to get one. It’s sort of an anti-status symbol.
You see somebody wearing it and you think, judgmentally perhaps, “OMG, everybody has one of those, lol,” and then you remember that you have one and you’re currently wearing it because it’s cold or raining or snowing here 90 percent of the time and you keep your mouth shut.
Every girl has a pair of Uggs, a pair of gladiator sandals and a pair of those black things that pass for pants. Are they pants? Are they tights? Are they leggings? Should I find them attractive? Should I be repulsed by them?
I don’t know. I don’t get it. They’re an unclassifiable species. All I know is, they’re about as common at Notre Dame as being from “just outside Chicago.”
Uggs are Uggs. They are what they are. Wear them in public at your own risk.
Gladiator sandals are the Leonardo DiCaprio of women’s fashion. They all look the same, and they’re almost always irritating to look at. On the rare occasion they do work well all I can think about is the other times they don’t, and no matter how much I rail against them they don’t go out of style. Which leads me to believe I may be in the wrong on this one, but either way, every girl has them.
Every guy has a pair of Sperrys. They may be brown, blue, orange or green, but every guy has at least one pair.
Sperrys present a number of fashion questions. When are they appropriate to wear? When are they not? What clothes do you wear with them? How beat up is too beat up before you have to get a new pair?
I don’t know; I don’t know the first thing about fashion. But I do know that everybody has a pair.
Throw those together with a pair of khaki or pastel shorts and a semi-casual button down, and you’ve got the general party going style of just about every dude on campus.
One other thing, for guys; don’t wear shorts pants with bowties or crabs or lobsters or some other stupid logo imprinted all over them.
Or if you do, don’t act like the kind of person who would wear something like that.
Those are the stereotypes of Notre Dame fashion that you’ll see on campus on a daily basis. But remember, you’re already the right kind of stereotype here. Let your style be you.
Your style might be ratty gym shorts, wrinkled t-shirts and completely wrecked Sperry’s, and you can still accomplish great things, like becoming the editor of the most fashionable section of the campus newspaper.
Contact Kevin Noonan at knoonan2@nd.edu
The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.