In my short time so far at USM I have noticed there to be an interesting uniform amongst students here. I had always thought Americans to be some of the most fashionable people on the planet. My time spent watching “The Hills” and” The O.C.” led me to believe that this was the place that set up the rest of the world with inspiration to wear all different styles of clothing. To an extent, this is true.
In England there are many girls (me included) devoted to owning at least several items by Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister or a Tiffany logo necklace, hoping that they can contain some of that same branded, iconic look that young American girls have. I recently noticed this to be similar attire to that of the brats on “Sweet Sixteen.”
This is far from my first time in America, so I never thought any different. I always remember seeing lots of people in nice clothing and fantastic shops that we lacked in the U.K. Then I came to Maine, and realized that what I had previously understood of American fashion was circulated around what the celebs and socialites are wearing in California, and is not used as a standard for the rest of the nation.
I couldn’t help but be slightly disappointed to see so many students in my first week of school here in the same standardized, bland uniform of shorts, t-shirts, sneakers or flip flops. Nothing else. Granted, our first two weeks of school were boiling and I for one suffered in the heat of several of the classrooms in Luther Bonney and similarly donned shorts, but since the weather has cooled I have not found many to discard the uniform as I did.
The campuses at USM I have found to be beautiful and full of color and texture compared to the grey I experience so much of back home. But there is no color in the clothes, and I find myself missing many of the interesting creations I see put together every day by the students back in the U.K.
Many of the styles you see on students in England are different, sometimes to an extent where you have to wonder what they were thinking. For a long time, I have thought there are also too many of us who wear the same attire of UGG boots, jeans, leggings or hoodies, all of which caught on from the States.
I also thought those students who didn’t wear these things wore things that were quite strange and probably based around their movie idols (Dragonfly comes to mind.) But since my arrival here, I see that alongside some of these potential clothing failures, there are those daring to branch out. It is these individuals who enthusiastically show they put some kind of thought into their appearance when dressing for the day, even if it is for a 9 a.m. class.
My goal now is to encourage you all to do the same, and to showcase yourselves as students at USM who embrace fashion and hold a unique sense of style. Keep the UGGs, the Abercrombie hoodies and the jeans. What are we but a set of living brands as ‘Americanization’ takes it hold on the world? My proposition to you is this: Make what you wear different than what everyone else has. Choose a pair of shoes or jeans that you know other people don’t have. I get that it takes effort to try to wear something that your friends might consider a bit ‘out there’, and throwing on jeans and a hoody are the easiest options and best way to blend in with the crowd. But hey, life’s too short not to stand out.