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  • Writer's pictureLa Voz Latina

What does the fashion at UMD look like?

Written by: Evon Salmeron 🇸🇻

Walking onto the University of Maryland campus you will probably find students strutting along the sidewalks getting to and from class or there might be students laying on the field of McKeldin Mall chatting with their friends.

Every day students have to choose what they want to wear to class or to hang out around campus. No matter how big or small that decision is, they are still establishing a style that they are going to stick to for the rest of the day and this choice can potentially affect how that day goes.

Freshman journalism student, Sophia da Silva, said that style is very important to her because “how you dress is how you present yourself in the world.” Da Silva described her style as “eclectic and silly” with the use of a lot of different textures and colors and said that she has always used fashion as a form of self-expression.

Freshman journalism student, Sophia da Silva, wearing one of her favorite outfits in front of Pyon-Chen Hall. March. 30, 2023.(Image courtesy of Sophia da Silva)

“I can't draw but I can put clothes on that make me feel good about myself, that make me feel creative,” said Da Silva.

Maithili Sule, freshman in journalism at UMD, has noticed that she is more focused and excited about her classes when she dresses up for them and puts in more effort.

“I'm more motivated to participate and do something like that,” said Sule. “Last semester, I wore literally only sweats to all my classes and I just found that I was less interested and more interested in going back to my room and going to sleep or something.”

Sule also adds another element to her style: cultural clothing. After a trip to India over winter break, Sule said she bought some clothes that made her feel closer to her culture and, in turn, made her feel more confident.

Maithili Sule, freshman journalism major, wearing an outfit she bought second hand, on February. 11, 2023. (Image courtesy of Maithili Sule)

“It’s a fun way to branch out and I usually get a lot of compliments, honestly, which is nice,” said Sule. “I noticed that… I felt way more confident and ready to tackle my classes when I’m just more dressed up with cultural clothing.”

Cultural clothing isn’t something seen a lot at UMD, and Da Silva, who sometimes wears silver rings she got in Brazil to feel closer to her culture, thinks this has to do with “the UMD uniform.” The UMD uniform is what students have classified as the trend of wearing t-shirts and sweatpants to class.

“I think a lot of that it's like a lot of people here don't put a lot of effort into their clothing, and I think that's partly just because, you know, college students are tired,” said Da Silva.

The UMD uniform is usually a more laid-back style, something that is comfortable and low-maintenance enough to spend an entire day in class, studying, doing chores, and going to the dining hall.

“I would say my everyday style at UMD is very basic,” said Mikaela Truong, sophomore bioengineering major. “I usually prioritize convenience on a daily basis, especially when I'm just going to class or studying for most of the day.”

Though Truong said that dressing up for classes isn’t that important to her, it does make her feel more confident.

“If I love my outfit that day I feel like my day automatically starts better,” Truong said.

Mikaela Truong, sophomore in bioengineering, wearing a blue maxi-skirt and white blouse in front of the Anthem in Washington, D.C. August. 29, 2023. (Image courtesy of Mikaela Truong)

Everyone uses clothes in a different way and has their own style. Whether they want to be trendy and fashionable or comfortable and easy-going, college is the perfect time to explore different options.

“College automatically gives you a lot more independence and individuality and I think that shows a lot in my style,” said Truong. “Coming to college has made me feel more comfortable to explore my style and try to wear more unique pieces.”

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