It is easy to take your surrounding environment for granted. We assume that people have similar experiences to us; they have had similar childhoods, parents, high schools, courses and friends.
Oftentimes, we become friends with people that we share a lot in common with, thus confirming our suspicions of generalized similarity. These things in common extend from hobbies to interests to clothing choices. Our sameness with others can expand beyond friendships to entire universities and even cities.
Since coming to Texas Tech, I have noticed unique fashion trends that differ from other places I have lived. Students here may not realize the differences due to exclusive exposure to these styles.
First is long hair on guys. I have seen more men rocking curly, straight, blond and brunette manes on this campus than anywhere else. I love that fun hairstyles are not only restricted to women and it is common for guys to join in on the luscious locks.
Second is the oversized t-shirt and short shorts combination. When school first started, I was a bit thrown off because it looked like people were walking to class without pants. After realizing there were in fact shorts underneath, I grew accustomed to this look. Everyone dresses like we are at summer camp, and it allows for a very relaxed and casual campus vibe.
Surprisingly though, wearing long pants is the norm for gym wear. I thought I would fit in at the recreation center with my t-shirt and shorts, but it turns out there is a different popular trend for working out: sports bra and yoga pants.
My undergraduate gym enforced an arguably sexist dress code, prohibiting the display of sports bras without a shirt covering them. It is reassuring that Tech allows students to wear whatever they feel most comfortable in for exercise.
Next, I have noticed a prevalence of dangling earrings, especially on men. Just as the long hair, I appreciate that traditionally feminine expressions are no longer as restrained to only women. Guys here accessorize with necklaces, bracelets and especially earrings.
For all genders, I have seen more body tattoos than ever before. I am not sure if it is a Texas thing or a generational difference, but I am very impressed with the individualism, and frankly, the high pain tolerances.
I could never fathom getting a tattoo on my own body because I try to avoid pain at all costs, but tattoos appear to becoming more popular in college students. At a conference I attended last year, psychologists were even studying perceptions of tattoos in the workplace because of the need to adapt to the growing number of tattooed employees.
Nightlife fashion is also distinct here. Coming from the Midwest, we had a strict uniform of black leggings and a crop top to the bars. Colors and sleeve lengths of the tops could vary, along with shoe choice.
When I visited Las Vegas, the outfits were much more formal. People wore fancy dresses and suits to the clubs, and my friend was even turned away for sporting attire that was too casual. From pictures I’ve viewed, it appears that other regions of the country prefer to don more elegant and expensive clothing items to bars.
In Lubbock, however, the style is much more casual. Women wear sweatpants and t-shirts, and men throw on jeans to drop by the clubs. My out-of-town visitor commented that her Chicago style of a crop top and leggings drastically stood out as compared to local fashion.
As someone who loves laziness and rolling out of bed whenever possible, I am a big fan of the laid back styles that seem to fit right in with the low or nonexistent cover charges. I think people underestimate these benefits of living in a smaller city.
It has been fun experiencing Tech’s unique summer and fall fashion on campus, in the gym and at the clubs. I am looking forward to the upcoming exciting winter and spring styles.