The Art of Subtlety: Incorporating Your School Spirit Into Your Everyday Wardrobe

By Amanda Cohen on January 29, 2017
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Representing your school is a privilege. It is an honor that some people do not get to experience. However, sometimes you want to represent your school without having to spend $60 on a sweatshirt at your local bookstore. Or, you simply just want to represent your school in a more fashion-forward manner.

Despite what some people may think, it is so easy to find an outfit for football Saturdays because you can dress up as crazily and as extravagantly as you want! If you wore one of your football Saturday outfits on a regular weekday, you would probably get some strange looks from your peers. So, how do we fix this? How can we show our school pride without looking like we are cartoon characters?

Ladies and gentlemen, I am here to introduce you to the art of subtlety. It sounds so simple, yet people often forget that subtle hints at your school colors can (1) make your outfit fabulous, and (2) show your school spirit in the quietest of ways.

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Jewelry is always a game changer when it comes to showing off your school spirit. Literally, all you have to do is Google search “school name’s jewelry” and thousands of options will pop up. Whether you want to show off the choker trend, or just wear a small charm bracelet, you really cannot go wrong. If you want to support your local bookstore, I guarantee they have a plethora of options as well (I know the M Den does for sure for all of my Michigan readers)!

When buying jewelry, you definitely want to be conscientious of the price, but make sure you purchase something that won’t fall apart after a few days of use.

Winter garb might only really apply to schools that experience winter (sorry Southern schools), but it is honestly one of the easiest ways to show off your school spirit. The beautiful thing about hats, gloves, and scarves is that you take them off (most of the time) once you enter the warm indoors.

Therefore, you really do not have to hold back on your creativity with this one. I always wear my Michigan puffball hat around campus because it matches perfectly with my long black coat. If you are wearing a patterned coat, definitely stick to the monochromatic options for winter apparel provided by your local school store.

Bomber jackets are all the rage right now, and since they are vintage and have a more retro look, you can get away with wearing these beauties in just about any color (yes, Syracuse, I bet people won’t even bat an eye if they see you sporting an orange bomber jacket). I would never suggest wearing a brightly colored bomber jacket if you are wearing an already brightly colored/patterned outfit. But, if you are wearing black jeans with a simple monochromatic top, feel free to go crazy with your representation of your school!

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Socks, even though they are not always visible to the public, are a great way to quietly cheer your school’s anthem. I constantly wear my Michigan fuzzy socks going to class because they are comfortable and just by purchasing the socks I am helping out and representing my school. Since it is winter, you can conceal the craziest of socks with some simple black, gray, or brown boots. Or, if you feel so inclined, show off your socks by purchasing a tall pair of socks and wearing them with short boots!

Nail polish is such an easy way to show off your school spirit because you can honestly paint your nails any color without people thinking twice about it. For schools like the University of Southern California, this is easy for you because painting your fingernails red is quite normal and quite stylish.

However, for schools like Syracuse, opt out of painting your nails orange and go with the navy blue color instead, which is both winter-appropriate and stylish! So either paint your nails yourself, find a friend who can do it, or, if you are challenged in the nail department like myself, go to your local nail salon and get ready to wow your peers!

I told you that subtlety is key when representing your school in your everyday outfits! One thing I want to quickly mention is that if you are just wearing workout clothes and are heading to the gym, throw on a sweatshirt that shows off your school colors and/or mascot! Not only is this a comfortable option, but there is no better feeling than when you walk down the street and someone yells “Go Blue” or “Go Terps.” It is nice to maintain tradition.

So, ladies and gentlemen hit up your local school store or conduct an in-depth Google search to find some new and fun ways to scream your school’s name without actually screaming!

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I am currently a junior at the University of Michigan.

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