College classes aren’t exactly a black tie affair; quite the opposite, actually. For most of us, rolling out of bed and heading to our 8 a.m. classes in sweatpants and a sweatshirt is much more appealing than taking extra time out of our sleep schedule to make ourselves look presentable. There isn’t much motivation to “dress up” for class. In fact, sometimes dressing up too much can carry a certain stigma of being a “try hard” on college campuses.

Angelique Inchierca / Photo Editor

Angelique Inchierca / Photo Editor

However, most would agree that when you look nice, you feel better. So, should we be dressing up for our classes or are sweatpants acceptable?

First of all, being “dressed up” means different things to different people; some feel most presentable in a dress and others prefer basketball shorts and a t-shirt. The problem isn’t exactly regarding what you wear, but rather making an effort to look what you personally feel is your best. Doing this can not only lift your mood and make you feel better, but can also impact your performance in class.

This idea of dressing for success has been around for years, and until recently it’s only been a saying. However, recent studies show that when you feel presentable, you perform better in your daily activities. According to an article in Scientific American by Matthew Hutson, “The clothes you wear can affect your mental and physical performance… A paper in August 2015 in Social Psychological and Personality Science asked subjects to change into formal or casual clothing before cognitive tests. Wearing formal business attire increased abstract thinking — an important aspect of creativity and long-term strategizing. The experiments suggest the effect is related to feelings of power.” Dressing up may take some extra time, but it gives you feelings of tenacity and power, ultimately leading to success.

Dressing nicer to class can not only make you feel more powerful and give you confidence, but can affect your academic performance positively in more ways than one.

When it comes to class presentations, wearing something professional can impact the outcome of your performance drastically; not only would you feel more confident and perform a better presentation, but professors tend to prefer when students dress up for presentations, meaning what you wear can also affect your grade.

Looking professional and presenting with confidence is a good way to impress your professors while also earning you a grade you can be proud of.

In addition, it can help students establish and practice skills for future career paths.

Now, I’m not going to lie, when I wake up for my 8 a.m. class in the morning, I don’t exactly have the motivation to shower, let alone put on nice clothes and makeup.

However, I can say with some certainty that, from now on, I will put more effort into what I wear to classes. If looking nicer means feeling better, and feeling better means doing well in classes, then it may be worth it to get up a little earlier.

Although it takes a little extra time to make ourselves look and feel our most presentable, it may be in our best interest. Maybe next time we take an exam we should switch out our sweatpants for something a little more becoming.

Zoeann Day can be contacted at

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