How To Dress Like A University of Florida Student (Step 1: Buy Some Croakies)
When I first got to the University of Florida three years ago, I was a little bit overwhelmed. Having graduated in a class of 32 people (really), transitioning to a massive campus and student body of almost 50,000 people was a lot for me to take in. And what was I supposed to wear? I was 18 years old and all I could think was, "Will my floral dresses and lace-up leather boots fit in?" "Will other people listen to Bon Iver?"
Ok, yes, I was a little bit of a hipster, and desperately afraid that I would disappear into a sea of Lily Pulitzer dresses and Jack Rogers. Do I still feel like that some days? A little bit, but for the most part what I've realized about University of Florida's student fashion sense is that it is all over the place. There is the "I woke up like this" bunch (and it's not in a "and still look really fabulous" type of way), the athletes, the girls who wear work out clothes but aren't actually planning to work out (guilty), the sorority trends and everything in between. And nothing looks too particularly out of place at the end of the day.
Odds are, if you follow any of the below rules and suggestions, you're likely to find a whole lot of other people wearing the same thing. But the beauty of going to such a large school is that you can wear exactly what you want, and still not stick out like a sore thumb. There's 50,000 people there — and the percentage of those who care what you're wearing? Probably zero. So wear whatever makes you the happiest (and yes, I understand that sometimes that is sweatpants).
1. Leggings And/Or Yoga Pants
The universal "I'm a girl and I still want you to find me attractive without actually putting forth effort or scaring you with a bold outfit" move for choosing an on-campus look, many UF girls choose the "leggings and a baggy T-shirt" combo and it's somehow become so normal that no one even cares that you are basically wearing the same clothing that you would wear to clean your house or go to the gym. In the summer, pair your legging and T-shirt with flip flops, and in the cooler months (read: 65 degrees because this is Florida we're talking about), add some Uggs. Boom. Style.
2. Workout Gear
Because it makes you look like you're going to work out (you aren't) and is easier to throw together than an actual outfit. It's like when you see Kardashian street style photos of them in all-black workout gear and dainty, gold jewelry and they still somehow look cool. Because they're working out, right? Or are they?
3. Jack Rogers
They're just sandals, really. But a lot of girls at UF love them. Are all these girls sorority girls? Ok, ALL? No. But let's be honest with ourselves, those sandals are a southern sorority staple. So if you're looking to blend into that particular UF style sector, grab yourself some of these sandals and something with pink-and-green palm trees on it, go to a woodser and have yourself some fun. People sometimes give girls (and guys) involved in Greek life an unfairly hard time for "paying for their friends," but what if they've got it all wrong here? Maybe what you're really paying for is the permission to wear Jack Rogers. Just a thought.
4. Athlete Backpack
As I'm sure might be the case with most other big universities, UF's athletes carry around these backpacks that have little tags that hang off on them, which say the sport and number of the athlete. I mean, spotting the football and basketball players isn't really that hard to begin with (they are massive, looming figures that travel around groups — like a very athletic gang), but do we really need for them to have special backpacks with identifying tags? I don't think so.
5. Regularly Cute Outfit Entirely In Orange and Blue Color Scheme
Football game days. It's usually 90+ degrees outside, the majority of the crowd is intoxicated on some level and you are absolutely going to be sweating more than you ever have before. Does that stop most girls from wearing perfectly coordinated outfits all in orange, white, and blue? Absolutely not. There is even an orange and blue section in the local Forever 21 during football season. It seems like a lot of work, but at the time it just makes sense. I realize this isn't a picture of UF fans, but the same idea applies.
6. High-Waisted Shorts
They're everywhere. Everywhere. And for the love of God, I am sick of seeing so many strangers' butt cheeks. That's all I have to say.
7. Sorority T-Shirts
They're usually oversized, in pastel colors and, I have to admit, look extremely comfortable. Pair them with some Nike running shorts or leggings and you've got yourself a go-to look.
This is more of a guy thing (although I have seen floral varieties lately), but croakies are meant to keep your glasses from getting lost. I don't really understand why you can't just place them on your head, but oh well. People like them. You will not stand out with your pair of croakies. Don't worry.
9. Flip Flops
People simply do not care for regular shoes at UF. I can count on my hand the times I have seen girls wearing heels on campus (and it was usually that they were on their way to midtown aka the most disgusting — yet still somehow fun — series of bars you could imagine).
This look says, "Yeah, mom and dad, I know you pay a lot of money for me to have an excellent education so I can one day get a job and be successful, but it's 1 p.m., I just woke up, I'm hungover and I would rather just take things easy than actually put forth effort into looking presentable today."
11. Fleece Jacket And/Or Pullover
This may confuse you guys. Because, yes, it's hot as anything in Gainesville. Walking from class to class is something I would imagine no one would enjoy because you are dripping in sweat by the time you arrive anywhere (another point in the defense of the workout gear outfit), but everyone has a fleece jacket. First of all — the bus is pretty much, I would say, a standard 23-degrees at any point during the day, so fleece is necessary. Also, it's just preppy and cool and is more acceptable than a Snuggie. So why not?