Some trends — such as plush winter coats, blue jeans, polos, and button-down shirts — never go out of style. A photo from the 1997 Winona yearbook shows the Student Activities Board posing for a picture on the Quad in jeans and T‑shirts like students wear today.
But while certain styles have stood the test of time, others have faded fast. Since its founding in 1844, Hillsdale College has seen its share of fashion trends as well as faux pas.
In the 1970s, classic blue jeans evolved into bell-bottoms, like those on a student standing poolside at an intramural swimming event. Students walking around Hillsdale in the late ’80s wore stirrup pants, similar to modern-day joggers but with straps to wrap around the feet.
In the ’80s, Hillsdale women wore gym shoes with oversized anything (sweatshirts, shorts, hair). The men, however, opted for a preppy style: Polos, khakis, and boat shoes seem like a required uniform based on the 1987 yearbook. That’s one style that doesn’t seem to have lost its popularity over the years, though some eras sell more boat shoes than others.
“Students are a bit more preppy these days than in my time,” said Matthew Gaetano ’05, assistant professor of history.
But there have always been students who dress nicely to their classes, according to Assistant Director of the Dow Journalism Program Maria Servold ’10.
“There was this one guy who always wore a suit and top hat,” Servold said. “Yes, a top hat.”
Hillsdale women dress well, too. Every Monday, students in sororities wear pin attire, often in heels and dresses, for class.
“I think if students from any other university were to walk into Hillsdale’s campus on a Monday morning, they would be shocked,” sophomore Erin Johnston said. “A lot of students at Hillsdale want to present themselves well, even just by looking nice when going to class, which I think speaks a lot about our student body.”