Although parts of the University of Georgia have remained the same, the student style reflects how drastically the university has changed. Each year brings a new student body with new ways of expressing themselves.
In the 1950s and 1960s, women rarely wore pants and had to abide by a dress code provided by the Women’s Student Government Association.
In a 1950-1951 edition of the dress code, UGA women were asked to wear skirts and coats when they left their residences. For “picnics, carriage rides, and other social functions that require costumes,” the clothes had to be approved by the house managers.
But over time, the more rebellious fashion choices have become popular with college students. Students swapped pants for blue jeans, and some women started wearing pants instead of skirts.
Sara Idacavage has a Ph. she is a student in the Department of Fabrics, Merchandising and Interior of the College of Family and Consumer Sciences and graduate research assistant for the Historical Collection of Clothing and Textiles.
“The fashion of the university age is always a little different [from] mainstream fashion because people in college are experimenting with new identities, “Idacavage said.” Many of these trends are actually initiated by college-age students.
Starting in the late 1960s and moving into the 1970s, the campus saw greater freedom of expression with popular styles like mini skirts, bell bottoms, and bold patterns.
But the clothing for most of the students was much more casual than these trends suggested. Warren Rary graduated from UGA in 1979 with a degree in public relations. He remembers the student life as simpler than it is today.
“I think the students … were probably a little poorer in our day. It was just jeans and t-shirts, and flannel shirts in the winter, ”Rary said.
But if anyone were to be seen dressed smartly on campus, they would likely be students involved in Greek life.
“Part of their talk was, ‘We don’t all wear khakis and an Oxford shirt,'” Rary said.
The 1980s are famous for great hairstyles, sweaters and sportswear like tracksuits, leg warmers and trainers. Many trends from the 1980s continued into the 1990s and continue to influence the style of the campus today.
Bernard Williams attended the UGA from 1990 to 1993. He was an offensive tackle for the Georgia Bulldogs and was drafted into the Philadelphia Eagles after graduating from college.
Williams remembers the popularity of denim when she attended UGA. Students wore tracksuits, trainers, and hip-hop brands like Cross Colors.
“It was more about my shoes than the rest of my dress,” Williams said. Nike sneakers and Timberland boots were in fashion during his time at UGA.
In the early 2000s, Ambre Reed remembers the popularity of leggings, sportswear, and sweatshirts. She attended UGA from 2005 to 2009 and graduated in financial planning. She also helped found UGA’s Black Alumni Affinity Group.
“I’m going to class, you [would wear] whatever Georgia shirt you rolled out of bed in and sweatpants, “Reed said. But fraternity and fraternity members could be seen dressing in suits or coordinating colors.
“A lot of people would wear big white t-shirts, baggy jeans [and] colorful silk shirts, ”Reed said.
From the woolen sweaters of the 1950s to the baggy jeans of the 1990s, campus life and student fashion have changed dramatically over the decades.
“College has always been a place where you can find out who you are, and a lot of people do it through fashion,” said Idacavage.