Sweatshirts or Mini Skirts: How Fashion Changes Motivation

SJU students comment on whether they feel more academically motivated when dressed up for class or feel the same amount of motivation when wearing cozy leisure-wear.

Photo Courtesy / YouTube MGM

The typical college students depicted in popular culture nonchalantly roll out of bed and walk to class without doing so much as brushing their hair, and yet they still look fabulous. When walking into a St. John’s classroom, one sees a wide range of students wearing anything from pajama pants to floor-length dresses. But what does this actually have to do with class performance?

Students sometimes wonder whether a simple change in wardrobe can help them perform better academically. Most students said that dressing up for class each day does not do much when it comes to being motivated about their work.

“It’s not really about being dressed up as it is about being comfortable and confident in what I’m wearing. I feel confident in both pajamas and dressed up,” said student Shreya Ghosh. “Sometimes I’m most motivated in my pajamas,” said student Julia Cardinale. 

Other students disagree.“I feel as though when I’m dressed up, my confidence is boosted,” said student Naiyara Diez. “Therefore I can be more productive.”

Finding the time to pick out an outfit each day before class might improve motivation. College Raptor provides a list of reasons as to why students feel better about classes and the many benefits of looking presentable in the classroom. The article says professors take students more seriously when they are well-dressed. Students being in their pajamas makes them more likely to fall asleep in class or in the library, according to College Raptor.

Scientific American links business attire with higher levels of creativity, abstract thinking and better negotiation skills. A study by California State University showed that students who dressed professionally performed better on the test by half. It is important to note that 78 percent of the students surveyed identified as female.

Each student has their own way of presenting themselves in class. It all lies with the preferences of each individual student, and more likely than not, the times of classes. If a student has a class at 8 a.m. compared to 12 p.m., they might want to walk to the early morning class in their pajamas from the night before. When students take the time to prepare themselves for class, they might find better results.