A Social Commentary on Fashion in Rolla

By Leslie Hamilton, Features Writer 

Fashion is this really cool thing where people can express themselves with what they wear and how they style themselves. For the most part, media dictates this and sometimes we end up wearing some pretty ridiculous things as a result, like shoulder pads and long denim skirts. Now if you do not think that you have not done things to your personal appearance or style that you might be embarrassed about or regret, think long and hard because you are most definitely lying to yourself. If it helps, I know and can admit I am definitely guilty of all of the above on many offenses; I owned like 10 pairs of gauchos, wore clear-framed glasses and let my mom cut my bangs ridiculously short and wore them in a middle part, and had this huge crush on one of my mom’s employees that had flame tattoos up his calves and frosted tips – not to mention that this was all in elementary school. Admittedly, I still commit some fashion faux-pas like wearing tennis shoes with jeans (apparently this is not okay and is something I do not understand why) and I still wear Uggs, but the kicka** thing about Rolla is that no one really cares that much. Rolla is this weird, unique place where everyone just kind of accepts who they are and feels that they can embrace and express their true-selves – that and everyone is too preoccupied with trying to pass classes. While some people will take note if you are doing or wearing something really odd and unusual, but they will eventually write it off as “that is just Rolla for ya” and move on. After three years at S&T, I have seen my fair share of trends on this campus and I am here to offer my commentary on some of my favorite and least favorite trends.

  1. The Neckbeard: While I am personally a fan of the beard and facial hair in general, the neckbeard takes it a step too far with the borderline homeless-look for my personal preference. The neckbeard is mostly popular among mining engineering and computer science majors (apologies if I left out anyone else, it is nothing personal) and can be seen paired with steel-toed boots and a Carhartt or some game-related graphic tee depending on the major. From a Twitter poll that I conducted as research, this trend won the title as as the worst trend in Rolla.
  2. The “Delta Sig Haircut:” I do not know what inspired an entire fraternity to get that Macklemore-wanna-be haircut, but it happened and according to the Twitter poll is the second worst trend in Rolla, just 5% shy of being the worst trend. On a side note, this haircut is by far the easiest way to identify a S&T Delta Sig not wearing their greek letters.
  3. Matrix Inspired Clothing: I never thought I would see the day where I would have to wipe the crust off my sleep-deprived eyes and do a double take to make sure that I was not in the Matrix, but that day did come and nevertheless, it was a surprise. Despite my deep-rooted and irrational fear of Keanu Reeves, this has to be one of my favorite trends that I have ever seen. The only thing more majestic than seeing someone’s long, black, leather trench coat blowing in the wind, paired with an all black outfit and small sunglasses, is seeing the two students that wear cloaks/capes run to class – rumor has it, one of them either graduated or transferred.
  4. Honorable mentions: the groutfit, meggings with shorts (men’s leggings), cargos, steel-toed boots, long denim skirts, transition lenses, the greenfit, the blufit, Kappa Sig’s notably tighter pants and shorts, sideways hats, and crocs.