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Before I started my freshman year of college, I had some family members ask if there was any loungewear I wanted to wear for class. I supposed that a pair of joggers would be enough, but I was wondering what made them believe that was the preferred clothing option for all college students. There are quite a few students that look satisfied in their loungewear. But instead of investing in those sweatpants, I believe we look at another option: jeans. I have a feeling some people are already fuming in their Nike sweats or Adidas track pants, but hear me out. Jeans have more potential to be the college staple than what we give them credit for.  

Jeans don’t make you want to fall asleep in class… or the library 

It’s easy to become tired during a long lecture, and sweatpants will not help the situation. Personally, I do not own pajamas, and many people I know wear their athletic clothes to sleep. I am all for working in a comfortable outfit, but trying to focus in the same clothes I sleep in does not provide the right mindset to take notes, knock out assignments, study or cross off any additional items on a college student’s to-do list. As a student who learned entirely online last year, I loved wearing my sweatpants at the beginning of the semester. That said, I did not feel as motivated to get work done because it was as if every day was pajama day. Now that I am in college, sweatpants are still my go-to for when I need to relax, so why should I wear the same clothes I like to chill out in when I have business to take care of? 

Jeans are easier to dress up 

The best part about wearing jeans is that there are so many ways to style them. Some days I throw on my Vans, but if I want to change it up, I can wear my Doc Martens. If there is ever a time when I want to dress up, I can wear my white ankle boots. Of course, there is no one that will stop me or another student from wearing ankle boots with sweatpants, but I say we leave the casual shoes to the jeans. Another great aspect of jeans over sweatpants is belts. Belts can add a little spice to compliment any top, whether it is a t-shirt, sweater or sweatshirt, all of which are options that can be dressed up or down, depending on accessories. Sweatpants do not give off the same vibe as jeans with a sleek or stylish belt. Upon arriving to class, I have a few friends that compliment me on my outfits. Honestly, I do not wear anything special, but when I am the only person in class that has on jeans and a belt, paired with coordinating earrings, everyone believes I look, “Really nice.” It is an awesome feeling to have.  

Baggy jeans are the right level of comfortable  

Some college students may not like wearing jeans to class because of walking distances. However, if a pair of jeans is so uncomfortable that walking is difficult, then they’re probably not the correct style for the day. Dad jeans with a good pair of tennis shoes are the perfect match. The loose fit allows the wearer to have more comfort and be paired with a supportive walking shoe, adjusting the outfit to the day’s agenda, while still rocking a look. This style of baggy jeans is a great way for those wanting to transition from sweatpants. Mom jeans and straight-fit jeans are also moveable because they are slim, but not skin tight. Establishing a personal comfort level and calculating how far you need to travel for class can help decide which pair would be the right fit. Jeans serve to be both fashionable and functional. I have quite a few steep hills that I walk up to get to some of my lectures, and I would hate to be in skinny jeans on those days. I will never go back to them. But as far as other pairs, they really are helpful when looking nice on-the-go. Plus, high waisted jeans mean more pocket room, and who doesn’t love pockets that actually have a purpose?  

You will never roll out of bed wearing the same outfit you slept in 

On top of all the stressors of being a college student — from activities, working and keeping up with grades — there is another item on the to-do list that is not always a priority: taking care of yourself. I know that when I am overwhelmed with tasks to complete, the last thing on my mind is to worry about my appearance. How I look is not a task that concerns other people, but it does involve me acknowledging that I would feel more accomplished if I did not wear the same sweatpants that I slept in the night before. Throwing on a pair of jeans is the equivalent of celebrating a small, but important victory. This shows that I took a little time out of my day to focus on myself before I completed my to-do list. I encourage everyone to put on their jeans first thing in the morning and feel ready to conquer life.   

When I put on my jeans, I feel ready to kick it into high gear. Even if my hair is not perfect or if my mascara is smudged, my jeans make me feel accomplished. I changed out of my pajama pants and all of a sudden, I have a little more confidence than I did before. People who refuse to give up their sweatpants are still hard-working, no matter their outfit choice. I can also be confident when I wear sweatpants, but it doesn’t compare to how I feel when I slip on my cute denim pants. The next time my family asks what clothes I want for Christmas after completing my first college semester, my answer will be different than loungewear. I want jeans.  

Belle Yennie (they/them) is from Independence, Missouri. They are currently majoring in English at the University of Missouri - Kansas City. Belle was named Outstanding Mass Media Journalist in 2021 at Fort Osage High School. They enjoy writing about almost anything, but their favorite topics to cover include wellness and fashion. Living in the KC Metro has allowed Belle to go on mini adventures, such as browsing antique stores or trying out new restaurants.
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