Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Friends Getting Ready 2
Friends Getting Ready 2
Anna Thetard / Her Campus
Style > Fashion

In Defense of the Going Out Uniform

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at UVA chapter.

Black crop top. Light blue shredded jeans. You know it. You’ve seen it every night of the weekend (and probably some during the week). You’ve likely worn it yourself, and resented your reflection for looking too basic. It’s easy, it’s comfortable, and your favorite black top will literally never look bad. Yet something about The Uniform inspires people to take pictures of strangers who wear it and mock them for thousands on Twitter to see. Why is that?

The idea that young women are not allowed to do anything without ridicule is by no means groundbreaking. Even measures taken for safety, such as traveling in groups at night, are with disdain and mockery. There is no logical reason for a crop top and jeans to inspire such a vitriolic response. I believe the reasoning lies in the desire for women to prove their individuality to onlookers.

When young women make choices, each and every one is influenced by far reaching social circumstances. The expectation is for us to make the most interesting choice. One that makes us distinct, and fascinating, while simultaneously never straying too far from the expectations a patriarchal society imposes on us. 

This is entirely unattainable. Any attempt to meet these expectations is met by responses that call your efforts too much, or too little, or disingenuous. So why even attempt to meet them? What is the point in endlessly pursuing a goal of wearing the most interesting outfit? To impress the internalized voice telling me that if I don’t I will have failed some sort of preordained social mission for the night? That voice tells me if I look basic, I will never be interesting enough for people to like me, but the voice has never once been right. 

I do not feel less happy when I wear The Uniform. I feel included on a large scale inside joke. You are wearing The Uniform! I love The Uniform! I always wear The Uniform! This is a defense of the black crop top and the shredded light wash denim. If you love them, do not let the voice in your head tell you to be more interesting. You are already interesting, and engaging, and an entirely unique human being. What you wear out on a Friday night has no bearing on that. It never will. 

Grace is from Arlington, Virginia. Growing up, she spent a lot of time in the National Gallery of Art's West Building, and she's now a creative writer. These might be related. Her favorite artists include Hozier, Briston Maroney, Samia, and Florence + the Machine.