Miami's campus on Monday mornings and Uptown on Saturday nights are starkly different environments. I guarantee students are having significantly less fun walking to their 8:30 a.m. classes than standing out on the patio at Brick.
But mainly, there's a huge difference in how people dress. On any night Uptown, you'll see guys in Hawaiian shirts and girls in crop tops take the sidewalks. En route to class in the morning, those same students can be spotted in baggy sweatpants and a loose-fitting hoodie.
What if it were a little less weird to go to the bars dressed like one might be for class?
The reasoning for the contrast between aesthetics is pretty clear - it's a matter of style versus convenience and comfort - but what about people who prefer a little of both?
I'm not saying that the Miami student body should start flocking to New Bar in t-shirts and basketball shorts. And I don't expect to walk into Armstrong anytime soon and see hordes of fashion-forward outfits in line for breakfast at Pulley.
Can we start a jeans-and-a-t-shirt trend Uptown? Because that would make things a lot easier for me. I've got more t-shirts than I know what to do with, and jeans are, in my opinion, the most versatile pant option out there.
I do have a solid collection of nicer clothes that I have no problem wearing when I go out. I've got button-down shirts, khakis, chinos and the like, but it's not the most comfortable option. And I'm typically a person that prefers to be comfortable. While I do like to look better than average when I go to class, the moment I'm home I've got sweatpants on, and I've probably changed shirts.
Case in point, I'm writing this while wearing sweatpants.
The other general issue I have with the concept of "going out clothes" versus "normal clothes" is the unfortunate reality that at any bar or party, your odds of your shoes getting puked on go way up than, say, walking around King Library in the afternoon.
I recently made the mistake of wearing white shoes Uptown without even realizing it. While luckily they were not puked on, I did wake up the next morning to the realization that one of those shoes had a solid collection of dirt streaks on it.
C'est la vie, I guess. There's no way around that one aside from stopping people from throwing up at the bars. And that's just unrealistic.
This is not by any means a call to anyone to dress more conservatively, because if you prefer to go out in tight clothing that's your prerogative, and I can't tell you otherwise.
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But as a socially anxious person, the spotlight effect - the psychological term for the phenomenon where we believe we're being noticed for our differences from others more strongly than we actually are - is definitely something I experience when I haven't consciously put together a cohesive outfit to walk around Uptown.
But maybe that's just me.
In all honesty, I don't go out enough to really try and force this opinion on anyone. I'm not severely affected by being on the lesser end of male fashion Uptown past 9 p.m. Worse things have happened to me than feeling underdressed at a bar.
I guess for now, though, for my own sanity, I'll stick to some nicer clothes and whatever pair of shoes I can afford to get vomit on next time I go out.