For Madeline Alonzo, freshman in communications, starting off her college career with a good schedule wasn't as important as her sartorial agenda. Making sure she packed all her favorite cheetah-printed items, Alonzo was not going to let the stress of college affect her personal style.
"Just because I was moving to a new place and starting college doesn't mean I have to let go of my own personal style," Alonzo said.
Somewhere between classes, studying and socializing, college students still manage to put clothes on. However, how much students care about their wardrobe differs among students.
Mandy Oliver, sophomore in psychology and a transfer student from ETSU, said that since she transferred to UT, she's put more effort into dressing up.
"I like to dress comfortably and look nice," she said. "I like to wear tank tops and things like that because they're still comfortable but they still look nice."
Describing her style as a laid-back mix of girly and classic, Alonzo prefers to put forth effort in choosing what she wears on a daily basis, even on days when she has early classes.
"I think dressing up and presenting yourself nicely in classes is important, especially for first impressions at the start of the new semester," Alonzo said.
Oliver thinks that dressing up for class depends on everyone's specific schedules.
"Personally I think that unless you are in a classroom where you are with a certain professor that has to do with your major or you're trying to get certain credentials with them and get a foundation with them, then look good for them. That is important," Oliver said.
"As far as going to more general classes, I don't think it's that important. Teachers know that you have more to do that day than just get up and try to look nice."
John McCain, junior in business, said he also dresses comfortably but does not follow trends.
"I usually wear something that in some way is in style, but I don't really care what other people do. I don't care so much for brand names."
Frederick Walker, junior in journalism and electronic media and creative director of the POSE club (People of Style and Education), creates fashion show themes, scouts vendors and designs the club's t-shirts. Walker said that at UT, many people dress alike.
"My take on style on campus is that I noticed that within the UT campus community, a lot of people have the same style," Walker said. "Everyone has the same style ideally."
McCain often wears Croakies eyewear retainers around his neck, but said it isn't necessarily a fashion statement. As a part of Tennessee sailing, he said wearing his sunglasses around his neck just makes getting dressed in the morning easier for him.
"I got a free pair for the team I'm on, and it's really a hassle to take them on and off."
James Dukes, freshman in nuclear engineering, said his campus style depends on his personal schedule and mood.
"My campus style is quite a bit more relaxed than my personal style," Dukes said. "Those days where you wake up late or just don't feel great make it kind of hard to make yourself spiffy."
McCain believes style at UT is limited.
"It is kind of more a trend that everyone follows. It's disappointing that there isn't much diversity within certain groups," McCain said.
Many boys on campus wear The North Face and Columbia brand clothing, Walker said.
"It's like copy, copy, paste," Walker said. "I don't see a lot of people explore different styles here, but that's the protocol the look guys go for."
Walker said that many girls on campus opt for wearing comfortable clothing rather than getting dressed up.
"If you're going to come to class you might as well wake up and put on a nice outfit," Walker said. "It kind of reminds me of coming to school in your pajamas. I would never approach a professor in my pajamas."
Walker said that many people save their nicer clothes for going out, and would rather dress comfortably and feel comfortable in class.
"I feel like that a lot of people think that class is informal so they just go and they want to be comfortable, and a lot of times they are tired and they don't want to work, so they want to be comfortable," Walker said. "But then when they're going out they want to hit the scene and look fun and look fashionable and cute, (and) they'll pull out their nicer clothes."
Walker is familiar with the diverse fashion styles in big cities and said there are so many different ways of dressing, but UT's campus style is fairly limited.
"We could do a lot better as a campus," Walker said. "I don't get inspired on this campus. I would love to, but I really don't."