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The Big Question

Carter Cramer is a senior sociology major from Boston who writes a fashion column called "Hop Couture" for the Johns Hopkins News-Letter. He aspires to a career in fashion following graduation.
Photo by Sam Kittner

Q: Is Hopkins ripe for a fashion makeover?
A: "Hopkins is certainly ready for that. Our reputation as a school where fun goes to die — and where style follows suit — needs to change. What about dressing for success? I understand that we're dedicated students, but it doesn't take long to slip on jeans and a jacket.

"There are generally three Hopkins styles. The first I call Clueless, people who wear old-school Lands End and L.L. Bean clothes their parents bought them. The second group are the Pajama Kings and Queens, who actually make up half the school; they wear pajamas, sweatpants, athletic clothing — especially with the Hopkins logo — and sneakers or flip flops. Finally there are the Wannabes, individuals who may have designer jeans, stiletto heels, and designer handbags but don't really care about fashion. They're just label conscious.

"What Hopkins students do well is look and act the part of highly intelligent human beings. What they could do better is let go of the notion that since they go to Hopkins, they are exempt from having to care about appearance. If students spent a fraction of the time putting themselves together in the morning that they do studying, they would feel a lot better about their non-academic lives. Hopkins students complain endlessly about the lack of social activities; looking and feeling better is a step toward remedying the problem.

"Appearance also counts in the workplace — and in landing a job. I'm not saying students need to sport Gucci and read Vogue, but they should take care in choosing their attire and presenting themselves to the world. It's an important factor in representing our school. We have the brainpower, so why not perfect the smaller details? The effort will not go unnoticed."

Return to February 2007 Table of Contents

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