This I Believe

Zach - West Lafayette, Indiana
Entered on February 23, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe in sweatpants. I believe in the extreme comfort they offer as opposed to constricting jeans and classic khakis. I believe in the warmth they can bring while sitting inside your home on a cold day. I believe in the relief their elastic band brings after a massive home-cooked meal. To me, sweatpants symbolize being yourself and being content with your appearance and feelings, rather than worrying about how others believe you should look. Sweatpants show that no matter how you may be perceived due to your appearance, no matter how much pressure there is to “keep up” with the latest wallet-burning fashion, personal comfort should be the first concern.

Throughout high school, I was known as the sweatpants man. I wore jeans to school less than ten times during my final two years of high school. I took a little gruff and an occasional joke about my fashion, or lack thereof, but most people accepted my style. I never cared about my clothes, only being comfortable. Though high school is often an important time for many people to try to impress their peers, I wasn’t worried about impressing anyone. I had plenty of friends who never judged me based on my clothes, and those were exactly the kind of people I wanted surrounding me.

Some people say “You can tell a lot about someone by the way they dress,” but I wonder, is that really how you want to be judged? I know snap judgments are involuntary and first impressions are human nature, but who made it “the norm” to trudge around all day in uncomfortable jeans?

I realize there are many occasions where formal, or appropriate, dress is needed. I would be foolish to attend a job interview in sweatpants and a t-shirt. I also realize the high possibility that I will be required to dress nicely everyday for my career after college. However, until that day comes, I will use these numbered days I possess to dress down whenever I feel the need. The days where I don’t need to dress any certain way to impress any certain person.

Even if sweatpants are not your forte, my message is simply comfort. You should not have to feel the need to impress anyone in order to fit in. You will meet some of your best friends and form great relationships by simply being yourself. Everyone wants to be able to express themselves, so why not surround yourself with people who enjoy being with you, not someone you are pretending to be. This I believe.