Would it actually kill NTU students to dress better? And does NTU have implicit dress codes? Blogger Grace Chew finds out more.
The next time you think about coming to school in flip-flops and shorts, think again – what you wear can actually have far-reaching consequences that you might not have thought of.
Your dress sense can actually reflect personal and school identity, according to Dr Jung Younbo, a professor at the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information in Nanyang Technological University (NTU).
“Clothing can be part of nonverbal communication. You are showing part of yourself and your personal identity,” he said.
He added that different dressing styles might be related to the work that students do.
For example, business students may be dressed more formally when they are out on internships to meet clients, while engineering students may need to spend long hours at the laboratory, and therefore are dressed in jeans and T-shirts out of comfort.
Kenny Yong, a second-year Biology student, also agrees that practicality can influence such implicit dress codes in NTU.
He said: “No one would wear a pair of $500 Louis Vuitton shoes to the lab – you can’t afford to have toxic chemicals spilt all over your best outfit.”
In addition, hall students may tend to dress more casually out of convenience, noted Year 1 Psychology student Caitlin.
Casual dressing, however, may reflect poorly on your personal image, said Wilfred Lim, winner of the 2011 NTU Style (Nail That Unique Style) contest.
“I feel that wearing slippers to a lecture is too casual as you’re showing your toes. It feels like you’re not showing enough respect to your professors and classmates,” he said.
Similarly, fourth-year Economics student Gladys Ng also pointed out that students should have the basic self-courtesy to dress well.
“Some students come in FBT shorts, T-shirts and slippers. It’s as if they don’t give a damn about anyone else,” she said.
Thus, the former Dapper Editor from Nanyang Chronicle decided to start the NTU Style contest, so as to encourage students to dress well.
She attributes the casual dress culture in school to a possible judgment present.
“If I dress up, people will ask me if I am going clubbing.
“But it’s normal when you are in Singapore Management University as it’s so near to town. This contest was also started to tell people that they don’t have to be afraid of being judged,” she said.
So how should NTU students dress? NTU Style contestants offer some wardrobe advice.
“I am always dressing to my character – My dynamic character is like an explosive bomb that shocks people. I would not hesitate to rip my top and cut my sleeves. So be yourself, and wear something comfortable, be it just bra and undies.”
Alice Ng, Art, Design and Media Year 2
“Dress appropriately for the occasion. For example, I won’t go in T-Shirts and shorts to a wedding dinner. Also, being minimalist is a good style. I don’t wear accessories, I won’t try out flamboyant styles and I stick to safe combinations. ”
Wilfred Lim, Art, Design and Media Year 2
“Dress comfortably. While dressing well could have a good impact on your school reputation, some people dress well but don’t know anything. At the end of the day, it’s still substance over appearance. Avoid dressing up so fancifully, say, in 8-inch high heels. It’s bad for the spine.”
Kenny Yong, School of Biological Sciences Year 2
Watch the video to see what NTU students from various faculties really think, and what a Professor has to say about wearing slippers to school! NTU Dress Culture