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The Knight Online

The ND Student: Out of Uniform

A look into ND students’ thoughts on uniforms and personal style

Being absolutely terrified of confrontation, I am a psycho about my uniform. I must meet the uniform requirements. Shirt? Acceptable polo of white, navy, or grey adorned with the Notre Dame logo. Pants? Approved black, grey, navy, or khaki trousers made of “uniform” material (and no cargo pockets!) Shorts? I don’t even consider them anymore for fear of meeting the wrath of the deans and their length requirements. 

But on the weekends, I go wild (at least in comparison with the ND Dress code). From old button-ups from probably dead grandfathers to thrifted shirts I cropped with nail scissors, I wouldn’t dream of wearing these pieces to school on a non-free dress day. 

Besides the occasional free dress day, students are usually confined to work pants/shorts and a polo (with a sweatshirt for colder weather). But I have to wonder, what does a student wear without these restrictions? 

Personally, I love to dress up. Clothes are my way of expression and one of the many things I can talk about for hours on end. Despite this love, I do have to say that I still like the uniforms. It can be stressful to keep up my style every day. Breaks are a must.

Everett Smith ‘25 takes a photo in the bathroom of Best Bet Pizzeria in Culver City because the bathroom is cute and their outfit is even better. (Everett Smith ’25)

But that’s just my opinion. What about other ND students?

Our first student interviewed is Victor Berg ‘24  (He/Him). Victor is a senior this year and is involved with many of the arts on campus, including being co-president of the Art Now club.

  • What is a clothing item in your closet you don’t think you could live without?

Victor Berg: I have these brown Carhartt painter’s pants that I thrifted about a year ago that I pretty much wear everywhere I go. They are really heavy and versatile and they look cool.

  • What is a go-to outfit of yours?

Victor Berg: My go-to outfit (especially in Fall/Winter) is a white shirt, my blue cardigan, Carhartt painter’s pants, and my Jordans.

  • Would you consider yourself someone who cares about fashion?

Victor Berg: I would say so, but I don’t have the craziest or coolest pieces in my closet. I like being able to wear everything in combination with everything, saving the environment type of stuff.

  •  Do you wish you had more creative control over what you wore to school?

Victor Berg: I wish we could wear cargo pants because they are really fun. They should bring back letting people wear solid color non-school brand hoodies and also skirts. But at the end of the day, we do go to a Catholic school with uniforms, so I’m happy we at least have as much freedom as we currently do.

Victor Berg ‘24 shows off an outfit he wore on a date but would wear anywhere. He believes in dressing well wherever he goes. (Victor Berg)

Charlotte Pernicone ‘24 (She/Her) is another senior at Notre Dame. She is mainly involved in theater having been in a multitude of productions like Mamma Mia last spring.

  • What is an item that is important in your closet?

Charlotte Pernicone: Something important in my closet would have to be my baby tee with the B-52s on it! It literally goes with everything I have and I know it’s something I can fall back on if I have no idea what to wear. 

  • What is a go-to outfit of yours?

Charlotte Perincone: A go-to outfit would be my light blue flare jeans with my Stan Smith sneakers and this blue tank-top/ tee shirt v-neck that has a sparkly white flower right in the center of the chest.

  • Would you consider yourself someone who cares about fashion?

Charlotte Perincone: I wouldn’t say that fashion is at the top of my list of what I consider important, but I would be lying if I said I don’t stress over what I wear for a solid hour and plan and outfit the day before I go somewhere just to change it at the last second.

  • Do you wish you had more creative control over what you wore to school?

Charlotte Perincone: I do wish we were maybe allowed to express ourselves a little more. Maybe a little more freedom with the brand of polos, allowing us to wear cargo shorts/jeans and allowing us to wear sweatshirts not administered by the school.

Charlotte Pernicone ‘24 poses for the camera in her room showing an outfit she would wear to go shopping with friends or a Friday night football game (if it fits the theme of course). (Charlotte Pernicone)

Caelum Goldstein ‘25 (They/Them), our last interviewee, is a junior here at Notre Dame. They are a proactive member of the ND community including being the president of the Bring Change to Mind club.

  •  What is an item that is important in your closet?

Caelum Goldstein: I have a light blazer-style jacket, and it’s green with leaves on it. It’s important to me because I feel like it resembles parts of my personality and I feel cool wearing it!

  • What is a go-to outfit of yours?

Caelum Goldstein: I love wearing wide-leg pants or baggy jeans with a cropped tank top and a fun button-up.

  • Would you consider yourself someone who cares about fashion?

Caelum Goldstein: I would consider myself someone who cares about fashion. It gives me a sense of self, and with many different styles, it feels freeing. Also since I’m non-binary, I love incorporating all kinds of clothes that make me feel confident with my identity!!

  • Do you wish you had more creative control over what you wore to school?

Caelum Goldstein: I do, especially coming from a school that uses uniforms, though it really doesn’t bother me much. Though I’d love to wear some cool items in my closet I can always add some accessories to make me feel more like me at school.

Caelum Goldstein ‘25 works in suspenders, docs, and a beret — a go-to outfit they would wear anywhere from going to a concert or going out. (Caelum Goldstein)

Clothing is a form of comfort, expression, and a way of doing whatever one pleases for many people. Despite having restrictions 5 out of 7 days of the week with what they wear, students have still found their style. Even with uniform controversies such as the Great Skirt Debate of 2022, students have still persevered. I assume we will always have some bitterness towards uniform decisions, but that is a given in a school of over 1,000 people discovering who they are in the late years of our childhood. It’s the nature of the beast we call the ND Dress Code.


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About the Contributor
Everett Smith
Everett Smith, Junior Editor
Everett Smith '25 is an active lover of all things food, art, and pop culture. They have the ability to give you a food and movie recommendation all while telling you an actor's dating history while simultaneously telling people to get out of celebrities' business. (Mizlala, Aftersun, and did you know Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds were married?! They know it all, even if it "isn't any of their business" … their words, not mine.) Get ready for news baby! By the way, Everett is a junior editor of the Knight Magazine and the Knight Online.