It is no secret that the social scene at Swarthmore is different than most colleges and universities in the United States. There is less emphasis placed on going out, and because of that, less emphasis placed on what we wear when we go out. However, this can make it difficult to know what is best to wear for various social scenes on campus. Below, I have highlighted some key parties that Swatties attend during their time at Swarthmore, with tips on what to wear to each one.
Pub Nite: In my opinion, Pub Nite is one of the more casual party scenes at Swarthmore. For this event, I have seen anything from sweats or athletic gear, to skirts and dresses. My suggestion on what to wear for Pub Nite depends on what portion of the party you plan to go to. If you are an early Pub Nite goer, I think it is best to wear something that will keep you warmer, since the room is less crowded and the windows will be open. I would suggest jeans and a cute top. However, if you are going to Pub Nite just for the dancing at the end, it is notorious for being insanely hot. My suggestion to you would be to wear something that you do not mind getting sweaty in, and that will not make you too hot while you dance. I like to wear shorts and a flowy tank top or crop top. I think that Pub Nite is also a great environment for trying out quirky pieces in your wardrobe, and getting out of your comfort zone. Look for something in your closet that you perhaps purchased on a whim and have not had the right occasion to wear it. Pub Nite is your chance!
Fraternity Parties: For the nights when the houses are open but there is no specific theme to the party, it is tough to know what to wear. In my opinion, it has a very similar dress code to that of Pub Nite, in the sense that it is a more casual atmosphere, so you can wear anything that you could like. My standard suggestions are the same as Pub Nite, such as jeans and comfortable cute clothing, but I would also venture to say that you can dress up a bit more in these situations, so feel free to even wear a dress or skirt if you are feeling dressy!
Paces Party: Suggested attire for a Paces Party is similar to that of the dance portion of Pub Nite. You should wear something that will keep you cool as you dance the night away. However, they are less casual than the Pub Nite scene, so I think you can be dressier for these parties. Sometimes Paces Parties have themes, so it can be fun to tailor your attire to fit that, such as rave attire for Club Poon. However, for a standard Paces Party, jeans are always an easy go-to outfit, but do not be afraid to wear dance club attire. I love to wear cut out dresses and high-waisted skirts to these sorts of parties. Also, do not be afraid to wear sparkly or flashy accessories. They look awesome under flashing lights.
Theme Parties: As I mentioned above, it can be incredibly fun to tailor your attire to fit a theme party. However, I would encourage you to think outside of the box and really embrace the theme! Each party has a standard outfit which most people wear. An example of this would be a flannel and jean shorts for Hootenanny. However, theme parties are an excellent way to show off your creativity, so do not be afraid to try something bold! Goodwill is always a great place to pick up oddities for a theme party, but also consider getting something screen printed at the mall, or try to create a new piece out of something that you already have in your wardrobe.
Olde Club Shows: I love the vibe of the Olde Club shows. The live music gives these parties such a different feel than others on campus. Because of this, I tend to wear something outside of my standard scope for these shows. My outfit of choice for an Olde Club show is an all-black ensemble with boots, jeans, a lace top and a leather jacket. It just has something to do with the space. Olde Club has this cool mysterious vibe, and it makes me want to dress as if I am someone else for the night. Any party is a great opportunity to get dressed up in a different way and be someone else for the night, but in my opinion, Olde Club is the best place to do so.
There is something liberating about going to a school where we can be more casual with our weekend wear without fear of being judged. I love that I can go out in my marshmallow suit after a big game, and not have to worry about facing ridicule from my peers. However, I believe that this freedom has deterred us from actually getting dressed up when we have the opportunities to do so. My favorite fashion quote, which has greatly influenced my personal style, speaks to this issue. Oscar Wilde said, “You can never be overdressed or overeducated.” It is this idea that has given me the confidence to wear outfits that might stray from the Swarthmore dress code norm, which tends to be more casual. With that in mind, I would like to challenge you all to get out of your comfort zone and wear something bold or dressy to the next Swat party you attend. If your peers will not judge you for wearing sweat pants to a party, then they will not judge you for wearing heels, either. Let’s class it up a bit this weekend, Swat!