Walking around campus with summer approaching, you will notice students wearing colorful, baggy T-shirts and sport shorts. This predominant fashion trend among female college students has been named “lampshading.”
According to Urbandictionary.com, “lampshading” is wearing an oversized T-shirt and short athletic shorts that are hidden by the shirt, which “gives the girl a silhouette similar to that of a lampshade.”
Some international students say “lampshading” is one of the biggest culture shocks to them when they first arrive at Troy.
“When I first saw the girls wearing very big T-shirts, honestly, my initial thought was: ‘Are they wearing pants inside?’” said Boburmirzo Isoqov, an exchange student from Jabbor Rasulov, Tajikistan.
Anna Sharp, a freshman nursing major from Huntsville, said she has always worn shorts and T-shirts, but started wearing larger T-shirts because she saw people wearing them in college.
“I think it’s very comfortable and easy to manage, especially when you have early classes and a busy schedule,”Sharp said.
According to Sharp, she enjoys “lampshading” and thinks it is a useful style in a casual setting.
“I think it is acceptable going to class or hanging out with friends, things like that,” she said. “But I think it is unacceptable in a business setting or in a meeting or working a job.”
Cassidy Counter, a senior economics major from Madison, said she has “lampshaded” a few times. She said although it was not the most fashionable look, its comfort was appealing to her.
“I thought it was silly at first, but then I tried it and felt free and comfy,” Counter said. “That’s when I became a lampshade convert.”
Counter said she was exposed to the style during her freshman year when she saw other students who “lampshaded.”
“If you want to lampshade around your grandma or professor, then more power to you,” Counter said. “But just know they may not take you seriously.”
Counter added that if she is going somewhere she wants to be seen as professional, she is more than likely not going to dress that way.
John Kline, a distinguished professor of leadership, said during his time at Troy, he has seen fashion trends becoming less formal and less appropriate on campus and in the classroom — he has seen more T-shirts and flip-flops than ever before.
“Female students about 10 years ago, wore longer shorts with casual, colorful shirts, rather than big T-shirts like now,” Kline said.
According to Kline, wearing shorts in the summer is perfectly understandable; however, female students should wear shorts with reasonable and tasteful length.
Nam Dang, a freshman computer science major from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, said he thought the trend was cute.
“Some tiny girls look very cute in those huge shirts,” Dang said.
Counter said people have the right to dress however they want, but there is a time and place for it.
“People have to do so knowing they are going to be perceived a certain way,” she said.