Comfort vs. Confidence: Does Your Outfit Affect Your Grade?

For many students, classroom attire and testing attire are two separate things. Here (left to right), Tabitha Tiefenthaler, Paige Townsend and Kaely Fitterling write a listicle together in class. PHOTO BY MAUREEN TUTHILL


Whether or not we would like to admit it, finals week is quickly approaching for students. For some, this will be the eighth semester of finals, but for others it may only be the second. As we all begin the dreaded process of studying for finals, one thing that may slip the mind is what outfit to wear.


Mason Evers, ’19, had not heard of the “dress well, test well” concept and is causal with his outfit.

One beautiful afternoon, I set out to take pictures of students showing off an outfit that they would wear to take a final or important test. I wanted to investigate the claim that dressing well made students test better, also known as the “dress well, test well” concept. I asked many students, however most of them were not wearing an outfit that they deemed test appropriate. Many sent me pictures later that evening of their typical testing outfit.


Freshman Jace Christopher opted for a more casual look. PHOTO BY JOCELYNN KELLER

The first person to allow me to take a picture was sophomore Mason Evers, who had not heard of the idea of “dress well to test well.” His outfit was casual, but met the need of comfort for a student who has been awake long hours studying. Another student with similar preferences to Evers was freshman Jace Christopher.

They both wore a hat, t-shirt, shorts, and tennis shoes. After being asked why he chose the look he did, Christopher stated, “Why should I waste time looking nice for a final? My job is to perform well on the test. Worrying about what to wear will take away precious time I could be using to study.”


Junior Megan Edgar is ready for finals in a big t-shirt and shorts. PHOTO BY JORDAN ESRY

These two men were not the only ones to decide on the comfy look. Junior Megan Edgar did as well. Picking a t-shirt and Nike shorts, Edgar claimed she was ready for a final. Senior Kelli Albrecht also opted for a casual look, but with a twist. She wore a hat, fraternity shirt, and Birkenstocks for comfort, but added jeans to take her look up a notch.


Kelli Albrecht ,’17, chose a comfortable outfit to perform best on tests. PHOTO BY ALEX BAUER

“I would be wearing a hat because I probably would not have had time to shower the night before,” Albrecht explained. “Glasses because my eyes would be tired from looking at my laptop screen and staying up late, and could not handle contacts. Fraternity shirt because they are comfortable. Jeans to make my outfit look like I put a little thought and consideration into it. And last, Birks for comfort and style.”


Carson Pope, ’18, opts to “dress well” for his finals. PHOTO BY JOCELYNN KELLER

Some students showcased dressier outfits. Juniors Carson Pope and Sydney Franklin had to either change into an outfit that they would wear to test in, or find a picture of themselves in a more suitable option. Pope wore dress pants with a long sleeve button up and a nice belt and shoes.


Junior Sydney Franklin likes to dress up for finals to offset the test vibe. PHOTO BY MASON EVERS

Franklin changed into a dress with sandals and carried a large purse. “Getting dressed up is fun and tests aren’t, so I do it to offset the bad vibes a little,” Franklin said. “But dressing up gives me a little more confidence going into a test, too.”

It was made clear that not all of the students at Westminster had the same opinion on what to wear during finals weeks. While some of these outfits may align with the “dress well” portion of the philosophy, the “testing well” is up to the student to decide.

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