Does clothing choice matter during virtual class?

Pajamas or jeans for class today is a decision students have to make. Carissa Ortega/Courtesy

Saddleback College students and professors spoke their opinions regarding how important clothing choices were during online classes for the Fall 2020 semester.

Amidst the global pandemic, Saddleback College students are having to change their normal school routines for the 2020-2021 academic year.

Obviously, the way the college is going about school this year is different than before. Saddleback has made the majority of the classes go fully online for the fall semester and has announced that it will be continuing through the spring semester.

Before students log in to their Zoom sessions for class, there is a lot to think about. Students have to be aware of their appearance.

Appearance involves the importance of the individual’s clothing. Students and professors may pay attention to clothing when in a virtual class setting or it could be opposite. 

Maybe no one pays attention to what others choose to wear. Clothing choices in this new learning environment could possibly affect a student’s learning abilities.

“I am dressing differently than when class was in person before coronavirus,” said Emily Goettsch, a three-year Saddleback student. 

Since classes are not in person Goettsch said that she didn’t think she needed to dress nice if the camera could only see her shoulders and above.

That is if the student’s cameras are even turned on for class. Since some classes do not require their students to keep their cameras on, many choose to leave them turned off. If they don’t need to turn them on, then they can stay in their pajamas and lay in bed for class.

“I personally choose comfort over style when I am not feeling myself and teaching from my bed,” said Jonathan Luque, Saddleback mathematics professor. 

Some professors do pay attention to their student’s appearance. Luque had a controversial opinion about if clothing does affect a student’s learning ability. He compared clothing choice to comfort and how comfort does influence learning abilities.

“Students will learn better in their comfort zones,” Luque said. 

Bringing students out of their homes or their rooms can take them out of their comfort zone.

From a professor’s opinion, Luque said that his clothing choice also depends on what he is logging onto Zoom for. If he had a meeting with other faculty, he would put on a button up shirt, but if he was meeting with students, he would just throw on a t-shirt.

With virtual learning and classes, clothing could get distracting since students won’t be walking on a college campus with professionals in the industry.

“Clothing could get distracting as the students get more relaxed with this type of distance learning,” Luque said.

The importance of clothing for online class is debatable. Some have higher priorities and clothing is the last thing on their mind.

“There’s no need to pay attention to other people’s clothing,” said Ryan Dorta, a two-year Saddleback student, in a text. “Considering your screen is only on teacher/slides the whole time.”   

He does not think clothing choice is important and students shouldn’t pay attention to other students.

Virtual learning is a new way of education for many students, so the focus should be mainly on learning from the professor and not paying attention to others. That is how it should be in normal class settings as well.

He likes to pay attention to what he is wearing because he likes dressing nice in all settings. He is a student that carries himself in a professional matter with how he chooses to dress for class. 

As the 2020-2021 academic year is different from any other time in history, there was a lot to adjust to. Saddleback professors and students have had to re-learn how to progress in their academic successes, whether it be learning for students or teaching for professors.

This pandemic has changed many people’s perspectives on life and how to go out in public. Wearing a mask is now becoming a natural thing for most, but clothing choice is in the picture too. 

Not having to leave the house for school is a new idea that is also becoming a new normal thing. Clothing choice is a small factor to think about but can also affect a person’s success. 

Next time in virtual class, pay attention to other people and what they are wearing. There might be some interesting findings when focusing on the clothing choice the individual made.