Monday, April 18, 2011

College Edition: Nike Running Shorts

I quickly realized upon my arrival at college almost four years ago that two-toned Nike shorts were an essential part of the typical co-ed’s uniform. These shorts are not only trendy at my school, but throughout campuses across the US. I have to admit, I am partial to the shorts myself and own several pairs, but it is baffling how many of these shorts—in their vast combination of colors—I see on a daily basis whether it’s at the gym, the grocery store or in class. I’ve also discovered that others are also amazed by the sheer number of women wearing these shorts and apparently this epidemic is even more severe at large state schools in the south.

So I’ve attempted to dissect exactly what made these shorts a ubiquitous trend among college girls:

1. They’re gym shorts. This is essential to their popularity. College girls like to look like they work out all the time, which is why gym clothing can be seen throughout campus. It is difficult to determine which came first, the fact that college girls work out a lot and therefore invest in fashionable gym wear, or whether the presumption that college women should be fit and active precipitated the desire to appear active and fit and thus wear gym clothing to any and every occasion.

2. They’re extremely comfortable. This is, of course, related to the fact that they’re shorts intended for exercise, but comfort is another key quality for any item desiring become a college favorite (i.e. Uggs, sweatpants, leggings etc.). College life demands comfortable yet stylish clothing for late nights in the library, hanging out in the dorm and for being able to walk out the door five minutes after alarm to make your 8:30 am class.

3. They are also sold customized for different universities. There’s nothing that excites me more than an attractive item of clothing that has my school’s name on it and I can only imagine other college females feel this way. It seemed that Nike also picked up on this as a way to further boost popularity of their shorts among collegiates.

 4. They come in a variety of color combinations and often involve bright colors. Neon is a huge trend among college students these days, whether it takes form in a frat tank, spandex from American Apparel or nail polish. Once Nike’s tempo shorts became popular among the college set, they began to expand the line and appropriately added bright green, pink, yellows and oranges in unexpected combinations to further appeal to this market. Nike also also puts out limited edition prints and has a Livestrong line of tempo shorts which have yellow piping on the side.