Back in time with homecoming style

Anna Marquardt and Jessie Norwood

As a teenager in the ‘80’s, Lisa Neu, English teacher and South alum, was always infatuated with homecoming week. Although she found more pleasure in the events leading up to the dance, she recognized the importance that it held to many of her classmates.

Neu has seen the typical homecoming attire change over the years and believes that it has become a lot less formal. While she was in high school, Neu recalled all female students wearing some variant of the same puffy sleeved dress to the dance.

“There was no leeway; it was very [traditional ‘80s] in that way,” Neu said. “Today there’s so much more flexibility for people wanting to be [who] they want to be and wearing [what they want to wear].”

Senior Tania Faraj agrees that in today’s Homecoming culture, students are more likely to wear clothes that they like and disregard others’ opinions. She feels confident in her whimsical style, recognizing that feeling comfortable is more important than conforming to others’ expectations.

“I want to make [my fashion] my own rather than just buying a dress online that I wear for one day,” Faraj said. “When I look back at photos in a couple of years, I want to remember that I had a good time.”

English teacher Julie Schaefer, a South student in the early ‘90s, attended a homecoming filled with a very distinct style, different from the style described by Faraj. Schaefer recalled the dress code of the dance being very different from what it is now.

“[The] style was big hair, big sleeves, all of that,” Schaefer said. “ [Our attire was] formal; boys in suits, girls in dresses. Being in a floor length dress [was] very fancy.”

Michael Macfadden, Career and Technical Education teacher, also noted a change in style since his years as a South student. In an era of Abercrombie and Fitch, and “preppy” styles, Macfadden went to homecomings indicative of the late ‘90s.

“[It] was an era in which wearing two polo shirts was very popular,” MacFadden said. “Guys wore a lot of gel; spikey, frosted tips were pretty popular. [At the dance] clothes were a little baggier, [guys would wear] suits or slacks and a sport coat with a tie.”

In current homecoming fashion, junior Kai Ayush feels empowered to express his personal style at the dance. Instead of blending in with everyone else, Ayush refuses to shy away from pursuing any style he enjoys.

“People who are scared of what to wear need to try new things for themselves, especially for the guys who are still wearing the same things they did before but are seeing people change and want to change themselves,” Ayush said. “I say just do it.”

Jack Rogula contributed to this story