Perceived as sentimental education keepsakes, the demand for university merchandise among the international student community is undoubtedly huge.
As a representation of where you studied, university hoodies act as a souvenir for your study abroad experience and are often viewed as a token of belonging.
On campus, these garments offer a cosy option for lecture and library attire, also protecting your precious ‘do through miserable rainy days.
So, what happens when you sport your university gear off campus?
When lounging around the airport as you get set for your travel adventure, is it cool to represent your university, even long after graduation?
Looking at her exclusive Coachella 2018 merchandise, Beyoncé certainly thinks so.
As Teen Vogue explains, her tees and tank tops where inspired by “historically black colleges and universities (HBCU) and Greek-letter organisations (BGLO).”
— BEYONCÉ LEGION (@Bey_Legion) April 15, 2018
By transforming classic university uniform-style pieces into fashion statements, higher education institutions gain the upper hand.
If you choose to wear your college hoodie on your summer or winter travel breaks, you’re providing the university with free marketing, showcasing their logo while showing other aspiring students that you enjoyed your study experience there.
Alternatively, it’s also a means of communicating your degree-level education out in public, or that you’re worldly-wise after leaping at the chance to study abroad.
I want a UCI hoodie or any university hoodie for that fact since I never got a real college experience
— @heyitsjheanel (@heyitsjheanel) August 7, 2018
Of course, that doesn’t mean everyone who wears a university hoodie actually attended the college printed on their clothing – but it’s still free marketing for the institution, nonetheless!
With so much interest looming over the latest uni merch, there’s also a strong sense of competition growing between the institutions themselves.
For instance, who will create the coolest hoodie design this year? Or who’s selling cotton-rich and eco-friendly clothing at an affordable rate?
Just remember, next time you’re choosing your next best study institution or feel inspired by someone’s university attire while on your travels, it’s not just what’s on the outside that counts – even if their hoodies are SUPER cool…