These essays are an exercise in the use of satire, hyperbole, and overstatement by developing writers.
They are intended to be humorous, not offensive. Read them closely; take them lightly.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Plaid Shirts

Andy Robertson

In some cultures and societies, getting to know someone can simply mean looking at the clothes they wear. At Cardinal Newman, the students love clothing and appearances. One popular item, besides Vans shoes, hooded sweatshirts and white shirts and ties, is plaid shirts. Because of the school’s dress code, students are required to wear collared shirts to school. Although this is a bit of a restriction, the students like to get creative and try to dress stylishly. The plaid shirt is a captivating mix between a dress shirt and a Scottish kilt is well liked for its coolness and awesomeness.

Plaid shirts, it seems, are the most popular shirts among students at Cardinal Newman. Plaid shirts used to be worn by the workingman, especially those working on a farm with a pair of denim overalls. Historically, they have been worn for their functionality and durability. This is not the case anymore. The main reason Cardinal Newman students prefer this style of shirt is, honestly, because they are “trendy”. The designers have taken a normal design that can be found on a pair of old pajama pants, and turned it into a brand new fashion sensation. They are for sale in stores across the board: American Eagle, Abercrombie and Fitch, and on the other end of the spectrum, Sears and T.J. Max.

To the untrained eye, it may seem that all of these shirts are the same except for the colors. Actually, this is far from the truth. Plaid shirts can vary in many ways: bright or dull, tight or baggy, long-sleeved versus short-sleeved. Each type of student can be associated with a general style. You’ll find the more conservative student wearing the smaller plaid pattern; the more casual student may don a looser fitting flannel style, while the trendier student will wear a tighter fitting designer shirt. Others will choose to wear a long-sleeved plaid shirt one day, and a short-sleeved one another day so as not to be monotonous. The photos above are a few examples of plaid shirts one might find at Cardinal Newman.

Regardless of the type of plaid shirt, it is also good to be aware that finding a really great plaid shirt in a store is considered to be a major event in a Cardinal Newman student’s life. For many students, it is valued as one of their most prized possessions. They will iron it and keep it clean so that they are able to wear as much as possible. You will never meet a Cardinal Newman student who owns just one plaid shirt. They will have a full arsenal of plaid shirts with a variety of colors and patterns. They also have plaid shirts that are designated as “undershirts”. These will be worn with a tasteful sweater to give the outfit a more formal look.

Because of Cardinal Newman students’ love for plaid shirts it is not hard to find something that they would like for their birthday. Therefore, if you are seeking friendship from a Cardinal Newman student, it is a good idea to wear a plaid shirt while around them. One might even be able to start a discussion with a Newman student by simply asking, “Got any plaid shirts?”


  1. Andy: Well written! I have several plaid shirts, BTW. Christmas gifts from Lands End, I believe.
    Mr. T.

  2. I dont know where this school is, but I stumbled upon this blog and am pretty surprised that you pulled up a pic off of slamxhype, and an obscure and great brand such as goodenough....makes me think you've got some sense while living in this seemingly eccentric school


Comments are encouraged. Each will be reviewed by Mr. Smith before posting. Any comments that are mean spirited or use inappropriate language toward the school or its students will not be posted. I especially welcome compliments, constructive criticism, questions, or general feedback on the essay.