Prescription for Style
Kristine Elizabeth Ngai
November 28, 2011
Filed under Opinions&Reviews
Fashion has been dear to my heart for a very long time. It’s the epitome of style, expression, and individuality. How we portray ourselves is in large part the clothes we choose to wear. Coco Chanel believed that, “Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the streets, fashion has to do with the ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” From that, I believe that fashion can be found in the most unlikely of places, such as science. We tend to separate science from fashion because there is no clear relation between them. However, integrating style into the field of science, especially in the health care industry, can humanize health care workers and make them appear less intimidating.
My first few weeks at ACPHS were a bit different from the life I was so accustomed to in the city. Appearance, presentation, and style have always been essential to many working New Yorkers, and almost borderline art to many. Fashion at ACPHS was casual and comfortable, which was surprising to me because it’s known as a professional school.
However, like any normal college or university, hoodies, sweatpants, and sweatshirts are the go-to pieces of clothing that many college students have in their closets. On days when students attend their lectures, casual wear can be considered jeans, hoodies, and a simple t-shirt. Harryson, a fifth year PharmD student, enjoys his laid back look and asserts that “anything from jeans and a button up to sweatpants and a hoodie are fine by me for class.” For those who want to stray from the hoodies and sweatpants, girls can opt for simple cotton cardigans and boys can choose to wear sweaters instead of sweatshirts.
While many enjoy their fair share of comfortable clothes, ACPHS students believe that presenting yourself in a professional way is an essential component to success here. Sydney, a first year PharmD student, believes that “your appearance is important when you’re in the public eye, such as when you are working in the pharmacy. People want to look up to pharmacists as symbols of good health.” Being professional and looking professional helps patients understand how much care and confidence you have in yourself. This builds a trusting relationship between you as a health care provider, and your patient. “You wouldn’t take a pharmacist dressed in jeans and a t-shirt very seriously now, would you?” as Harryson points out.
The pharmacy program at ACPHS prepares students for what’s to come in the real pharmacy environment. When you excel into the upper years of the PharmD program, lab classes require students to dress professionally. Qu explains, “During lab, I would dress professionally with dress pants or a skirt with a nice top, that’s not too revealing of course.” Wearing professional clothes doesn’t have to be as boring as some may conceive it to be. Instead of the gym clothes that one would routinely wear to classes, choose clothes that are classic, sophisticated and clean fit. Girls should choose pieces that aren’t too revealing and/or tight with a minimal amount of accessories such as earrings, bracelets and necklaces. Options for guys include basic one colored button-up shirts and classic/clean cut pants that fit their body type.
Some stores that provide these classic and chic looks are Banana Republic, J Crew, and Gap. These places cater to working men and women, and I love the way they provide a classic structure and fit to their clothes in a modern way. J Crew is extremely popular for their blazers and dress shirts. While they may be on the pricey end of the spectrum, one piece can last forever.
Finding clothes can include trial and error, but college is a great time to discover and grow in personal and stylistic manners. We become more of a three dimensional character through the interests and styles we develop and nurture. As we become more three dimensional, we may start to believe that “dressing is a way of life,” as Yves Saint Laurent said. Dressing becomes the ideas we embody and who we are as individuals in sophisticated and professional ways. These are essential skills many students will develop while studying at Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Science, and these skills may be what make the PharmD students unique.