Club apparel shows school spirit and diversity in student interests

photo: Severine Stier

photo: Severine Stier

These days, club apparel is everywhere—from wristbands to T-shirts to heavy sweatshirts in the cooler months, clothing that supports student organizations can be seen throughout the hallways. Club apparel has become a popular phenomenon among members of the student body, acting as both a good way for clubs to raise money and a means to spread awareness about their causes.

T-shirts are convenient for clubs to sell as they can be bought in large quantities. For this reason, they are one of the more common examples of club apparel. “[T-shirts are] something you can … easily buy,” said Adam Inbar ’15, a co-founder of Save the Elephants Club. Customizable T-shirts are readily available online, and through sites like CustomInk.com and Zazzle.com, clubs are able to design their own logos and signature looks.

Aside from convenience, other clubs have different reasons for selling T-shirts as their choice apparel. Said Futsal Club co-leader Shannon Pawlak ’15, “It’s been a tradition for [Futsal Club to] do T-shirts. We always have funny sayings on the back.”

T-shirts, when containing witty sayings, can also attract supporters that would otherwise not be drawn to the club. “We hope people think [that they are] funny and will come to [Futsal Club],” described Pawlak. “We have a lot of people who wear the shirts but aren’t actually part of the club … It just gets awareness out.”

T-shirts sold by Save the Elephants Club not only increase knowledge of the club itself but also draw attention to the cause the club advocates. For Save the Elephants, it’s about promoting awareness of the world’s endangered elephant population. “It’s about getting the message out. [When] you see a huge elephant on the shirt, you automatically know what our cause is,” said Inbar.

“Clubs usually sell apparel to … help with the cost of having a club at Princeton High School,” said Chris Rosca ’16. “If apparel is nicely designed and kids generally like it, then I think it’s an effective way to [make money],” said Rosca.

Despite the benefits of the T-shirt sales, spending money that may produce profit is always a risky financial venture, as described Jennie Chen ’15. “[The success of apparel] depends on how intelligently people sell their shirts, because sometimes they sell them for a profit but [other times], it’s made at a loss,” said Chen. Nonetheless, the sale of apparel usually benefits clubs, she said.

The sale of clothing simultaneously allows students to see the variety of interests at PHS. A diverse amount of student activities and passions are able to be seen through just what the student body chooses to wear, both in and outside school. “I think it’s a great way for people walking around to see the different clubs and different organizations that our school promotes,” said Ellie Maltby ’15, co-leader of The 101: Fund.

Apparel also produces the same effect of emphasizing major ideas and creating a sense of unification. “When everyone can wear something that they all have, it’s unifying,” said Maltby. “The outward presentation of knowing that you’re part of a group, and letting everyone recognize it [is important],” said Maltby.

Overall, apparel lets others see what students are passionate about, whether it’s a sport, concept, or cause. “It’s [good for people to know] that we care about these things, and that we are willing to donate money towards the cause,” said Inbar.