An honest review of UBC merch: The good, the bad, and the ugly

Sometimes school spirit machine forgets to innovate. File Victoria Lee

We love UBC. Going to an elite school, among the highest-ranked in the world, is of course something that we’d want to flex — especially with some good UBC-branded apparel. But for such a large school with such a massive operating budget, boy is the school merchandise lacklustre. There are not many viable options out there, and the apparel is generally broken up into three groups: The Good, The Bad and the Ugly.

The Good: The classic UBC sweater

Though arguably, this picture is the most confident anyone has ever looked in this sweater.
Though arguably, this picture is the most confident anyone has ever looked in this sweater. UBC Bookstore

First off, we have The Good. There’s not anything wrong with this one. In fact, it’s almost the opposite. The fact that it is the cream of the UBC merch crop is the reason why it’s the only sweater we buy. So what if you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a wave of students (or overconfident high-schoolers) walking by you, all with the same sweater, on your daily walks down Main Mall? There’s just something about looking like generic UBC clones that gives us all a weird sense of community. If you didn’t buy some variation of this overpriced sweater, with the chunky, embroidered UBC letters on it in your first year, are you really even a UBC student?

The Bad: The faded tee

I prefer to buy a nice thing that I'll ruin myself, thank you!
I prefer to buy a nice thing that I'll ruin myself, thank you! UBC Bookstore

Next up, we have The Bad. This shirt and others like it, with nothing but a faded design on a thin charcoal T-shirt, are a big no from me — there is a fine line between aesthetically minimalistic and downright plain and boring. Meant to provide a more edgy aesthetic, it just comes off as looking old and worn out, like a Walking Dead knockoff series (or the last few season of The Walking Dead). A nicer, bolder font paired with the actual colours of our school would have been a nice touch. Simply throwing a brand on pieces of clothing like this is not enough to save it.

The Ugly: The v-neck

This shirt has the fastest purchase-to-sleep-shirt turnaround on the market.
This shirt has the fastest purchase-to-sleep-shirt turnaround on the market. UBC Bookstore
The first is rough, but this one is a crime.
The first is rough, but this one is a crime. UBC Bookstore

Last, and least, we have the women's apparel in general. The designs speak for themselves. Like for goodness’ sake, why are there so many v-necks and dated designs? It’s like UBC is obsessed with slapping them onto every single piece of women’s clothing. Believe me, I love a good v-neck, but it’s just that there is a time and place for it. This is not one of them. It was one thing to put them on the T-shirts, but to do that on a hoodie, and make it a sleeveless, cropped v-neck is a clear violation. Students want something timeless, something that lasts, and that’ll never go out of style. These designs were out of style since the day they were put out.

Ultimately, fashion is subjective, and you can wear what you like. That being said, just be sure to really, truly, think about it, and make sure that you like it before you drop your next $60 on something with a UBC logo on it on a whim.