Campus Gear – a Northwestern parent’s one stop shop to deck themselves out in merch that flexes on friends back home and a student’s opportunity to rep that Purple Pride!

Step inside the school merch store located on 1722 Sherman Ave. and your world transforms into an endless maze of purple memorabilia where dense clothing stacks swallow sound, walls seem to shift in a Star-Wars-trash-compactor-esque manner and the journey to becoming the ultimate wildcat begins.

Traverse through this perilous purple jungle, and you will discover some gems:

1. Pretty Patterned Purple Waistcoat

Photo by Kim Jao

So to start this list off strong, here is what I believe is the best of the best of what Campus Gear has to offer. This glaringly bright purple waistcoat is perfect for when you want to proudly represent your Wildcat identity but also have to attend a formal event. It’s the fashion equivalent of shouting “Go U Northwestern” with a loudspeaker inside a packed Sargent dining hall during lunchtime.

2. Optical Illusion Tank Top

Photo by Kim Jao

Don’t we all love a good optical illusion? This tank top reminds me of those secret-message Instagram posts where you have to tilt your phone away to be able to read the stretched out text – or the Ishihara color blind dot test. The paint splatter print also reminds me of the art I made on MS paint in the IT lab back in middle school.

3. Party Animal (but not a wildcat) Tailgate T-shirt

Photo by Kim Jao 

Correct me if “Northwestern Party Animals” is some student inside joke that I don’t know about, but if it isn’t, I find this concept really random and absolutely hilarious. Out of all the ideas someone could’ve had for a t-shirt, they chose partying parrots and iguanas – instead of our very own wildcat mascot.

Great to wear to a tailgate though! (if you’d like to sport parrots and iguanas instead of Willie the Wildcat)

4. Invisible (camouflage) Hunting Hat and Flag!

Photo by Kim Jao
Photo by Kim Jao

This hat gives me Duck Dynasty vibes. If you ever want to go hunting and still want to represent Northwestern, this is the perfect hat for you! I can’t guarantee that people won’t think the top of your head is missing when you wear it, but at least the birds in the forest won’t see you.

Peep the flag form too!

5. Purple Hawaiian Swim Trunks

Photo by Kim Jao

Aloha! I found this really weird because I came to Northwestern thinking it would be winter 90% of the year, so the Hawaiian-print shorts made my brain malfunction. But, then I remembered that we are a beach school (correction: LAKE school), so these shorts make perfect sense!

6. 16th Century Medieval Tunic

Photo by Kim Jao 

An acid wash purple lace-up top?  I feeleth like Shrek would’ve worn this hadst he gone to Northwestern.

7. Workin’ Overalls

Photo by Kim Jao

I feel like these could actually be styled to look really good, but it screams the classic crook uniform stripes. On the plus side, the fact that these stripes are vertical means you’ll look really tall if you decide to wear this!

8. Ambiguous Mug

Photo by Kim Jao

I feel like all college merch has to be somewhat related to the school it represents – this mug could say literally anything else and no one would know what school it was talking about. Like it could've at least been purple, had an official NU font or even Willie the Wildcat on it.

I hope you’ve found my loot as impressive as I am proud of it. From the purple waistcoat to the Shrek shirt, there’s something here for everyone to most ridiculously represent our purple pride. I just can’t promise that you won’t get teased for it!