An unofficial dress code for students in Finland
During the academic year you may find a lot of students gathering together on streets and the reason why these student groups catch your eye is their colorful overalls.
What are the overalls?
Overalls is a suit which looks like a working uniform that builders and road workers use, it reflects light well and it is of a bright color. The overall’s color defines the faculty and overalls are not the working suit but it’s a student suit to wear on different student social events (like parties but not only, it can be festivals, various activities).
You can get overalls by paying a membership fee to the guild of your faculty. Usually it costs about 30-40 euro. Exchange students love overalls because this dress code tradition doesn’t exists anywhere but in Finland. And exchange students have special overalls issued by ESN organization.
Many students sew strange and humoristic badges on top of their overalls. Empty overalls are not recognized by communities. If you wear an empty suit it simply means you are yet socially inexperienced. Badges actually mean anything what you want to express with them.
There are many badges that you can get from companies at some recruiting events (and this is how your overalls become a place of advertisement apart from imprinted adds). Somehow it appears that the more badges you have the more it means that your social student life is rich. Usually when there is a party at the university the party’s organizers issue badges for overalls for 1 – 4 euros.
A full suite of an experienced student might look like it hasn’t been washed for years (I’ve heard that this is a tradition that students never wash them – but actually I doubt it) and the whole student outfit sometimes costs in total more than 200 euro.
My overalls are filled with wishes from friends and new acquaintances I’ve met during the year of Master’s studies in Finland. Apart from promotional badges I’ve got some cool ones too =)
Toogabileet is an annual party where everyone dresses in toga. The round badge “Kadettitoverikunta” is literally translated as “Brotherhood”. It is a student organization and educational unit in which one can study Bachelor program in military science (this badge I’ve got from students of the”brotherhood”). The beer can with fox is also a friend’s gift to me – pant 0,15 euro only represents the real price of a beer pant in Finland but not the price of the badge =) And yes, I was a student of 2013-2014 academic year!
And this cute badge is well-known Facebook’s Pusheen! It is here in a traditional Finnish students’ hat. “Pusuja & haleja” means “kisses & hugs” in Finnish.