Seniors get creative with Homecoming suits

Akshay Vadlamani | The Chronicle

Donning vibrant suits and stylish sunglasses, senior boys are stealing the spotlight at homecoming.

Homecoming (HoCo) is memorable for all students, however, for senior boys at Mason High School, their final fall dance has a welcome twist. For roughly the last five years, many seniors have opted to wear silly and flashy suits that represent their personality instead of more traditional dress suits.

Suits in the past have ranged from designs with Pac-Man and pineapples, to emerald-clad and rose-covered tuxedos. Some seniors embrace the silly patterns and wear theme-oriented suits, while others prefer to look classy with suit jackets and accessories that they would not usually wear to a dance, creating an extremely broad range of unique looking suits for the senior class.

Assistant Principal Brandon Rompies has been chaperoning homecoming for the last decade. He said that he does not remember a definitive start, but has witnessed the trend cement itself as a staple of senior HoCo. 

“That was never an established tradition,” Rompies said. “It’s interesting how these things take off. And I hear this from students that it’s a tradition, but it didn’t start until about four or five years ago. It was a group of boys that came together and did that. And then it’s kind of grown from that.”

Many of such suits are ready made and ordered off of websites like Amazon and Opposuits. However, some students prefer to create their own looks to express themselves. 

Senior Dominick Kisanga used the video game Grand Theft Auto V to help customize an outfit, mixing and matching pieces on his digital character to create the suit he will wear at homecoming. Kisanga said that he appreciates that senior homecoming gives him an opportunity to showcase his individuality. 

“It’s all inspiration of trying to be who you want to be [and] how you want to express yourself,” Kisanga said. 

Another popular senior tradition at MHS is wearing nostalgic or fun kiddy backpacks, allowing for students to make a fashion statement all year long. 

Kisanga was drawn to the homecoming tradition because he wanted to create a suit that perfectly represents him. Kisanga wanted to have a stylish end to his four years of HoCo, opting for a classy blue jacket, black shirt, and chain to show off his flair.

“You get to wear the backpack every single day,” Kisanga said. “The suit is a one time thing so when you show up, you have everybody’s eyes on you.”

Rompies supports the unofficial tradition as it gives students a chance to savor the moment and connect with their peers one last time. Appreciating the little things is something Rompies pushes for, as he believes that seniors should cherish their final year of school. 

“It brings them closer together in senior year,” Rompies said. “I remind seniors often that this year is going to go by very quickly. You want to look for those opportunities to connect with your friends. A goofy suit allows for them to do that.”

Seniors at MHS have also perpetuated the tradition by passing down their former suits to underclassmen. Senior Prathamesh Bhave is wearing a white checkered jacket covered in 1980’s style colorful three-dimensional shapes with a pink shirt and blue tie. The suit was given to him by his friend Prathik Iyengar, a 2023 MHS graduate. 

Bhave said that sharing the tradition allows students to focus on enjoying the high school experience with their friends, and is looking forward to passing down the suit to a friend after he graduates.

“It helps relationships because it’s such a competitive environment at the school,” Bhave said. “[It reminds you] high school should be a fun experience, and you can connect with your peers. Bestowing traditions is pretty important because you keep the tradition alive.”

Throughout high school, mens homecoming outfits are fairly standard across the board, most commonly wearing traditional dress shirts and ties and few accessories. On the contrary, girls are usually dressed up in unique and colorful dresses. Senior Jacob Evans appreciates that senior homecoming gives the boys a chance to show off their style and be in the spotlight compared to previous years.

“Boys through junior, sophomore, freshman year look very similar.” Evans said. “I think it’s awesome for the boys to have their opportunity to be able to express themselves [and] wear what they think is cool.”

Evans appreciates that the boys have a special tradition their senior year, and has noticed that it creates unity between the seniors of MHS as both boys and girls have special traditions. 

For senior homecoming, girls often wear black dresses and colored boas. Evans believes that the senior-specific traditions give students a chance to try something new with their last homecoming.

“I feel like overall with the tradition, the girls have been very appreciative of it,” Evans said. “There’s no sense of jealousy among the two among the groups. [The boys’ tradition] puts the cherry on top. It adds more fun to it. It gives us something different and just lets us be ourselves.”

Senior Luke Nicholls was inspired by seniors of the past to make his own memories through his suit, and hopes that future seniors will embrace it as well. Nicholls believes the silliness and fun of the tradition unites students, creating a more memorable night. 

“There’s not going to be another homecoming,” Nicholls said. “It’s all about having fun. It’s all about enjoying yourself, and caring less about what other people think and more about what you want to do.”