So they let you into college, eh? Or they let you back? Either way, it’s that time of year again when school is kicking off and you begin preparation for the terms ahead. Now, I understand your classes are tough and your wallet is thinner than ever, but for goodness sake, that sweatpants/worn-shirt combo has got to go! Why not make this year the year of change, the year where your fashion turns heads for the right reasons rather than the wrong. Heck, if you pull this off, you might even get a girlfriend out of it…but let’s start with baby steps. Without further ado, here’s a brief set of guidelines for dressing in college.
It’s not a fashion show, but it’s not a slumber party either
You’re in college, your future is bright, and you’re finally becoming the adult your parents have been pushing you to become for years. For many, this creates a fork in the road for style. One road tells them to dress in high-end clothes that are more fitting at a yacht club, while the other tells them to hold onto their high school days and wear beat-up pants and worn t-shirts. Obviously the correct path to take is neither of these roads, but rather a third path that blends these two ideas. You are going to want to dress like you care, but not like you care too much. (I know, it’s like dating advice with a fashion twist, but bear with me.) This means wear nicer clothes that are clean and fit you properly, but don’t fret over the finer details; you are in college after all. No one wants to see you in sweat pants every day, but then again, no one wants to feel like you’re out dressing them everyday either. Keep it clean, keep it simple. Following is a more specific guide to what to wear. Remember that these are guidelines and still need your own personal touch to fit your unique style.
A great set of shirts will include a variety of patterns, colors, and styles for you to choose from. Don’t stick with band shirts and hoodies; instead, get yourself some slim-fit shirts without any logos or graphics. These shirts are great for people on a low budget because they can be worn multiple times without losing their charm. Also, throw away your old flannel and upgrade to a more properly fitting one. Make sure it isn’t too baggy and that the shoulder’s fit as they should. Once the weather begins to chill, make sure you have a nice pull over sweater to wear. This will help you break up your endless hoodie cycle and will definitely stand out in the crowd.
Pants are an interesting topic when it comes to college fashion. No matter what people tell you, you’ll probably only wear a few pairs of pants each term. Now this doesn’t have to be a bad thing; rather, you should embrace it. Make sure you have at least three or four pairs of pants that you can cycle through in order to avoid repetition. As you wear these pants throughout the term, they will begin to fit you better and get that worn feel that looks great and keeps you comfortable through your lecture classes. When selecting pats, make sure they lean to the slimmer end of the spectrum and make sure you have varying styles. A couple pairs of jeans in different tones along with a pair of cords will be all you need to look fresh throughout the term.
Once the winter rolls around, you’re going to need a good coat. Since you most likely will be strapped for cash, you’ll want to get one, maybe two coats that can last you the whole season (and the next few hopefully). Since you won’t have the freedom to select between a wide selection of coats like you might with your shirts and pants, you are going to want to select a coat that can be worn with a variety of outfits. This means one without any crazy patterns or colors. You don’t have to stick with black, but a bright purple rain jacket won’t be able to fit into every situation. Second, know what type of weather your new city will be having. Protecting yourself from the elements is why you’re buying this jacket after all.
This is one of the most common issues I see on college campuses (and for anyone in their early 20s). They own what seems to be one pair of shoes, and will not part with them until they have been thoroughly worn (and had a proper burial). Now, I’m not suggesting you break the bank on 20 pairs of shoes, but do have a few pairs on hand. This will let you mix up your style a bit to match what you are wearing better, as well as prevent your shoes from completely breaking down on you. Make sure to select shoes with different styles/colors (unless you prefer one color of shoe).
And one final piece of advice…
Look at what expensive fashion brands tell you to wear, and then buy their cheaper counter parts. You can’t go wrong with what male fashion magazines are saying is hot each season, but anything you find in those magazines can be found at a less expensive store.