Maybe your high school had uniforms or a strict dress code, but when you’re in college, you’re pretty much free to wear what you want—within reason. Campus life is when you can create your own identity, show off your trendy clothes, make a statement and look fashionable while doing it. But there are some tips for college fashion dos and don’ts to follow so you look good on campus, according to the fashion police.
“It really is important to show you care about the way you present yourself. It sends a message to those around you that you respect yourself, and you respect them as well. Plus, you will feel much more confident walking into class knowing that you are putting your best foot forward,” wrote Bridget from University of Wisconsin at Madison, in “3 ways college can make you impossibly lazy (and how to avoid this),” posted on College Fashion, January 13, 2013.
1. Pajama bottoms. This is tacky. Even if you’re late for class or studied all night, look like you put at least one minute of thought into your appearance and put on a skirt or pants. Demi Tzamaras is a University of Maryland at College Park student who writes the Celebrity Street Style column on CollegeFashion.net. In the post “Ask a Baltimore expert: Tips for college style essentials,” August 27, 2013 on the CBS Baltimore website, Demi explained: “Pulling an all-nighter is not an excuse to look like a total mess… Nowadays, there are many easy, comfy clothing options which can be thrown on with the same ease as pajamas, but which keep you looking stylish, even with a lack of sleep. Enter tapered sweat pants… they can be worn with t-shirts, sweaters and leather jackets.”
2. Leggings as pants. Leggings and yoga pants are for the gym, not for class or campus. They are too form fitting and show off every bulge and bump. If you’re intent on wearing them, for Pete’s sake don’t wear them with just a shirt. Leggings are acceptable as an accessory with a tunic or short dress over them. Add a vest and belt or a light jacket for hip ensembles.
3. Neon. It’s not the 1980s, so don’t dress like it. “We get it—we saw you coming from a mile away! Neon has its moments, and wearing it all the time is not one of them. Save sporty neon for when you’re actually being sporty so you can avoid being spotted all over campus,” advised Colleen Kratofil in “6 campus fashion trends to avoid,” on SheKnows.com posted August 4, 2013. All neon does is shout your location to the entire campus and hurt the eyes of your friends who have to look at
— and be seen with — you.
4. Berkenstocks. Sandals are too beatnik and only appropriate if you just came from Woodstock in 1969. Even if you’re going to school in Hawaii, Florida or Arizona, don’t wear sandals and definitely don’t wear them with socks.
5. Headbands. Headbands are getting a bad rap, especially after many college women tried to emulate Gossip Girl character Blair Waldorf. The trendier look is a turban or head wrap. They keep your head and ears warm in winter, are more fashionable and easier to pull off than a hat and keep your hair tied back. Embellish wraps with pearl detailing, bows, fabric flowers or rhinestones.
1. Boyfriend jeans. This trend has been gaining ground. Easy and comfortable to wear, these loose jeans can be dressed up or down. Add a belt to gather the volume at the waist.
2. Colorful sneakers. No matter the brand, high-tops or slip ons, sneakers with bright colors—orange, purple, green or a psychedelic combination of many colors—are a hit on campus. They scream comfort, youth and style.
3. Nail art. You don’t need to get an expensive manicure. With inexpensive nail art kits you can buy in a drugstore, you can create easy and dazzling art. Kits include bold colors, glitter, rhinestones, studs and designs.
What’s your fashion faux pas?