It’s the start of a fresh school year, which means you have the opportunity to get all pretty and/or handsome to make a strong impression on all the new people you’ll meet. Going to college means that you can wake up and throw on whatever wrinkled-up shirt is on top of your pile of clothes, but where’s the fun in that?
Here are some hints on how to stay stylish this fall. Feel free to add your own original twist to these suggestions – creativity is always fashionable.
1. Invest in some spirited threads
If you’re reading this publication, there’s a fairly decent chance you attend college, or more specifically, Eastern Michigan University. Maybe you were one of those people in high school who sat in the corner during pep assemblies and never uttered a crowd chant in your entire life, and that’s OK. But now you’re in college, and don’t you want to show off to the world that you’re smart enough to get there?
A collegiate hoodie is never a bad investment and looks great with nearly any casual outfit. You can pair one up with a pair of leggings for a sleek-yet-comfy ensemble perfect for class. For football games, you can wear it with your favorite pair of jeans to stay nice and warm. If you’re lounging around your dorm playing video games or watching TV, you can wear it with some cheer shorts, boxers or sweatpants.
If you’d rather not walk around with a big ol’ “EMU” on your chest, you can still slide by the spirit police during homecoming week. Get a cute green dress or dress shirt that wouldn’t look out of place at a semiformal party and look super classy while flaunting the school colors. As a bonus, you’ll also have something snazzy to wear to on St. Patrick’s Day.
2. Thrifting is key
If hipster fashion and that Macklemore song are any indication, thrift stores are the place to be.
Name brands and designer clothes are no longer required to make a statement. Instead, spending your hard-earned cash on the cheap and unique clothing items at your local thrift shop screams that you have the brains to save that money for more important things.
There is a trick to shopping at a thrift store, though. For one, always try on the clothes before you buy them. It’s not as big of a deal as it would be at a more expensive place, but no one likes wasting money on something that will sit in your closet for an eternity.
Be on the lookout for brands you would normally wear – remember, everything at a thrift store originated somewhere else. Also, don’t fret too much if something doesn’t fit you perfectly. Try to repurpose it into something else. Sewing skills can come in handy here, but even if you have the sewing abilities of a football, you can find ways to use the things you find. An awkwardly huge sweater can make an adorable winter dress with a belt to cinch the waist.
3. Find yourself
In high school, you have certain expectations of what you should wear, both from administration and your peers. “Skirts have to be fingertip-length,” “no obscene text,” “no sandals,” “no pajama pants” and whatever else your principals and teachers demanded dictated your wardrobe choices. Dress too much like everyone else and you’re a wannabe but dress too differently and you’re a freak.
The best part about college is the dissolution of those cliques and stereotypes that made high school a living hell for a lot of teenagers. Sure, you’ll have the Greeks and the artsy people and the so-called “geeks” but for the most part, the various subcultures get along fine.
Believe it or not, most people in college don’t care if you let your freak flag fly. In fact, you’re generally encouraged to showcase your originality and personality. No matter who you are or how out-of-place you felt in those forbidding locker-lined hallways, you will find people who appreciate your unique flair.
Think for a second about what you would wear if you’d never been under the influence of high school’s official and unofficial rules. What do you genuinely find aesthetically pleasing? What combinations of colors, styles and patterns makes the statement you want to send to your professors and classmates?
A lot of people argue that fashion is a trivial subject, but as humans, we are visual beings. What you choose to decorate your body with, intentionally or unintentionally, determines the way you’re seen by the world. Take some time to discover who you really are and find a style that lets people know what you’re all about.