1. Rock the claw clip
Recently, many people with long hair have traded in their scrunchies for plastic claw clips as a means of keeping their hair up and out of their face. While I was skeptical at first, it only took me one day of mimicking my friend’s style to realize how amazing this accessory is. The most popular way I have seen it used is by twisting your hair up the back of your head and securing it with the clip. Try this to avoid headaches and dents in your hair caused by hair ties.
2. Embrace your childhood
From rocking colorful barrette clips to wide-legged jeans, much of the trends we swore off in the 2000s have come back in full swing. Many people have sported DIY beaded bracelets and colorful bucket hats to class. This is especially helpful if you are on a budget, as many thrift stores will have items from this period and even retail locations such as Target have stocked up on this trend.
3. Go comfortable with the shoes
Going to school at the University means navigating lots of hills, a range of weather and a sprawling campus. If you are going to an important event, wear tennis shoes and change into your nicer shoes once you get to where you need to be. You would also be surprised how well a pair of Birkenstocks or Converse can go with any outfit. This will not only save you the pain in the long run, but can help you avoid dirtying up or even damaging your nice pair of loafers or heels.
4. Layer it up
If there is a spaghetti-strap dress that you wish you could wear past summer, try putting a turtle neck or a sweater underneath it to provide extra warmth. If you have a t-shirt you cut into a muscle tank or a crop top, then thrift a nice flannel and you can make it last for more than one season. You can even do this in the summer to keep cool while walking to class and keep warm in drafty lecture halls.
5. Learn to DIY
While not everyone has access to their grandmother’s sewing machine, you can still find a way to upcycle items you find at second-hand stores. From hand-sewing a new hem on pants to embroidering extra details, there are many things you can do to spice up your thrifting finds. While it may take less time to find fashionable items at discount online stores, this method is better for the environment and can save you money in the long haul.
6. Use social media to your advantage
If you always marvel at the outfits that others put together and feel like you don’t have the same “eye” when shopping, finding some inspiration online can help. Create a collection on Instagram or Pinterest of outfits you like and break down what elements you see, so you can keep an eye out the next time you shop. I personally found this helpful when trying to get professional clothes that fit my style — a big thanks to finding the Dark Academia style on Tumblr.
7. Pick versatile pieces
As a college student, there is a good chance you will need nicer outfits for internships, job interviews and all other sorts of events. If you find that you only have so much space in your closet, then it might be helpful to pick a pair of slacks or a sweater that can be dressed up or down depending on what you need. Versatile pieces can also be tops that can go with many different bottoms and vice-versa. Not picking one-outfit items can also reduce bulk in your closet.
8. Use statement jewelry
If you want to improve your looks while still wearing comfortable and practical clothes, try adding a bold necklace, snazzy watch or cute earrings. One popular trend sported by celebrities such as Harry Styles and Pharrell Williams, is to match a pearl necklace with any outfit — even casual ones. From putting it on with your favorite graphic t-shirt to adding a bit of flair to your going-out look, a pearl necklace or statement earrings can help you express yourself while still wearing what you usually do.
9. Always have an extra shirt with you
Out of all the items you can store in your backpack, an extra t-shirt is one of the most important. For days when you get caught in the rain or when it’s so hot that you sweat through your shirt, having an extra outfit can make you feel more comfortable. If you’ve already developed a discussion section or class crush, this tip also helps you stay comfortable on your way to class while looking good once you’re there.
10. Wear what makes you feel good
Many people struggle with fitting in and finding out who they are while at college and this can transfer to your clothing choices. While this might seem insignificant, what we wear can say something about who we are — our values, our hobbies and interests. You should never sacrifice your own personal comfort for what the current trends and beliefs are. When you really feel what you’re wearing, you can make almost any outfit work.