When you think of college life, you may think of partying, Greek life stereotypes, and crazy teenagers running around. Although some of these may be true, not all days are like that. Every college student, at one point in their college career, is going to be put in a situation where their future is on the line. Standing out and getting noticed by professors and potential employers is necessary. Some days you’ve got some adulting to do.
I remember when I had an important presentation in my fashion class where I had to dress up. I was mortified when looking through my closet. I found nothing that was appropriate. I had never been so embarrassed. I showed up to class wearing a nice shirt, black leggings, and heeled ankle boots. I didn’t realize until that moment that I had some “adulting” to do… and an excuse to go shopping! In reality, there is so much more to the college experience. For some, this is a wake-up call. Between job fairs, campus festivals, full, and part-time jobs, internships, and class presentations, there are so many professional settings. Each of these can be very important to a college student’s success.
Khakis are the perfect go-to professional dress pant. They match with any colored top and shoe, are comfortable to wear all day, and you can dress them up or down. I wore mine with an animal print button-down, a brown Coach tote, and my favorite Michael Kors wedges. It’s important to remember to keep the heel low. If the heel is going to be a bit high, like the brown ones I wore, make sure you are able to walk quickly and comfortably in them (and don’t forget backup band aids)!
Also, it would be a wise decision to invest in a sturdy, but stylish, tote bag. You can carry your laptop, planner, papers, and other important materials you might need during an internship or part-time job. I got my Coach tote for only $65 dollars from Style Encore. Tip: Find one that has long shoulder straps, so once it fills, it doesn’t bulk up under your arm. This outfit fits well, it won’t break the bank (as my mom would say), and it’s a major confidence booster.
A typical day might consist of rolling out of bed, spraying dry shampoo in your hair, and stopping by Starbucks on the way to class. Your outfit may consist of yoga pants and a hoodie, but the job fair is coming up and all the sudden you have to “look the part.” A quick and easy fix—a simple white button-down. It’s an absolute must-have that literally goes with everything. You can wear a classic black and white outfit like I did, or add a pop of color (I think a red lip would be super cute). I wore my white button-down with Calvin Klein dress pants, another cute pair of Michael Kors heels, a black Kate Spade tote bag, and my favorite gold chain necklace with pearls. Black and white never go out of style, it looks well on all shapes and sizes, and it allows you to experiment with texture. I love the way the patent material of my tote bag stood out from the material of my pants and blouse.
Being a college student is tough. You are in those awkward years where at school you have your own apartment and go grocery shopping by yourself, but then come home for Thanksgiving break and your mom still makes you sit at the kids’ table. College is all about self-realization, finding out who you are and who you want to be. Whether you’re presenting a research project in front of a class or trying to impress the creative director of your favorite clothing brand, it’s crucial that you stand out and be seen as a professional, responsible adult. You have to work hard to play hard. When it comes to “adulting,” you got this!
How do you “dress to impress” in a professional setting? Show us on social media by tagging @Cfashionista!