WHAT TO WEAR: Back to School

It’s that time of year again, the start of a brand new semester! No matter how much you might want to hit snooze on that alarm clock and roll to class in yoga pants and a messy bun, the first class is crucial to making a positive impression on your professor and classmates.

I am definitely in favor of expressing yourself through your clothing, but when you’re on display for people who might be writing your future recommendation letters some creative restraint could be necessary. The ideal classroom look should be polished but youthful. I recommend avoiding clothes with excessive tears or overly baggy clothing. Clean shoes, brushed hair and pressed clothes are all easy ways to make your look more professional without looking like you’re heading to an office.

This preppy look worn by this Fashionista shows casual effort; it is clear she anticipated the class and took the time to prepare but the outfit is still fun and personalized. The high-waisted pants are classic and not overly tight. They match well with a retro polka-dot shirt with a Peter Pan collar to give it a scholarly vibe. The cardigan adds color while tying the outfit together and a silver statement necklace gives it a fun “pop”. A polished pair of riding boots (like these Steve Maddens) is an excellent and widely used choice for a standard day of classes.

This Fashionista also sports a functional and colorful backpack, which is a must for a busy college student. Whether you choose a standard backpack or large tote, your bag should be big enough to hold a laptop and multiple books in addition to anything you might carry in a regular purse. She is also wearing simple makeup, ideal for a classroom situation. Makeup can be very fun to play with but clean eyebrows, concealer and a fun neutral eye shadow pallet are plenty to make you look awake for an early morning class or revitalize you for an afternoon one.

One Simple Change: Swap out the backpack for a glitzy clutch right after class, and you’re ready for brunch with friends, a first date or even a night at a bar. The outfit is cute, approachable and guaranteed to make you look and feel your best.