WHAT TO WEAR: Casual Cool for Class

Recently, I was reflecting on my style when I was in high school. Each week I would plan out my outfits for each day, with every detail, down to the rings I was wearing. I rocked a dress or a skirt almost every single day, and the thought of wearing leggings was abhorrent to me. In the end, my obsessive detail to what I wore paid off in the form of a best-dressed superlative. However, I was fully shocked when I came to college and found that the accepted dress code on campus was almost the exact opposite of the one I had just spent four years following.

The morning of my first day of classes at the University of Georgia, I put on a skirt, shirt and sandals I had so carefully picked out the night before. I felt great, until I began to walk to class. All around me were girls in athletic shorts, tank tops and Nikes. The most formal outfit I saw was a slouchy T-shirt and denim shorts, and I immediately felt like the one person on the outs of an inside joke. It didn’t take me long after that to catch on to the casual dress code of students here.

While casual dressing bothered me at first, I now appreciate it, as it has given rise to the trend of athleisure. This Fashionista perfectly captures the trend, as she channels a Kardashian headed to the gym. She rocks a pair of black, cropped leggings with mesh panels in the back and pairs them with a gray knit sweatshirt. She finishes the look with white mesh Nike sneakers and a Nike baseball cap–perfect for hiding rainy day hair. This look is simple, comfortable and stylish all in one. It’s perfect for heading to class, running errands and even working out.

In order to step up my athleisure game, I’ve turned to lululemon for high quality athletic leggings that are still chic. If you want an edgier look, try some with mesh paneling. In the colder months, I tend to pair leggings with a sweatshirt and black sneakers. My one guideline for following this trend is to stick with two to three complementary colors an outfit, or else you’ll look less like a Fashionista and more like me on my first day of college classes.