WHAT TO WEAR: Midterms

March 8th, 2016 at 2:00am

Everyone knows the archetypal midterm uniform: an oversized T-shirt with reddish brown staining that can only be the consequence of either a coffee and pizza fueled all-nighter or a serious stab wound. This is almost always paired with sweats, under-eye circles and an expression of hopeless desperation.

Although this “can I just drop out of school already” look is completely understandable, a fresh change of clothing resulting in a polished ensemble gives off an aura of confidence, boosts your self-esteem and makes your peers gaze at you in a jealous-yet-aspirational sort of way. A concerted effort to look put together tells the world (and your professors) that you are ready and confident to ace any exam, even if you aren’t.

That being said, a concerted effort doesn’t mean pouring hours into your look that could be better spent studying. It’s all about keeping it simple. This SCAD student and Fashionisto knows that style doesn’t necessarily mean wearing the most ostentatious pieces. For his exams, he chose a two-toned palette: blues and blacks. His statement pieces, such as his blue True Religion blazer and multi-toned blue hair work well against a backdrop of simple black denim and cotton. He accessorized this with a multi-pendant necklace, reading glasses perfectly suited to his face and black Diesel oxfords.

There are a the multitude of ways this outfit could be re-appropriated for a different event.  After I finished photographin this Fashionisto, he said he felt cold and asked is he could change into his winter wear. He popped on a black-on-black patterned fedora and changed into a brown, Aztec-patterned overcoat with a fur collar trim. He then went the extra mile by pulling a pair of burnt-sienna oxfords out of his backpack to match with his Ralph Lauren coat! It was clear, that, after he had changed, the tired, clichéd advice of “never mix blacks and browns” is, and has always been, entirely false!

In just a few seconds, This Fashionisto effectively created a dramatically different look. The change in focal point is what helps to make this ensemble look so distinctive from its predecessor. When this fashion major wore his black-and blue outfit, the tints and tones of brilliant blue in his hair were the main attraction. When he changed, going out to face the cold, the fedora covered the hair and his preppy-bohemian style jacket is the new focus.

One Simple Change: As aptly done by this SCAD student, one does not need to change head-to-toe to look good after acing a midterm. One simply needs to slip into color-coordinating outerwear, such as a scarf or a jacket, to look as though you didn’t just spend two hours answering questions about the differences between the French classical landscape and works of Cezanne. The easiest way to change the feel of an outfit is to wear a trendy, yet basic first layer and embellish your look in different ways on top. This helps to change the focal point of your outfit and, in effect, change the entire look of your ensemble. Black is a great color to use as your base outfit as it goes with everything and is subtle. My suggestion is to have a few go-to looks that are comfortably classic that you can slip into whenever your mental energy is better spent elsewhere. When it comes to life, whether it’s choosing an outfit or studying for an exam, stick to the adage “Work smart, not hard.”