Still unpacking the nine million pairs of shoes you brought to college? Or maybe you’re just planning to ravage the Evanston boutiques. Whatever the case, I feel your ambition to be fashionable, even in college where life (tests, papers and other joys) can be more unforgiving than the catwalk.
College fashion rule #1 : No one cares
Seriously. No one cares what you wear in college. Well, most people don’t. It is more than fine to wear what you wore the day before as long as you don’t stink. What’s more, you can wear the same thing 50 times and no one would say a thing, if they even noticed. Unlike high school, college life offers a mix of your school and non-school lives – so plan on outfits that last from day to night. Trust me, you will have many days when you wake up literally 10 minutes before class and walk into your mandatory discussion in your SpongeBob pajamas.
Yet, don’t be disappointed if you are indeed this decade’s – no, this century’s fashionista. You are not alone in this depressing world of grunge college kids. You will find fellow students with whom to share the joy of looking awesome every day and the agony of having to get up two hours before class. If looking flawless is your thing, keep up the good work. Who knows, maybe you’ll be the next big thing in Northwestern’s student fashion magazines.
College fashion rule #2 : Be yourself
Once you enter college, fashion trends become a thing of the past. At a big school like Northwestern, there are no “mainstream people” or “mainstream fashion.” You are not going to be “cool” because you wear what other people wear and “not cool” because you don’t. So don’t be afraid to wear what you like even if it isn’t the most flattering thing for you.
Although there is a general hatred toward people who pop their collar at Northwestern, don’t be a wuss and suddenly fold it down just to fit in. Go get that extra large bottle of liquid starch! Whatever, collars are made to be popped.
College fashion rule #3 : Be realistic
You no longer have your baby (a.k.a your car) to drive around. From now on, no matter how bad the weather, you can only rely on your two strong legs. Maybe it’s time to put aside those three-inch stilettos and pull out a nice pair of tennis shoes. Once classes start, you’ll be hiking up and down campus every day. You don’t want to be that person everyone secretly wants to kill because you walk so slow on Sheridan.
Also, I admit it: low-rise jeans are flattering, comfortable and all that jazz. But those super low-rise jeans that show your coin slot are not class (or classy) material. Coin slots can only possibly be sexy under the influence of heavy illegal drugs. Don’t think you’ll get that cute guy’s attention by wearing pants that show off half your ass in class. Be a sweetie and put on some normal pants.
College fashion rule #4 : Save a nice top for the weekend
Rumor has it that college is the place to party. And, yes, you should reward yourself for suffering through the past 12 years to get into a good university. Those shirts that have no back, or no front, or just something your parents never want you to wear are perfect. Showing some skin in class won’t get you anywhere (sorry, oh skankier ones), but at parties they definitely will. Don’t worry about your not-so-perfect body. Let the beer goggles do the trick.
But do remember, many of your party shirts will end up having everlasting stains from jungle juice, beer and many other sketchy things you don’t want to think about. Unless it’s a made-in-China fake, give that Fendi clutch bag and D&G shirt a little rest on (frat) party nights.
Anyway, welcome to Northwestern, and I hope you didn’t skip out on the President’s Convocation. If you did, you just lost the most valuable fashion item you will ever own in the next four years: your class t-shirt!