How to Make a Fashion Statement on a College Budget

By Alison Stanton

As a college student, you probably feel like you figuratively wear many different hats on any given day. There’s your “in class” hat, your “trying to impress the professor during my oral presentation” hat, the “hanging out in the dorms” hat, and, the ever-popular “heading to my first-ever real job interview” hat.

The trick is to create a stylish wardrobe versatile enough that you’re ready for all of these different situations, without spending a zillion dollars or needing a closet that rivals Ivana Trump’s. Fortunately, it’s more than possible to assemble a fashionable fall wardrobe that won’t require you to take out a massive loan. Here’s where to start.

fashionable girl

Heading to Class

Both guys and gals can’t go wrong with a basic combination of classic yet comfy jeans and a long-sleeved shirt or colorful sweater. Look to stores like The Gap for wearable, stylish apparel. For example, their zig-zag mockneck sweater for women is ideal for cold lecture halls but is still on trend and attractive. To accessorize your in-class look, carry a book bag instead of a tired old backpack. To make it to class on time, consider shoes that are comfortable to walk—or run—in.

Hanging out With Friends

When class is over and you’re back at the dorm or your apartment getting ready to study or hang out with friends, you are probably ready to slip into something a bit more comfortable. As College Fashion notes, one look that is fashionable and comfortable for women this fall is a patterned shift dress. Guys who want to still look stylish while relaxing can’t go wrong with a long-sleeved Henley-style shirt. Pair a thermal Henley in a fall color with jeans or even your favorite sweatpants.

Impressing the Professor (or Future Boss)

Fortunately, some outfits can do double duty—like what you wear when you are doing a class presentation that may make or break your grade, and when you are interviewing for an internship or job. In other words, you don’t need to spend twice the money for two sets of fancy clothes when one basic, classic outfit will do. For college gals, a popular style is the Chambray dress. To arrive at class or the interview prepared and with all of your needed tools, consider investing in a spacious handbag from Coach. The Edie Shoulder Bag, for example, has space for your tablet, books and/or notepads and looks professional. Plus, these well-made bags will last for years.

For guys heading to their first-ever job interview, a button-down shirt with a pair of tailored pants is an appropriate look; just be sure the shirt is freshly ironed. Depending on the weather, pair dark or black slacks with a button-down shirt and a nice sweater. Consider investing in a quality watch to show your future boss that you will be punctual. For instance, a Seiko men’s watch is a quality investment and sets you up for success for years to come.

Bio: Alison Stanton has been a freelance writer for the past 14 years. Based in the Phoenix, Arizona area, Alison enjoys writing about a wide variety of topics, but especially loves meeting interesting people and telling their stories. 


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