Going away to college presents students with the opportunity to redefine themselves and to solidify who they are, and fashion is an essential element of that definition.
As a student there’s a lot to deal with classes and assorted schoolwork, jobs, a social life, resume-building activities; it can be a lot to juggle. But one way to ensure that your wardrobe doesn’t struggle as much as your grades is to make sure you have a few key items and then build from there.
Allison Rindels, a 20-year-old junior political science and news-editorial major, said she thinks a good jacket is a fashion essential all CU students should have.
“I think a nice jacket [is essential],” Rindels said. “One that is warm and practical for different types of weather, yet still stylish.”
Invest in a good coat – one that’s comfy, warm and ideally not a trend piece but something that will remain stylish throughout a few seasons. The sequin trend won’t be here next winter, so it’s not a good plan to buy a giant sequin down coat as it’s going to cost you a chunk of change that you’ll want back next season.
Next in line: you want to make sure you’ve got a nice set of gloves or mittens as well as a hat and a scarf. You’re probably going to wear these most often with your good coat you’ve invested in, so make sure they complement each other! And unless you’ve got unlimited funds to get yourself multiples, it’s a good idea to get a hat, glove, scarf set in a neutral tone that will go with whatever outfit you happen to be wearing that day. Also, if you’re torn between gloves and mittens – consider some glittens – the best of both worlds!
Of course, no winter gear is complete without a cute, comfy pair of water-resistant boots (UGGS need not apply). The most important factor in your boots should be comfort and warmth, and it’s a good idea to get a pair that you can easily tuck jeans into.
Jeans are such an ordinary element of a wardrobe that they can be easy to overlook, and you may think, “Well I’ve already got jeans, so surely I’m good?” The answer is you’re probably not good. You should invest in at least two pairs of jeans which really fit you well (which unfortunately probably means trying on a whole lot of pairs at different places, as we all know jeans are not contoured adequately to body shapes).
These should be higher quality jeans – of probably at least two different styles (i.e. bootcut and skinny) of a darker wash, avoiding trendy modifications – keep them simple. These are jeans that you’ll want to last, and you should plan that you’re going to wear them frequently, so you want them to be a canvas that you add your fun, funky pieces to.
Comfort is Key
Another aspect of college life is knowing that sometimes, no matter how much you pride yourself on your style, all you’re going to want is to be comfortable. Whether it’s because you have a test that day, or because you just took three tests and the next day you just want comfort, it’s just something to be prepared for.
Ben McLain, a 21-year-old senior theatre and history major, said he thinks that comfy clothes are essential.
“Comfy party clothes are a requirement to surviving college,” McLain said.
So get yourself a pair of sweatpants that are comfy, pick up some T-shirts and sweaters that are simple, solid colors (which will also be great for layering!) and which are of really nice, soft fabric. You won’t look ready to rock the runway, but you will have met your own comfort needs and without wearing your PJs.
Game Day Gear
Although the football season is over, it doesn’t mean you’ll be done representing your team. And even if you’re not a sports fan, having some simple Buffs gear to rely on for if you do go to games, or on fashion-disaster days is a solid plan.
Brittney Kaiser, a 20-year-old junior operations management major, said that she just focuses her game-day fashion on CU T-shirts.
“A T-shirt that says CU on it, jeans, CU sweatshirt if it’s cold,” Kaiser said, is what she likes to wear on game days. “Anything that’s got CU stuff on it and is gold.”
If you’re intimidated by the idea of game day fashion – don’t be! It doesn’t have to be painting your face black and gold (although for the die-hard fans, that is always an option) but it may be picking up a cute black satin headband that you can wear with your standard gold “Go Buffs!” T-shirt. If you’re looking for slightly glitzed-up Buffs gear, try Victoria’s Secret.
Remember that moment of panic you had when you realized you’d set your alarm for an hour later than you intended? Part of college life is rushing out the door at the very last minute, whether it’s because you’ve been cramming last minute for a test or the alarm got set wrong. Whatever the reason, it’s good to have a few essentials that can help you deal with those days when you’re not going to have all the time in the world to primp.
Hats are an under-used lifesaver for when you don’t have time to tease out that awkward bump in your hair. Find a good hat that you like that’s in a neutral tone that can match with most of your casual outfits – think chic beanie. In a pinch a Buffs baseball cap can work wonders.
Alex Cullimore, a 19-year-old sophomore theatre major, said that hats are his quick fix for bad hair days.
“If I’m running late I just wear a knit cap,” Cullimore said. “I call it my shower-replacement cap.”
It’s also worth considering investing in some dry shampoo. It’s super quick and easy to use and can soak up some of the grease from unwashed hair. Another great investment is a Tide to Go Pen, because unfortunately spills are a part of life. If you have pets purchase a lint roller or two, and keep it sitting by your front door, so that you can give your outfit a quick roll-over before you head out the door.
Contact CU Independent Breaking News Editor Ellie Bean at Beanee@colorado.edu.