Belts, bags, bracelets and boots … what’s in your closet? School’s back and fall’s here. Worried about how to make a great first impression? Worried your books are going to eat up your entire budget? Well, fear not, fellow students. I’m here to tell you how to look great without breaking the bank.
“Class” can be a tough outfit to pick out. You’re tempted to wear that old T-shirt and those cotton shorts, but in the back of your mind you’re thinking, “What about that cute guy in the front row?” This year, be trendy, not tragic.
Being comfy for class doesn’t mean giving up style. For example, a pair of nice-fitting jeans and a simple top paired with a stylish set of earrings can be trendy and cheap. Places like Target and Forever 21 can be great places for fall shopping. I know what you are thinking: “Target?!” But trust me, I have gotten more complements on tops bought at Target for $12.99 than those that cost $49.99.
Everyone knows what it’s like to wake up after a long night of studying or partying and not want to move, let alone pick out a cute outfit. But instead of going to that old torn sweatshirt, pick a cute pair of jeans and a well-fitted top, like a polo or a fashion tee. Hair not looking so hot? There’s no shame in a clean baseball cap and a pair of earrings to top off the outfit. Even if you feeling like you want to die, you won’t look it.
Not enough money for a new fall wardrobe? Not to worry, new accessories can turn an old outfit new. Whenever I feel I have nothing to wear and see my bank account a little low, I’ll make a quick stop at Target for a new belt or bag or dash into Claire’s for a pair of earrings or new necklace. Fashion forward does not have to mean broke. Now let’s look at some fashion do’s and don’ts for this season.
Stay away from lighter shades of colors, such as the pastel family. Instead, turn to the richer shades of browns, corals and blues. Of course, black is always in, but can be hot while walking to class in the Florida sun. Red is also a hot color, and looks great when paired with black, white or both. Don’t be afraid to pair new colors – just keep the fall season in mind.
You can never go wrong with a great pair of jeans. For class or going out on the town, jeans can be a great asset in your wardrobe. Stay away from the big flare jeans; instead, pick a more straight-legged pair. Skinny jeans are all the rage in the fashion world, but be careful: On the wrong figure, they can be very unflattering. These trends aren’t for everyone, so be sure to dress for your body and your style. A trendy alternative to skinny jeans would be trouser-style jeans.
Capris can be one of those great classic pieces for your closet. They can be worn in summer with a cute tank, fall with a light jacket, and winter with knee-high boots. Jean capris are good for every season, especially in brown and black. Stay away from the light kaki and white, for fall and winter seasons and turn more toward the darker shades.
Skirts and dresses: Don’t put them away just yet. It might be time for those lightweight spring sundresses to take a break, but the darker shades can be worn with cardigans and jackets. A great jean skirt can also be worn on one of those casual days when it’s too hot for jeans, but you are too sleepy for frills. Pair it with a baseball hat and a chunky necklace for a little flair.
Big tops are in right now, but they are another trend that might not fit your shape quite right – though they can be great on those days when you want to be a bit more comfy. Tanks are also adaptable fashion for every season. Put them under a blazer or cardigan for a fabulous fall look.
We all love heels, ladies, but are they practical for class? Hey, if you can do it, more power to you, but there is no shame in a cute pair of flip-flops – after all, we are in Florida. If you must wear heels, a comfortable alternative is a wedge.
Close-toed or open, they are in right now, and can be great for everyday or nighttime wear. Try to keep the plastic sandals at the beach and choose a nice flat for class.
Last but not least, we have accessories. This category can range from bags to bracelets to headbands. Big bags are still in and are great for carrying your “school supplies.” Get one with a little color to add to a plain outfit. Necklaces can also spice up a dull outfit and, again, don’t be afraid to add some color. Also stay away from over-accessorizing. Gaudy earrings with a chunky necklace can be a tacky combo. Instead, pick one to be the focus and make the other more of an accent. Headbands are also a sizzling accessory; thank to L.C. of MTV’s The Hills. They can also add an accent to what might be a plain outfit and hold back those adorable side bangs on a hot day.
Guys, don’t think I forgot about you. Boot-cut denim, sleek or distressed, is a must-have for the average guy wardrobe. Dress them up with a button-down, hip with a graphic tee or preppy with a polo. They can be worn with shoes or sandals, and don’t be afraid to use color. The same guidelines apply for men and women when choosing fall colors. Graphic T-shirts can be found anywhere, and can be worn casual with nothing, or a little spiced up with a polo underneath. Pair them with a track jacket over or a long-sleeved shirt under for a sleek “going-to-class” look, or throw on a blazer for a more evening look.
I do have to give you some fashion faux pas that many make without realization. Be careful of changing trends. The low belt around the hip is out, while the big belt around the waist is in. It can still be worn over a big shirt, just move it up a notch. Also make sure you aren’t losing your individuality. The 80’s rocker style has come back for the moment, and while very hip, might not be for you. Also, I must address the issue of leggings. They are very trendy right now, but can look tacky on the wrong person. Worn with a dress and a great pair of pumps they can be cute, but again, they’re not for everyone. Fashion is about expressing your individuality. While some people might look cute, they look like a million other people walking around campus. Here’s a tip: When I see an outfit I like, I look at my closet and I think how I can make it work for me. The worst thing that can happen is that you walk into class or into a bar and see someone wearing the exact same thing. Accessories are a great way to express your individual style.
Need more tips? Vogue is a great magazine for style and ideas, but to find “the look for less,” check out Cosmopolitan and In Style. Don’t be afraid to dig for buried treasure in the sale bins at Express, Guess, and The Gap, and as I said, Target is great for outfits and access ories, as is Forever 21. Every store has a sale.
Remember, trends are just that: trends. What’s in today can be out tomorrow, so save the splurges for those classic must-have pieces, such as that black dress that turns heads. You can update something like that with jewelry, but the style never changes. Remember: No white after Labor Day. So go out there be fabulous!