A College Girl’s Guide to: Back to School Fashion

After completing a full year of college, I’ve learned a thing or two about the college lifestyle. It was completely different than what I thought it was going to be (read here for the full story) aside from that, one thing I truly did enjoy was dressing up and getting cute, whether it was for class, a holiday, homecoming event, etc. Coming into college there are some clothing items you think you may not need but being that I just finished my first year, I know all the ins and outs.

When it comes to back-to-school fashion there are five aesthetics that every girl should have in her wardrobe this fall:

  • Business Casual
  • Street Style
  • Classic Casual Style
  • Elegant Style
  • Athleisure Style

01. Business Casual

This style is a must have in your closet simply because you are in college now which means you are branding yourself for your future career. There will be many events on campus that you will have to wear this attire to and not to mention perfect for the internship and full-time job interviews.

You definitely don’t wanna be scrambling to put something together or coming out of pocket extra money.

To make the look, pair a formal piece of clothing with a more relaxed piece of clothing. Anytime you want to look polished and professional for the career-building events, the business casual style is a must!

To achieve the style you can bring:

  • at least 2 formal blazers
  • at least two formal shirts or tank tops
  • a sweater
  • a pair of casual or formal pants
  • a professional skirt
  • a pair of cute hoops

02. Street Style

Street Style clothing might sound familiar to you. After all, it’s trending and all over social media right now! Street Style can look like something that you would just wear when you’re hanging out with friends or even going shopping, doesn’t necessarily have to be “street” if you know what I mean. It’s whatever comfortable for you. basically, your signature look.

To make the look, pair a tees or tank tops with baggy pants. Definitely use this look when you want to look well-styled, but also comfortable.

To achieve the style, you can bring:

  • at least two different tees and shirts
  • a comfortable hoodie or jacket,
  • at least two cute oversized shirts
  • at least two pairs of loose joggers and jeans/shorts
  • a baseball cap
  • a pair of shades

03. Classic Casual Fashion

Classic Casual Fashion is similar to Street Style, but more laidback. It helps create a sophisticated look, while also making it more functional for daily life, like when doing errands or going to class.

To make the look, you can use classic items like sneakers, jeans, and tees. The clothing style is composed of a lot of basic items that you definitely already have in your closet!

To achieve the style, you can bring:

  • at least one pair of boyfriend jeans
  • a pair of classic sneakers
  • a jeans jacket
  • a flannel shirt or jacket. 

04. Elegant/Party Girl Fashion

This style doesn’t necessarily mean red carpet ready; it can simply mean looking put-together. It’s all about a polished and composed look. I know it’s silly to think you need this type of style at college, but you never know what events your school may have or what kind of gatherings you may be invited to. It’s best to always stay prepared!

To make the look, use cute dresses and heels that you have from home or got at the mall. When you want to look super put together and regal for a gala, this is definitely a style to try!

To achieve the style, you can bring:

  • at least 2 (or more) dresses
  • a pair of slacks
  • a blazer
  • a nice pair of heels or boots
  • denim jeans/ skirt
  • any choice of top (depending on the occasion.)
  • jewelry (always a must have!)
  • a cute small purse

05. Athleisure Style

The Athleisure Style isn’t our typical old gym wear. It’s actually quite stylish, trendy, and most importantly comfortable! This style is essential for those days when you don’t feel like dressing up but still have a put-together look. Whether you consider yourself a fashionable person or not,

you’ll be thanking yourself for packing these items because trust me, some days are just not it!

To make this look, definitely consider pairing cute leggings with a tank top and even a cropped sweatshirt. This look is definitely a must if you want to be comfortable, and perhaps need to go workout right after class.

To achieve the style, you can bring:

  •  leggings (flare are my favorite, highly recommend them)
  • a pair of sneakers or crocs
  • chic sweatsuits (sweatpants/sweatshorts)
  • simple white or black top or tank top
  • jewelry
  • a tote bag or small purse.

College is such a fun time to try out different clothing aesthetics. You get to see what works best for you and find out who you are. Believe me, you won’t regret it!

Comment your favorite college clothing style below! 💋

Written by Manasa Kalluri, University of California, Berkeley

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