Surviving the semester fashionably and comfortably

Victoria McCoy in a neutral vintage dress. She put together a fully neutral monochromatic look with a matching pair of shoes and tote bag.
Victoria McCoy in a neutral vintage dress. She put together a fully neutral monochromatic look with a matching pair of shoes and tote bag.

As we’re finally past midterms, I think it’s safe to assume that what we are wearing to our 8 a.m. classes has become less of a priority than it was the first day of school. And I don’t know about you, but at this point in the semester, I will take whatever morale boost I can. 

For me, wearing a cute outfit can do just that. But, if I’m being completely honest, as we’ve gotten deeper into the semester, it’s become harder to put any sort of energy into perfectly color-coordinated or artistically styled outfits. To be completely honest, if I didn’t care so much about my professors’ and classmates’ opinions, I’d likely show up in pajamas.

Without any further ado, here are some quick outfit ideas that will keep you looking put together and take less than 10 minutes to actually throw on in the morning.

  1. All-black outfits. It’s the stereotypical fashion designer’s outfit for a reason. A well-done, all-black outfit will keep you looking sane no matter how little sleep you got the night before. For me, it looks like my Doc Martens, breezy black pants and a form-fitting, black long sleeve top. However, bonus points if you accessorize with bold colors and even more for sunglasses.
  2. Neutrals all the way through. I’m talking tan, olive green and any other sort of earth-tone, natural-looking color. They typically all pair quite well with one another. Other neutrals include, but are not limited to, dark brown, black, cream and off-white. Bonus points if someone says you look granola. 
  3. Monochromatic color. If you want to be a little bold without much effort, dressing entirely in one color will do the trick. Honestly, this is my favorite hack. You can do this with any color, whether it’s classic blue or pastel pink. You can be as loud or as subtle as you want, and you’re likely to look good either way. Bonus points for matching eyeliner.
  4. The outfit you wore the day before. Call me crazy, but recycled outfits sometimes are the best you can do. Maybe don’t put on sweaty gym clothes, but I think you’re safe to re-wear the outfit that you threw on your chair after class yesterday. It’s fine. No bonus points for this one. Maybe one bonus point for solidarity.

To make matters more complicated, fall weather means mornings that warrant sweaters and afternoons that don’t. The weather is temperamental and uncooperative, and it’s hard to decide whether or not we should be dressing for 60-degree sweater weather or 80-degree let’s-pretend-it’s-still-summer weather. 

Accordingly, here are a few hacks for your summer to fall transitional style that don’t necessarily require a wardrobe change in the middle of the day.

  1. Wear layers. They’re your best friend, whether it’s a button-down, a crewneck or a cardigan. Wear something that will keep you comfy for your 8 a.m. classes and that you can stuff in your bag by lunchtime. Also make sure to wear something lighter and matching underneath for as soon as it starts getting hot.
  2. Incorporate more skirts into your closet. I’m telling you right now that you will not look like a pilgrim if you wear a skirt past your knees. Not only are they totally in style, but they also are ridiculously comfortable in both warm and cooler weather.
  3. Wear lighter-weight, flowy fabrics. Fabrics like linen, rayon and silk are honestly perfect for fall. Typically, a long sleeve top in any of these fabrics provides enough coverage for comfort in cooler weather while being breathable enough to stand when it gets warmer throughout the day. 
  4. Suck it up. Sometimes the outfit is worth being slightly too cold or just a little too warm. Sometimes, just sucking it up and waiting it out until the weather is truly consistent is all we can do.

Your outfits don’t need to suffer along with your sleep schedule. Keep up the good work, and we’ll make it through to the end of this semester in style!

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