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College couture: How to dress cute for five days of class

By Libby Allnatt

After an entire month of wearing mostly sweatpants and old high school t-shirts (what up Christmas break), the idea of dressing up for class each day sounded mildly overwhelming.

But with an arsenal of new pieces thanks to the holidays, I was kind of excited to put together some new ensembles. I made the resolution to try and look as on-point as possible all week, no lazy-day clothes allowed! (But comfy stuff is welcome, obvi. Comfort is key when trekking around school.) Here are the five looks I put together (via Polyvore and in real life) for the week with items you may already have in your closet.

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Monday: That excited first-day-of-school feeling has followed me to college, and it always visits me on the first day of a new semester. Naturally, I wanted to break out my new coral scarf for my first day of class. The black jeggings and denim jacket kept it cold-weather appropriate (but this is Arizona, so by “cold,” I mean 60 degrees). The heeled ankle boots weren’t exactly the best choice, since Monday is one of my more extensive travel days, but I have no regrets (sorry, feet). I also broke out my rarely-used coral lipstick to go with the neck candy. Neutral basics + a pop of color = foolproof go-to outfit.

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Tuesday: On the second day of the week, I wanted to be a bit more comfortable (the stiff denim jacket and heeled boots the day before were cute, but not conducive to easy mobility). So I donned a new pair of printed legs in a dark color palette, a sheer black blouse, and nude flats. I often find it hard to make leggings look anything but casual, but I’m hoping that accessorizing with nice bracelets and buttoning my blouse all the way up to the neck (my secret trick for making button-ups look really polished) made the look a bit more dressed up.

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Wednesday: This day kicked off with a more professional obligation in the morning, then a full day of class afterward. Fashion magazines always tell you how to navigate that pesky day-to-night transition (remove your cardigan/add a statement necklace/swipe on some red lipstick and you’re ready for after-work drinks with the gals!). So this was my attempt at figuring out how to look professional in the morning and casual-cute the rest of the day (not to mention comfy) without having to change any actual clothing. Enter my black striped sweater and maroon skater skirt. I wore my nude ballet flats and a simple watch in the morning, then changed them out for sporty white Converse sneakers and a charm bracelet to make the look cuter for class. I also threw on a hair bow because why not.

Thursday: This is when things started to get tricky. Due to coming back from winter break and my unwillingness to do laundry this week, options were limited. I have skirts and dresses galore, but the previous day’s maroon skirt left my legs a’shiverin. So, I re-wore the black jeggings from Monday. (If this is gross to you, I’m sorry. I would love to live in your world where you apparently have new, clean, crisp things to wear every day of your life. We’ve all done it.) Anyway, I also opted for the denim jacket and the brown ankle boots again (After all, the repeating rules are more relaxed for outerwear and shoes.. right?). This time, I passed up Monday’s preppy look and tried to go more rock ‘n’ roll with a black tee and a neon statement necklace. I definitely felt pretty badass in the sleek look, and it made me want to adopt more monochromatic ensembles into my life (or a simple trademark look, like Steve Jobs’ black turtlenecks). So if you need to repeat some items during the week, have #NoShame and just rework the outfit with different accessories to create a new vibe.

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Friday: I rounded out the week with one of my favorite classic college looks – printed leggings, a simple tee, and a black cardigan. You can never go wrong with something bold (whether it’s a crazy print or a bright hue) paired with neutral basics. Add in my trusty ankle boots, a delicate necklace, and brown lipstick for some extra glam and it was time to call it a day… and a week.

So there you have it! Five days of chic can be difficult, but if you re-work some of your favorite pieces and aren’t afraid to try something new, then congrats! You’ve aced your crash course in campus fashion. (#SorryNotSorry for the cheesy academic jokes.) I’ll probably try the experiment again when the weather warms up a bit so I can break out my plethora of skater skirts and sundresses.

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