Starting college is daunting — you're living away from home, you might be in a new city or state, and then there's your major to decide on, so figuring out what to wear on your first day of college classes is an added stress you definitely do not need. The superficiality of high school is generally over (this is a university: academics matter, fashion trends do not), but college is a time to start fresh. You're leaving your familiar peer group behind and if you're longing to reinvent yourself, this is your chance. Plus, first impressions and all. You know the drill.
Having gone through undergrad and graduate school, I can tell you the stereotypes are true — people care a lot less what they look like in college, and yeah, wearing pajamas (or at the very least, yoga pants) is practically the unofficial uniform, but that doesn't mean making an effort is off limits. As always, you should dress for yourself, in whatever outfit reflects your personality and makes you comfortable, but in case you're all out of fresh ideas and need some inspiration before the semester begins, here's a few foolproof pieces to wear on your first day of class.
1. Chambray Shirt
Button up says professional, but the chambray texture makes it way more laid back and off-duty than a classic, white blouse.
Slim Boyshirt; $79.59; madewell.com
2. Skinny Jeans
Flared and high-waisted might be trendy and all, but when in doubt, just go for a classic silhouette. A darker wash is also more fall-appropriate.
Rag & Bone Skinny Jeans; $198; shopbop.com
3. A Denim Skirt
A '70s style mini makes a denim skirt a little more polished.
Moto Button Front A-Line Skirt; $52; topshop.com
4. Short Sleeved Blouse
It's covered up enough for class, but the sleeveless cut still lets you show off some skin. Pair it with a denim skirt, jeans, or some cropped black pants.
Short-sleeve Popover Shirt; $78; jcrew.com
5. A Bright Dress
Loose, simple, and comfortable, but the bright color still lets you make a statement.
Sleeveless Flounce Dress; $138; jcrew.com
6. A Denim Jacket
It gets cold in classrooms when the AC is blasting, so bringing a jacket is a must. Opt for denim to help edge up a feminine dress.
1969 Denim Jacket; $69.96; gap.com
7. A Vest
It's scholarly and stylish all at once.
Double-Breast Long Vest; $110; bananarepublic.com
8. Pixie Pant
Comfy like a legging, but way less pajama-esque.
Pixie Pant With Suede Panels; $298; jcrew.com
9. A Skort
Rock a feminine and flirty skirt without fear of exposed panties.
Drapey Twill Skort; $110; jcrew.com
The quintessential collegiate shoe.
Kate Spade Oxford; $278; nordstroms.com
11. A Fedora
Save yourself time getting ready. Cover your hair with a hat.
Felt Panana Fedora; $35.83; asos.com
Images: Asos; Nordstroms; Gap; J.Crew; Banana Republic; Shopbop; Pexels; Topshop; Madewell