How Fashion Changes in College


burgundy pleather jacket, Francesca's jeans, leopard rain booties

When I started college in the fall, I had every intention of maintaining my rather fancy everyday style. My high school’s dress code was a loose “business casual,” and as a result, I became accustomed to dressing nice each day (and actually really enjoyed it—gasp!). I’ve now made it into my second semester of college and have yet to attend classes in my sweatpants…so I guess I’m still doing okay with my goal. What I didn’t expect were some unintended consequences of life on a college campus that have affected how I choose to get dressed each morning. Sure, there’s the stereotype of students looking like slobs and never changing out of their sweats or leggings. But below I outline some rather unexpected, never-mentioned changes that have me itching to revamp my closet. If only the “poor college student” were just a stereotype too…

double coats, layered coats, leopard rain bootiesLove Your Melon double-pom beanie, burgundy jacket

These Shoes Were Made for Walking…

I very quickly realized at the beginning of the year, after surviving a few blister-ful days of trekking around campus in heeled sandals, that about half of my shoe collection could no longer be worn on a regular basis. I have very tough feet and didn’t even complain (that much) about the massive blisters that plagued my toes and soles for weeks, but it even became too much for me after about a month and a half of refusing to give up my favorite pairs. Now, I find myself building outfits around the few shoes I own that are conducive to walking more than 10,000 steps (thanks, FitBit) across campus each day, which are mainly boots and my favorite Steve Madden quilted slip-ons. In today’s post, I’m sporting these fun leopard rain booties to survive the snow!

I’ve recently started wearing my slip-ons and then changing into flats or more stylish pairs once I get to class, but I’m not sure how much I enjoy that process. It’s only a matter of time before I forget to pack my cute shoes and end up having to wear sneakers with a nice dress…Needless to say, comfort has become much more of a priority for me when it comes to the shoe-department, and I’m constantly on the lookout for affordable yet cute sneakers/slip-ons/walking shoes. But please, at all costs, avoid looking like a tacky tourist with your bright tennis shoes and mid-calf socks.

winter outfit, black crossbody, jeans, burgundy pleather jacket, BB Dakota jacketLove Your Melon beanie, Ralph Lauren leopard rain boots

I Wear My Heart on My Sleeves

In high school, the most time I ever spent outside was the three minutes it took me to walk from the parking lot to the front door. This means I could get away with wearing a nice blouse and a light jacket alone—I rarely brought a real coat to school, and for that my mother was not happy with me. But in college? The game has changed—majorly. Now I spend probably at least an hour each day walking to and from classes, the cafeteria, and the gym. This was all fun and dandy in the fall when it was warm out, but now? It’s currently 5 degrees…No longer can I just wear a short-sleeve top and pleather jacket (do you like the new burgundy one I’m wearing??) and survive. Instead, I find myself reaching, day after day, for sweaters and long sleeve shirts. The problem is that I own very few blouses with long sleeves, and I’ve been mowing through sweaters like crazy. Now I know where my priorities lie when shopping.

Please enjoy a few pictures of me trying to be cool while rocking that double coat look. It’s so necessary in this weather.

Denver Fashion Blogger, college fashion, college fashionistaHarper's Jeans, Francesca's, Banana Republic, Love Your Melon, Cabi

Accessorize or Survive?

Another change I’ve noticed is that I wear significantly less jewelry. Being bundled in scarves, hats, and long sleeves is not conducive to necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, respectively. Most days I leave the house (ahem, the dorm) with just one ring on. This is an anomaly for me as I love my jewelry! But instead, I’ve been getting a lot more wear out of hats lately. How cute is this double pom beanie from Love Your Melon?! When I look at my shadow in this hat, I look like Mickey Mouse and it makes me so happy. I guess that’s an okay trade-off for less jewelry…

winter outfit, winter layers, blue jeans, quilted leather jacketcream beanie, blue jeans, burgundy jacket, black purse, leopard boots

Messy Hair, Don’t Care

Another result of walking all over the place to get to classes and what-not is that your hair can get significantly messier, especially when it’s windy. Of course you’re less inclined to do something with your mane if you know it’s just going to get messed up right away! Furthermore, raining or snowing = goodbye, curls. It’s not like I do a ton with my hair anyway, but I’ve found that I do less and less with each passing week. My roommate and I were just commenting on how college girls seem to care a lot less about hair and makeup than they did in high school (mind you, this is just one campus we’ve observed).

Another thing to consider, both with doing your hair and getting dressed in the morning, is your roommate. I get up much earlier than my awesome roomie and it’s often still dark out, which means I try to be quiet and have to fumble around with the lights off. If I don’t lay my outfit out the night before (when I can still see), then my look is usually pretty lame that day. And when it’s dark and I’m feeling extra sluggish? Hair is the first thing to be sacrificed, and hats are welcomed with open arms. I’ve just learned to accept this.

beanie, winter layers, college fashion, dressing for coldhow fashion changes in college, college living, dorm living

Casual Fridays, Everyday

So ultimately, yes, my style has become significantly more casual in college. It’s a culmination of being cold all the time (so I reach for jeans rather than skirts), wanting to be comfortable (saying thank you, next to those heels), and being too lazy to do anything fancy with my hair (gotta love those 8 a.m. classes). BUT that doesn’t mean I don’t still love dressing up, or that I condone sweatpants as a form of publicly acceptable clothing. In fact, I often feel unsatisfied with my outfits each day because they don’t live up to my fancy standards. I’m still learning how to master a super stylish yet casual outfit, and I look forward to spring days where I can once again sport a dress and blister-inducing heels. Ah, the sacrifices we make for style.

Macy's camel jacket with faux fur collarDenver fashion blogger, Colorado blogger, winter dressing, winter fashion

Have you noticed any significant changes in your style since starting college? If you haven’t started university yet, keep your eyes peeled for lots of cute sweaters and comfy shoes—I’m telling you, that’s the move. I hope you all have a fantastic day of classes on this chilly Monday. Let’s kick some butt this week!


Miles of smiles,



Brown Cableknit Sweater: Banana Republic, $40 // Burgundy Pleather Jacket: W Boutique, $25 on major sale // Camel Coat: Macy’s, $240 // Jeans: Francesca’s, $20 // Leopard Rain Booties: Ralph Lauren via Macy’s, $60 // Double Pom Beanie: Love Your Melon, $60 // Brown Belt: Cabi, $76 // Black Elephant Purse: Francesca’s, $20

4 comments on “How Fashion Changes in College”

  1. What a fun hat! I really like your knit with the burgundy moto jacket too, it’s a nice colour combination 🙂 I found my university style very casual, but dress pretty casually most of the time anyway! 🙂

    Hoping your week is off to a good start 🙂 The weekday wear linkup is live on my blog, I’d love you to join! 🙂

    Away From The Blue

    1. Thanks so much for the comment, Mica! I hope your week has been going well too 🙂

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