College cool: Try these budget fashions for campus

08/13/2014 12:49 PM

08/14/2014 2:20 PM

College life is full of potential fashion pitfalls: Waking up minutes before an 8 a.m. class across campus. Last-minute internship interviews. Weekend nights out that range from frat parties to gallery openings.

It’ll take more than a tiny dorm closet full of T-shirts and jeans to strike the right look in the university world.

We asked two local fashion bloggers, Kenya Hunter ( and Bethany Diffey ( for their favorite easy-care, budget-friendly college looks.

Steal some of their tips and tricks and prepare to graduate with high fashion honors.

The 8 a.m. class

Slightly unkempt is the new polished, says Diffey, so for morning classes, pull on an oversized sweater in an interesting texture (quilted, cable knit or even neoprene) over distressed skinny jeans in different hues. Instead of blue denim, try black, gray and white.

A slip-on sneaker or moccasin makes you a little more stylish than wearing workout sneakers as you sprint across campus. “When in doubt, stick with the 3 S’s – stripes, skinnies, sneakers,” Diffey says.

As temperatures drop, a print scarf or anorak jacket will keep you cozy in a cold lecture room while keeping you on-trend, she says.

For mornings when you’re not in the mood for skinny jeans, Hunter loves joggers – lightweight, breathable, roomy pants that can by casually styled with a simple T-shirt and slip-ons or glamorized with heels and a chic blouse for later in the day – when class is out of session.

The internship interview

Do not – we repeat – DO NOT wear denim or that adorable miniskirt to an internship or job interview.

Sure, the interview is taking place on a college campus, but interviewers are picturing how you’ll function in their offices, so it’s key to look like you will belong there.

Opt for a can’t-miss outfit of a well-fitting pencil skirt or trousers, blouse, sweater or blazer and heels, Hunter says.

Diffey recommends a tailored jacket or blazer, pairing pants with a classic loafer, and keeping accessories understated.

Buy colors and styles that are classic and not trendy, and this outfit can serve you well for many interviews, professional presentations and author meet-and-greets. Just remember to keep your “professional look” staples neat and clean – an emergency dash to the dry cleaner may not be easy to squeeze into a college schedule.

The party night out

To avoid buying a separate wardrobe of “going out” clothes, glam up your everyday staples with the right shoes and accessories, Diffey says.

“Take one of your campus looks and swap out sneakers for leopard heels, layer on a moto jacket and add super glitzy earrings for a sophisticated look,” she says.

Remember that party nights can mean lots of walking on (and off) campus, so consider a pair of flats in a cool print instead of heels, Hunter says.

She recommends mixing jumpsuits into the nighttime rotation of skirts and skinnies as a festive look that is easy to dress up with heels or down with flats or sandals.

Shorts paired with a bomber jacket is a fun way to create unexpected contrast and is easy to move and dance in.

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