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August is here, which means school is back in session! I’m all too familiar with the transition from nonstop summer fun to rigorous class schedules and all-nighters study sessions. When you’re dealing with school stress it can be tough to even think about attempting to look presentable at school – seriously, I went to college in sweats and no makeup on almost every day!
To save you from that extra stress, I’ve put together some effortless outfit formulas and closet staples that are perfect for the upcoming semester. Let’s be honest: when you look good, you feel good, and you’re bound to perform better. So why not ditch the sweats? Staying on-trend with minimal effort is totally possible, even for the full-time student.
My T-shirts probably deserve their own closet, because I can’t live without them. There are so many ways to make a T-shirt look good: Tuck it into the right pair of denim and you look effortlessly chic. Get a graphic T-shirt and style it with a statement belt. Or you could simply turn it into a crop shirt by tying it at the front and pairing it with some high-waisted pants or a skirt. The possibilities are endless!
I always recommend investing in some men’s white crewneck T-shirts because they look so good oversized (and they’re much cheaper than women’s T-shirts). You can also cuff the sleeves or tie it up to transform it completely. My favorite men’s T-shirts are from Cotton On and they’re 2/$15 right now. Women’s T-shirts are also 2/$20 and 2/$25 if you want a more form-fitting shirt.
#2: Boyfriend or Girlfriend Jeans
Skinny jeans have become my enemy for long days at school. There’s something terrible about the tight fit that cuts into my gut when I’m sitting in class for hours. Even with the stretchiest pair of skinnies, I still prefer a good pair of boyfriend or girlfriend jeans: they’re forgiving, hip, and super comfortable. My favorite budget-friendly ones are from H&M: they have so many options under $40 that are flattering!
Boyfriend jeans look great with snug-fit T-shirts or long sleeves and even crop tops if the dress code allows for it. Pair them with sneakers or wedges if you want a girlier feel.
Girlfriend jeans are a tighter fit than boyfriend jeans to flatter your hips, but styling them is more or less similar.
#5: Simple Cotton Maxi Dresses
On your girlier days (or even stressful days when you can’t find time to assemble a decent outfit), stick with dresses so all you have to deal with is styling them with jewelry and the right pair of shoes. I love simple cotton maxi dresses because you can wear them with sneakers, tie a cardigan around your waist (the AC can get so cold in class!), or even wear a sweater over it during cooler days.
Belted Button-Up Top:
$38.40 $19.20 | Baggy Chained Pants: $48 $24 | Members Only Iconic Racer Jacket: $100 $59.99 | Booties: $52.80 $26.40 | Newsboy Cap: $55 $27.50 | Cat Eye Sunglasses: $19.99 $11.99
#4: Baggy Pants
The key to getting through the school day: comfort. Having 4-5 classes every day, walking from building to building, and extensive breaks in-between classes means I’d be on campus all day, so I could never bring myself to wear tight mini skirts or impractical outfits to school.
Luckily, the 90’s are back and baggy pants are in again. I especially love these $48 chained pants (on sale for $24) from GoJane: they look just like I.Am.Gia’s $110 Cobain Pant but are much cheaper! I’ve been wearing them with crop tops all summer, but you could totally pair them with a tank top for hotter days and form-fitting long sleeves for cooler days. They also look great with platforms, combat boots or sneakers, so they’re extremely versatile.
#5: Comfy Sneakers
I love a good pair of sneakers. When you’re dressing for comfort, it sometimes feels like sneakers are the best way to make a bold style statement without compromising style. Runners and trainers are totally in right now, but if athleisure isn’t your thing, opting for a stark white sneaker is a great option that’s universally compatible with your wardrobe. It’s simple, chic and still comfortable. Here are some sneakers to grab if you’re not familiar with the shoe game – you’ll thank me later when you get street cred.
If you prefer designer labels over classic sneaker brands, Shopbop carries tons of unique sneakers from brands like Adidas by Stella McCartney, Fenty x Puma, Y-3 and more, as well as exclusive renditions of casual sneakers from Converse and Fila. Also featured: the Kardashian-approved APL brand has some shoes and colors on sale if you need a shoe to wear to the gym after class.
I’m sure you also know that dad sneakers like the Balenciaga Triple S ($895) and Louis Vuitton Archlight ($1,090) are trending, as well as the sportier Balenciaga Speed Trainer ($750). But fear not: Jeffrey Campbell, Schutz and Vince carry dupes of these popular dad shoes for less than $200!
Yup, glasses. I’m a sucker for a cute pair of frames and will wear them even if I’m wearing contact lenses. There’s just something about clear frames that can really elevate even the most boring outfit. Plus, it’s totally suitable for the educational environment, am I right? And apparently, studies show that you’re more likely to trust someone wearing glasses. So maybe wear them during a presentation and pray that you pass with flying colors, LOL.
What are your go-to closet staples for comfy school style? Let’s chat in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to my newsletter for more styling tips and sale alerts.