A guide to being the coolest kid on the block—or in your online class
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
Going back to school offers an opportunity to reinvent yourself. Every year in college you’ll meet new people and professors—this means you can be whoever you want. Change your hair, your personality—whether you’re quiet, loud, a slacker, or an achiever. Best of all, change your clothes! They’re the easiest way to shake things up, and they can reflect everything else that defines you. Your outfits can also remind you of who you want to be and set you up for the day to come. While I’m going to show some higher-fashion fits, there’s something for every type of day you are going to have.
Of course, most classes you have this semester will likely be online, but if you’re wearing cool kicks indoors, just kick your feet up on your desk—who’s going to stop you?
Starting with something less complex, this look inspires a grunge-skater look with infused colours to make you seem a little more approachable. This outfit definitely doesn’t make you look like you just woke up, but you might as well have considering how easy it is to put together. One of my favourite fashion looks of all-time is the “no pants” look which you can effortlessly style with some super comfy cotton shorts and an oversized t-shirt of any kind. Throw on a beanie and some Vans and you’ve got yourself a comfy yet stylishly youthful outfit.
Cutesy fashion may never go out of style. Another simple but stunning look is taking any colourful crop top and mixing it with an elegant skirt and flats. Top this look off with a wide-brimmed hat and you’re set for school or hitting the town. It is comfortable but looks dressy, so it fits just about any occasion. I like this look for the summer to fall transition. Especially since it’s one you can wear when you miss summer, but it fits just as well for a warmer fall day. If you throw on a coat (may I suggest a light brown teddy coat for this particular outfit) you might as well say you’ve won autumn.
Say instead of a cutesy Tuesday, you’re more into heart-breaker Fridays. The heels on this one will let you dig into the chest of anyone who glances your way. The shirt may say BSDM-inspired rockstar on its own but styled with bow-tie pants and a sophisticated trench coat, this look is a guaranteed showstopper. Black and beige are great colours to use for any outfit if you’re stuck for a scheme. If you want to take this look to heavenlier heights, try switching the black in this outfit for white, or try wearing a white coat and shoes with a beige top and pants. The possibilities are truly endless! Finish this look off with a clutch. (Note: If going to an in-person class, beware of the concourse stairs. Those stiletto bad boys are sure to catch eyes for more than one reason if you’re not careful!)
I’ve seen so many back-to-school outfit posts that feature no sweatpants and that’s just unrealistic. It wouldn’t be a fashion-centric piece if I just left you with a sweatsuit, so let me dig in a little further to explain what makes this look more than your everyday “I’m tired and don’t want to be here” statement fit.
Monochrome, monochrome, monochrome… need I say more? It doesn’t matter what colour, but for the love of sweatsuits, wear a matching hoodie and pants. It’s an immediate fashion hack. With regular shoes, I pull my sweatpants rim to just below my knees because I don’t typically enjoy the bagginess of the entire outfit. (Quick fashion hack: try to wear either a baggy shirt and tighter bottoms, or vice versa! It’s a simple trick that’s sure to make creating outfits much easier. See: skirt/polo, sweatpants/crop top, biker shorts/loose button-up, stockings/dress, etc.!)
However, due to the double baggy nature of this outfit, stuffing those ankle-cut sweats into a pair of boots for a cleaner look works. Shoes are said to be one of the first things someone notices about a person, thus they are one of the first things that impact people’s perceptions of you upon your first meeting.
Layers, layers, monochrome, layers—wait how did that get in there? It’s true though! Layering adds so much depth and dimension to an outfit. You could honestly layer anything here and get away with it. I did an oversized flannel—the blues matching the cool tones of the hoodie’s design—and topped it off with a pin jacket.
(Quick fashion hack: Do use the colour wheel to wear cool tones or warm tones together or find complimentary colours to make outfit schemes! Don’t wear pink and red together, or even worse, green and red. Just don’t. Please. I will cry.)
The jacket is also oversized, as it should be for this look. A tighter jacket would work but it would clean you up into the baggy pants/tighter shirt universal combo instead of the cool guy “I don’t want to be here, but I still look good” style.
You’ve probably noticed how difficult it is to approach someone wearing just a hoodie and sweatpants. Wearing a statement piece with an outfit like this pin jacket will give you and other people something to talk about. If you’ve got nothing of the sort, perhaps opt for a baseball hat with a logo on it (this one is a Porter Robinson & Madeon merch). This will finish the look and give people the impression that you have a personality under those layers and eye bags.
There are tons of ways you can fashion yourself for stylistic and individualistic purposes. It is extremely fun to do, and despite some of the tips I’ve said in this guide, DO wear whatever the heck you want. (Okay, anything EXCEPT red and green together, unless it’s Christmastime. You are not a reindeer or an elf. I hope. If you are, ignore this message).