Hiding the bad

Image via sallydaviesimages.blogspot.ca
Image via sallydaviesimages.blogspot.ca

Fashion tips for the stressed out mess in all of us

By Brittney MacDonald, Life & Style Editor


As young adults, we’ve always been encouraged to put our best foot forward. Some people take this to heart, while others shrug it off as hot air. For those of you that do like taking the effort to look as put together as possible, this time of year can be make or break for you.

With finals encroaching, this time in the semester is often the heaviest in terms of work load—papers, projects, research, and studying all add up to one severely stressed out student. So the question becomes: How do you keep up the illusion of having your shit together when really, you’re just a walking, talking mess of stress?

As someone who has lived through this time for a few years, I have developed a tried and true method of dealing with my appearance during this time. More specifically, dealing with my appearance in a way that minimizes any allusion to the fact that I am silently losing my mind.

Shoes: Starting from the bottom, your shoes are generally a good place to start when trying to make it seem like you are calm and collected. Never wear sneakers. Sneakers are quick and casual footwear. You are attempting to make it look like you actually put effort into your appearance—so put those comfy ol’ faithfuls aside and put on a pair of boots, heels, or oxfords. It may seem small, but it does a lot in terms of maintaining your image of maturity.

Colour blocking: This is an old trick that stylists and designers use to make their customers or themselves look pulled together. Colour blocking is when you theme your outfit around two to three colours that are completely unrelated. This means that the colours don’t match, but because they’re so basic—no prints, strange textures, or massively varying shades—they look like they go together, and you look like you tried. Colour blocking is really easy to do, because it’s basically just going into your closest and picking things that are the same fabric (such as cotton), no matter what they are. Then you layer them on top one another.

Layers: If you’re trying to give off the impression of effort, nothing kills that more than showing your arms. I know it sounds strange, but it isn’t so much the act of showing your arms in itself, but more in that when someone just barely glances at you, seeing you with bare arms automatically gives off the impression that you’re wearing a t-shirt. This may not be the case, you may be wearing a polo or a blouse—the problem is that the silhouette is the same, so you’ll run into that same problem that you did with the sneakers: You’ll look too casual. So how do you rectify this? You have to become adept at layering. This is easier than you might think. Basically all you need to do is get a cardigan, bolero, or suit jacket in a neutral colour and layer this overtop of whatever shirt you’ve picked for the day. Having your arms covered stops that immediate impression of wearing a t-shirt—even if you are actually wearing one—and your outfit automatically looks a lot cleaner, even if you literally slept in it or picked it up off the floor.

Hopefully these few tips will help you in fooling the masses into thinking you have your shit together. They’ve definitely worked for me for years.