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A Day in the Life of a College Fashionista


As every CF reader knows, us college fashionistas have unique challenges when it comes to getting dressed: Our outfits have to transition constantly during the day to fit our hectic lifestyles. From business attire to our LBDs, we have to have it all. Chameleon or peacock, this article will help you transition flawlessly throughout your busy day (with style, of course).

8am: Chemistry

Lazy outfit for a super early class
Products: Tanks – Victorias Secret, Tee- Victorias Secret, Crew Neck- So Low, Shoes- TOMS, Jeans- Cheap Monday

As much as we here at CF believe in dressing your best at all times, sometimes, the clock flashing above your head says otherwise. For those days when you have 5 minutes to get ready, it’s best to dress stylish, cute, and most importantly, comfy.

The Victoria’s Secret Pink collection is targeted towards sleepy college students such as ourselves – we love their tanks and tees for easy, comfy layering. For AM, do a slouchy v-neck tee (this one has words, but a simple one would work just as well) or multiple tanks, and a stretch jean. If your campus is like mine and fall weather sets in a week after move-in day, add a cute off-shoulder sweatshirt. Finish with some comfy-cute slip ons.

9:30am: Pick-Me-Up

After chem drags on for what seems like hours, you’re going to need a morning pick-me-up. Grab your favorite beverage at the corner cafe. (We love CollegeCandy’s list of low-cal (high-caff) treats.)

Cup of coffee

Waking up early was so worth it. After my first class, I usually have a little lull in the day which is the perfect time for planning and organizing my thoughts. Invest in a trusty planner, like this Lilly Pulitzer one, that is both functional and pretty. I love writing my to-do lists and posting them on my wall using post-its, but some friends use apps on their computers and phones. Do whatever works for you!

school supplies, lilly pullitzer
Products: Notebooks- Lilly Pulitzer, Pen- Muji, Post-it Notes- Dollar Tree

11am: English

Cute and casual outfit for class
Products: Top- UrbanOutfitters, Earrings- Forever21, Bag- H&M, Shoes- Bloomingdales, Jeans- Karmaloop, Watch- Marc Jacobs

After planning out your day accordingly, get yourself ready the right way! For classes during normal hours of the college day, you’ll usually have time to get a little dressier and show off your style. My go-to class wear usually involves a pair of dark skinnies and a loose-fitting, casual top. Keep your base outfit simple, but be sure to accessorize your little heart out.

I normally have a “style theme” or goal every season. My summer theme was different nail polish colors and nail art. During spring season, I tried to incorporate bohemian jewelry into a lot of my daily outfits. Having your “style theme” helps you express yourself through fashion without looking like you’re trying too hard. It makes outfits uniquely you.

Fall Theme: Wild Child

wild accessories
Products: Lizard Ring- Guess, Fish Ring- Fantasy Jewelry Box, Necklace- Forever21, Clutch- Forever21, Gold Earrings- Lucky Brand, Feather Earrings- Zara

1:30pm: Break Time


After a couple hours worth of taking notes and playing Words with Friends, your schedule has cleared up. This is the perfect time to grab a healthy meal at the closest dining hall. Call up a couple friends to meet up, or throw a to-go salad into your bag and head for the nearest library. Group study sessions are the best for midday conversations to catch up with your friends. If you are just itching to get some studying done, try sitting alone in a private cubby in the quiet section of the library. While you’re at it, why not try out a few new study tips?

6:30pm: GGG – Gym, Gym, Gym

Products: Tank- Nike, Sports Bra- Lady Foot Locker, Leggings- Hard Tail, Water Bottles- Victorias Secret, Sneakers- Macys

After a few more classes (and maybe a few more lattes) you’re ready to get those endorphins pumping for a second wind of energy as the day moves on. I usually pick early evening as the perfect time to go to the gym. My only fashion rule for “gyming it” is attempting to match my outfit and not look sloppy. Go for yogas, capri leggings or comfy shorts. Pair these with a cute running top or college tee, with sports bra underneath. I take advantage of this opportunity and wear t-shirts that promote something I care about: my sorority, my school, local charities. Don’t forget to equip your gym bag with all the necessary items!

9pm: Night Out, Girl Scout

After your strenuous hour of elliptical reps and jamming out to Britney Spears’ latest and greatest, shower up! After your shower, your phone will have 27 texts from your midday study group relaying this evening’s plans. When you’re getting ready for a night out with the girls, make sure to play your favorite pump up songs to get you in the mood for fun.

Also, try eating a few snacks beforehand with your friends, or grab a little something from your dorm room stash. You don’t know where the night will take you or whether or not (edible) food will be around.

Going out outfit
Product Info: Dress – Nordstrom, Belt – House of Fraser, Purse – Miss Selfridge, Bracelet – WeLikeFashion, Heels – Aldo, Ring – NastyGal

Depending on the location of where you’re going, your outfit can vary. A more casual place would warrant a dark pair of skinnies. Pair these with your best party top. I usually choose crop tops, loose fitting tunics, or something with a little something special like an asymmetrical hem, unique print, or fitted bodice. For this night, though, the attire expected is a little more dressy. You could wear this outfit combination to a frat mixer, to a restaurant with the girls, or your local bar (if you’re of age).

Here are some key elements of a “going out” outfit:

Eyeshadow palette

  • A jacket : Because even early fall nights can get chilly!
  • Mini bottle of mouthwash : Hey, you never know who you’re going to meet. ;)
  • These flats that fold to fit in your purse for your tired feet. Genius.
  • Phone : It stays in the bag. You’re welcome.
  • Extra black hair ties, bobby pins, and mini clips.
  • Leave the credit card at home but make sure to carry a student id.
  • Carry enough cash for a happy meal at McD’s or a cab ride to wherever the night takes you.

For more on this, see our list of things every college girl needs in her night out bag.

Goodnight, gorgeous!

Sleeping woman

Thoughts, Ladies?

Do you have a certain regimen that you adhere to during the day? Any suggestions for transitioning your style throughout the day? Do you go out with certain items and leave ones at home? Is the dress code different at your university or in certain classes? Thoughts, please!

Posted on on August 25, 2011 / Filed Under: College Life / Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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19 Responses to “A Day in the Life of a College Fashionista”

  1. 1
    August 25th, 2011 at 4:23 pm

    Really cool post idea! :D

  2. 2
    August 25th, 2011 at 5:35 pm

    I like the other outfits but I think the first one is a little lacking. Even if it were a plain white tee and a cute headband the outfit would look a bit more put together.

  3. 3
    August 25th, 2011 at 5:39 pm

    What an inventive post idea! Though between work study jobs, extracurriculars, and two majors I wish I had that much down time!

  4. 4
    August 25th, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    I love these outfit ideas but not the fact that you would have to change outfits in between classes.. I wouldn’t do that.. I would just wear the same outfit all day and look just as good in the morning as I did in the afternoon.. great post though!

  5. 5
    August 25th, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    Loved it :))) gave me tons of ideas…thanks

  6. 6
    August 25th, 2011 at 6:41 pm

    Yeah…I wouldn’t change my outfit in the middle of the day either, unless I had a presentation or something and needed to dress professionally. Usually I just change my hairstyle throughout the day – it’ll be up in a messy bun for those early classes, but i’ll leave it down and do it nicer for the later ones. :)

  7. 7
    August 25th, 2011 at 6:50 pm

    LOVED this post! great idea =)

  8. 8
    August 25th, 2011 at 7:03 pm

    Love the post! Such a good idea. I would love to see this same style post from other authors as well!

  9. 9
    August 25th, 2011 at 7:27 pm

    yeah penn state! i really liked this post, i would definitely wear all of these. thanks!

  10. 10
    August 25th, 2011 at 10:11 pm

    I love your outfit ideas but I sort of have the opposite. I go to community college and have all night classes. it’s very hard to motivate myself to get dressed when my classes are from 5-10pm. Any ideas?

  11. 11
    August 26th, 2011 at 8:43 am

    I like the outfits, but the idea of changing that many times in a day seems ridiculous to me. I’d never have time to run back that many times, so I prefer to plan outfits that don’t require changing, but that can be dressed up and down according to what you have to do that day.

  12. 12
    August 26th, 2011 at 9:08 am

    love this post!!! soo helpful!

  13. 13
    August 27th, 2011 at 12:47 am

    I absolutely love the idea of style themes. Could this CF writer, or another, do a post on her recent themes and sample outfits?

  14. 14
    August 27th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    This is a great post! I’m not in school anymore, but when I was I didn’t live on campus & so I never changed clothes throughout the day. I wish it was “kosher” to dress up a little here in AZ (I went to ASU), but sadly its not. People will ask you “why did you dress up?” Anyway, wearing blazers, cardigans, etc is impossible until November because of the heat. So, most people don’t dress up at all because by the end of the day your clothes are limp & damp (gross I know).

  15. 15
    August 28th, 2011 at 3:08 pm

    This is a great post! I’m totally buying all of the outfits ! Be my personal shopper :]

  16. 16
    August 28th, 2011 at 11:02 pm

    i loved this post! i think you should do more “what to wear for this class” sort of things! they help!

  17. 17
    August 31st, 2011 at 8:49 am

    Great post! Good point on not bringing out the credit card when going out.. Also, I think accessories really MAKE an outfit!

  18. 18
    June 2nd, 2012 at 11:15 pm

    m lovin it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  19. 19
    December 4th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    the only time i change during school hours is if i was working out. i put on sweatpants to lounge around my apartment in and i put my jeans back on if i’m going out somewhere.

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