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Ask CF: What Do I Wear to College Orientation?


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Welcome to the latest edition of Ask CF! Every two weeks, we select a reader fashion question and answer it here on the site. Do you have a specific fashion question for us? Scroll to the bottom of this post to learn how to send it our way!

Ask CF


So I’m a huge huge fan of CF, and read it basically every day for inspiration for different events. Coming up in April, I have accepted student orientation for college, and I’m totally lost as far as what to wear. Being in South Carolina, the air should definitely be in the 70’s by then. Do I wear shorts and a flowy top? A dress? Heels? I’m totally lost. What was your accepted student orientation like?

Thanks so much!

Our Response

Now that spring has rolled around, prospective students are on tours and admitted students are being welcomed on almost every college campus. My orientation was mostly just a blur of new faces and random get-to-know-you activities, but I left feeling so excited that I wanted to skip straight past summer and start classes the next day.

This question is right up my alley because I go to school in South Carolina, too! Get ready for some moody weather – some days the mornings are frigid, but it will get up to beach temperatures by the afternoon.

Here are some general guidelines for your accepted student orientation: bring a sweater (it might be warm outside, but the air conditioner is usually cranking indoors), dress comfortably, and be confident. Also, get ready to be bombarded with information!

Below, I’ve assembled three outfits that will hopefully provide you with some inspiration on what to wear to college orientation. Enjoy!

Outfit #1

College orientation outfit
Product Information: WatchShortsKimonoTank TopNecklaceBagShoes

It’s spring, so you might as well incorporate bright colors into your outfit! The energetic pink kimono and bright yellow sneakers will keep you in a positive mood all day, while the sleeveless top and shorts will keep you cool. Accessorize with a practical gold wristwatch and a cute layered necklace.

At orientation, the type of bag you carry will vary depending on the activities for the day. For example, this small cross-body bag is perfect if you’ll be spending the afternoon doing icebreakers, but you may want to carry a bigger tote if you think you’ll gather a bunch of papers.

Outfit #2

What to wear to college orientation
Product Information: JeansTopHeadbandPurseShoes, SunglassesWatch

In the south, there’s always the possibility that the weather won’t be anything like what you were expecting, so I threw in this outfit in case the forecast predicts some cooler temps. Jeans and a loose tank top will be comfortable enough to move around in all day, while the funky headscarf adds a pop of color and attitude to your look.

As you can tell, I’m loving yellow accents right now, and this cute bag is the perfect mix of fashion and function. Add a bit of refinement to the outfit with a watch, slip on a pair of sunnies, and you’re good to go.

Outfit #3

College orientation romper look
Product Information: Romper, Sweater, Necklace, Shoes

Dresses and heels were mentioned in the reader email, and from my experience, I’d stay away from high heels when trekking around campus. I’d shy away from dresses, too – if it’s really windy the day you visit, it would a bit of a hassle to constantly try and prevent your very own Marilyn Monroe moment.

That being said, whoever invented rompers was listening to these grievances and delivered a perfect solution! Rompers are a great way to look feminine and classy without worrying about your skirt flying up. Add a cardigan if you don’t want to show too much skin, then grab a pair of sandals that offer a subtle (yet comfy) boost of height. A statement necklace finishes off this ensemble.

Do you have a pressing fashion question? Ask away!

Is there a piece in your closet that you never know how to style? Do you have an important event coming up? Is there a certain trend that is completely lost on you?

If you have a question you want to see answered in this column, just send it on over via email to askcf @ and one day you might see your question answered right here on the site!

Please note: We get A LOT of email and unfortunately we will not be able to respond to every single question. However, we will read through each question and then decide which ones will be most helpful to the most readers. Thank you for your understanding.

What do you think?

Will you be attending orientation this year? Would you wear any of these outfits? Do you like the outfits I picked out? Do you have any other advice to add? Let us know in the comments!

Posted on on April 20, 2014 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , ,

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8 Responses to “Ask CF: What Do I Wear to College Orientation?”

  1. 1
    April 20th, 2014 at 5:16 pm

    Your outfits are amazing and I think its a great buy. Although there are so many choices to choose from out there I like the way the products are put together. J.V

  2. 2
    April 20th, 2014 at 5:28 pm

    Love all these looks. That romper is adorable!

    I recommend bringing some makeup to touch up with, because at some they might take your photo for a student ID.

  3. 3
    April 20th, 2014 at 8:44 pm

    Those are adorable outfits! The best piece of advice I have for dressing on campus is to wear comfortable shoes because you walk so much. When I had my orientation, it was late July in Colorado close to 100 degrees, so I wore a tshirt, shorts and tennis shoes.

  4. 4
    April 20th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    I don’t think anybody is paying too much attention to fashion during orientation. So many different emotions — New school, new life.. etc. Everyone has their attention on this new college life. Dress comfortably and take a lot of notes. There is a lot to learn during orientation. Dressing nice will come in handy when school finally begins.

  5. 5
    April 20th, 2014 at 11:29 pm

    I went to the women’s college right down the road from USC so I feel your pain! On the morning of my orientation, it rained and was 60 degrees. Luckily for the afternoon activities, it warmed right up!

    I love ALL of these outfits – especially the top one. :] I kind of want to make it my summer uniform. But CF, can y’all do a special on how to wear those kimono things? I keep seeing them EVERYWHERE in stores and I have no idea how to wear it other than like in this post. Thanks!

  6. 6
    April 22nd, 2014 at 9:21 am

    I know it’s not particularly fashionable, but if a fandom is important to you, wear a shirt that features it. Instant conversation starter. That’s how I met one of my friends on the first day of class.

  7. 7
    April 22nd, 2014 at 10:30 am

    Thanks so much for answering my email! I’ll be attending the University of South Carolina as well, and I’ll totally be using these looks during orientation!

  8. 8
    April 29th, 2014 at 10:07 am

    My advice is no heels and no dresses. A lot of schools have orientations where you’ll have to be a bit active. Think comfortable and cute. Also show off a bit of your personality – wear something that’s very “you” and this opens the door for another student to break the ice by saying “I love your necklace” or “you like that band, me too!” etc.

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