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What to Wear to a College Party: 3 Cute Campus-Approved Looks


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The college party is a campus mainstay, and undoubtedly an event you’ll attend regularly during your four years. But because sticky floors, crowded rooms, and hordes of sweaty people in line for drinks are mainstays of the college party scene, it’s important to take the setting into account when you’re getting ready to go out with your girls.

We’ve covered what to wear to parties before, but we’re back with even more tips on what to wear and bring to a college party, plus three cute fall-appropriate college party outfit ideas. Enjoy!

Tips on What to Wear to College Parties

  • Don’t wear anything you don’t want ruined. Drunk college students are not picky about where they spill their beer, and the last thing you want is your favorite top or bag ruined because someone dropped their Natty Light. Stick to pieces that are cute but easily replaceable if ruined — Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe are great places to pick up party-appropriate pieces that won’t break the bank.
  • Stay away from suede. There’s no quicker way to ruin a pair of beautiful suede shoes than by wearing them to a college party. Even if you’re super careful about where you walk, chances are they’ll get messy and you’ll have just lost a pair of shoes. Stick to shoes made from patent leather or synthetics in order to protect your footwear investments.
  • If you want height, stick to a wedge. I rarely wear stiletto heels to crowded college parties, just because I don’t want my nice shoes getting ruined or stepped on. But if you love the way heels look with your going-out looks, try a wedge instead! They’re easy to walk, stand, and dance in — what could be better?
  • Bring a coat and cross-body bag.┬áIf you live where it’s cold, you’ll probably need a jacket as you travel from your dorm to the party. Your investment coat might be nice and warm, but you don’t want to run the risk of having it ruined or worse, stolen from the “coat pile.” (This has happened to people we know!) Instead, wear a coat that you won’t be devastated to lose. And don’t forget your cell phone, ID, room key, and other necessities — cross-body bags keep your belongings safe while keeping your hands free.

Outfit 1: Casual Cool

Shirt, Jeans, Jacket, Booties, Earrings, Bag

Outfit 2: Statement Accessories

Top, Skirt, Jacket, Tights, Flats, Necklace, Bag

Outfit 3: Lovely in Long Sleeves

Dress, Wedges, Belt, Tights, Earrings, Bag

What Do You Think?

What’s your go-to party ensemble? What are your tips for dressing for college parties? Which look is your favorite? I’d love to hear from you, so be sure to leave a comment!

Posted on on November 15, 2011 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , ,

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16 Responses to “What to Wear to a College Party: 3 Cute Campus-Approved Looks”

  1. 1
    November 15th, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    So true! I’ve always found it super sad that you have to wear cheap-ish clothes when you go out, but you still want to look really cute.

  2. 2
    November 15th, 2011 at 7:48 pm

    i like the 2nd and 3rd outfit, although the second one is more of my style:) thx for the tips!

  3. 3
    November 15th, 2011 at 7:58 pm

    I love, love, love all these outfits. The second two are slightly Edie Sedgwick-esque.

  4. 4
    November 15th, 2011 at 10:46 pm

    You guys always have such great outfit choices! Outfit #2 is my fav. I could see myself wearing that exact outfit. It’s a great mix of edgy and girly.

  5. 5
    November 16th, 2011 at 7:16 am

    I could totally see myself wearing outfit 3. Probably not to a party, but any time I needed to dress up a bit :)

  6. 6
    November 16th, 2011 at 7:35 am

    I like the first two outfits for going out to a frat or apartment party or something. I know the third is definitely only appropriate for a frat formal at my school.

    I think it’s most important to dress for the occasion.

  7. 7
    November 16th, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I love the second outfit. It’s both glam and edgy and that statement necklace is the perfect finishing touch! I’m always trying to find a balance between looking put-together, but not overdressed at college parties and I think this combo fits the bill!

  8. 8
    November 16th, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    wow, super impressed! i feel like the going out outfits here are usually way too sorority-looking/mainstream/whatever for my school, but these are actually outfits people would wear here! esp. if you switched out the flats and wedges for boots

  9. 9
    November 16th, 2011 at 3:26 pm

    Another great tip: if you’re headed with a bunch of friends to a party, tie your coats together in a HUGE chain. This way, if someone were to steal one, they would be stuck lugging around a bunch of jackets out of a pile, way to difficult. Plus, you only have to find one of the group’s jackets to have them all :)

  10. 10
    November 16th, 2011 at 3:52 pm

    Agree with everything, especially never wear suede. It always gets ruined at college parties. Love outfit 2, its perfect!

  11. 11
    November 16th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I’d wear #1, because I always wear pants whenever I’m around guys who are drunk and partying. In my experience, sometimes the guys who are drunk aren’t very clear on where hands should and should not go.

    The other two outfits I’d wear on a date or something, though!

  12. 12
    November 16th, 2011 at 5:45 pm

    I am obsessed with the 3rd look!

  13. 13
    November 16th, 2011 at 7:08 pm

    Very much so for the wedges or flats over high heels/stilettos (I also like wearing flat boots, especially if it’s cold and I’m wearing a skirt; shorter stack heel boots can work as well). I see so many freshman girls every weekend night tottering around in 5 inch platforms and stilettos, going who knows where, and when they’re at the party, they just stand around looking bored and in pain, when they’re not stomping all over everyone else’s feet. It’s better to wear shoes that aren’t necessarily as trendy and be comfortable (and not a hazard to everyone around you). You won’t have fun at a party if you’re too busy worrying that your feet hurt and you might trip over a stray fleck of dust!

  14. 14
    November 17th, 2011 at 12:57 am

    i mainly like the third look since it is generally flirty while being covered up, but the dress is out of stock online.

  15. 15
    November 19th, 2011 at 7:22 pm

    My go-to party outfit is pretty much outfit # 2

    I like to wear my black mini skirt (or my friend’s black mini skirt) with one of my flowy, crop tops and my leather coat. I always wear one of my sheer tights and then I have combat boots :p

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