College Fashion: Effective Ways to Improve Self-Confidence with Clothes
If there is ever a good time to experiment with clothing, and pretty much everything else, it is your college years. You can reinvent your personal style completely and look at college as a new world, a clean slate. This is a place to start over, and if you weren’t happy with your high-school appearance, this is your chance to turn things around; your time to shine.
As Ellie Edmund of the Guardian says, when it comes to college fashion, almost anything goes – sweatpants, ripped jeans, hoodies, you name it - a student campus has got it. Still, she poses a valid question: What statement do you want to make? What impression do you want to give flatmates, lecturers and future friends? Do you want to play it safe and blend into the sea of university brand hoodies or do you want to push yourself and develop your own unique look and stand out on campus?
Nowadays, dressing comfortably doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t look polished at the same time. Believe it or not, the way you present yourself, the way you are put together counts for more than you can imagine. Your complete outfit transcends the sum of its parts. What is more, the way you look does not only create an image and an impression of who you are to others. Your clothes, for better or worse, have the power to make or break your confidence levels.
Despite what some may believe, the proper outfit can elevate your spirit, your motivation levels, your self-esteem and confidence, and that is all on top of the fact that a well put-together outfit simply makes you look great. The phenomenon even has a name: enclothed cognition.
It cannot be denied that when you choose the right pieces from your closet, put them on and take a look in the mirror, you instantly feel incomparably better and more empowered than you did ten minutes before, not to mention the power of healthy looking and sleek, shiny hair. The power of dressing smart doesn’t only affect the way you are perceived or how you perceive yourself, but it can actually shift your way of thinking. A study published in Social Psychological and Personality Science has concluded that students wearing more formal clothing showed stronger inclinations towards abstract processing. Another experiment came to the conclusion that students wearing more formal clothing favored global processing over local processing more often than students wearing their street clothes, meaning that those in formal attire were more focused on the big picture.
Now that you’re aware of the impact your appearance has on not only your surroundings and professors, but your self-confidence and even level of focus and potential to thrive in a college environment, let’s explore some useful tips on taking your style game up a notch.
Thrift and vintage shops
It is a widely known fact that most college students don’t have a lot of financial wiggle room to spend on high-end brands and frequent shopping sprees. Luckily, there are numerous wonderful thrift and vintage stores that not only offer quality garments at a ridiculously great price, but you can find styles that are no longer made, and that perfectly go with your sense of style, so take your time to visit as many of these as possible and look for hidden gems.
Listen to your stylish peers
A great number of fashion and style bloggers are college students, so take a cue from them every now and then. One student blogger’s advice is: Jeans make you look like you’ve put effort into your appearance at morning lectures and will take you from the classroom to the pub really easily, and this is great advice, because students need versatility that does not come at a high price. Amy Mace, a lit student offers a great hack for all the freshmen: A decent pair of trainers will get you far during the first year. Not only practical, comfy and on trend, they’re also perfect for walking to lectures or tearing up the dance floor in a club. For more advice from fashion-savvy peers, head on to The Guardian. Also, always have a crisp white shirt to add a touch of professionalism, yet remain comfortable.
Mind the color palette
There is an entire philosophy behind color and how different ones can have an impact on how others see you, as well as on your mood and confidence. For example, if you wish to exude and feel trustworthy and intelligent - blue is the way to go. In order to feel powerful and ooze professionalism and sophistication, always resort to black. Blazers in these shades are the perfect option – paired up with a good pair of dark jeans and a white shirt, you will look both casual and professional at the same time. Boosting self-confidence and levels of optimism is the job for the color yellow, so a funky yellow tote, or even a vibrant blouse is a great option. Steer clear of grey as it does nothing to entice or reflect confidence, and as far as brown goes, use it to your advantage when you need that pinch of seriousness followed by warmth.
No one is saying that you should say goodbye and good riddance to your college-logo sweatshirt, but try not to live in your hoodies. They don’t do you favors in the confidence department, so keep them for those football games and cramming session. When getting ready to head out to class and hang out with your friends, make an effort, it will certainly be worth it.
Tracey Clayton is a full time mom of three girls. She’s passionate about traveling, fashion, home décor and healthy living. Her motto is: “Live the life you love, love the life you live.”