Ask CF: What Should I Wear for the First Week of College?

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Make a chic first impression with these stylish outfits.

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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 Question


I legit love CF and have been checking it for months. I debated a bit before sending an email but I start college soon and I really need first week of class and orientation week outfit ideas. I hear that students here are expected to dress casual yet smart.

Also I am afraid of using up my best outfits in the first week or two and then dressing like a total slob the rest of the semester. Any tips for that?

Thank you!

Our Response

Dear LW,

When it comes to dressing for orientation/the first week of college: dressing “casual but stylish” is always a good idea, as it allows you to make a good impression on your peers and professors, while still allowing you to be comfortable in what you’re wearing.  

I’m going to give you some outfit suggestions for how to dress this way, but before I do, I’d like to answer your other question of how to continue dressing nicely as the school year progresses.

Here are my tips for picking your outfits the first week of college & staying stylish all semester long:

  • Don’t be afraid to re-wear outfits: For many people, wearing the same outfit multiple times is a fashion taboo. However, as far as I am concerned, it is one of the best ways to make the most of your wardrobe–just switch a couple accessories if you want. And, if you’re afraid of people noticing, don’t be, as chances are that they’re doing the same thing, too! After all, who on a college budget has the money to buy a new outfit for every day?!
  • Shop your closet/mix and match: College is the perfect time to get creative with your wardrobe and try new styles, so make the most of what you own by combining pieces that you might not have thought to put together. Not only will this help you to familiarize yourself with what you already own, but it will allow you to put together brand new looks without spending a penny!  Finally, don’t be disappointed if an outfit doesn’t end up looking as good in real life as you imagined it would in your head–it’s only fashion, after all, and you’ll have countless opportunities to try again!
  • Plan outfits the night before: This is perhaps the easiest way to ensure that you don’t fall into a fashion rut; in fact, there are entire apps dedicated to outfit-planning, if you’re interested! By planning your outfits the night before, you’re not only saving yourself time in the morning, but you’re also preventing yourself from simply putting on whatever happens to be clean/available the at the moment, which is one of the easiest ways to unintentionally fall into the boring/sloppy-outfit trap.

Now that you know how to prevent yourself from falling into a fashion rut, keep scrolling to see my outfit ideas for orientation and the first week of college:

First Week of College Outfits: #1

Products: Shirt – Mango, Earrings – Loft, Ring Set – Loft, Sunglasses – Mango, Shorts – J.Crew, Jeans – H&M, Backpack – Mango, Bandana – Madewell, Loafers – Gap

Comfortable and cute, this outfit is so easy to just throw on and go to class. To get the look, put on a long-sleeved striped shirt with puffed sleeves, and pair it with some ruffled shorts or skinny jeans, depending on what the weather is like where you are. 

These beige, pointed-toe loafers are perfect if you plan on walking around all day during orientation, and add a dose of modern prep to the outfit.  

Throw all of your essentials for the day into a chic (faux) leather black backpack, and tie a bandana around your neck (or around the backpack’s handle!) for a vintage-inspired touch. Add a pair of green and gold pavé studs for a subtle pop of color, and some delicate stacking rings for a bit of sparkle. 

If it’s sunny out, finish off the look with these classic cat-eye sunglasses.

First Week of College Outfits: #2

Products: T-Shirt – Madewell, Heeled Sandals – Steve Madden, Skirt – Target, Earrings – Amazon, Necklace – Zappos, Bracelet – Zappos, Tote – Amazon

This outfit is great if you’re looking for a more dressed-up version of your standard denim-shorts-and-a-t-shirt ensemble. To re-create it, start by tucking a white v-neck t-shirt into a high-waisted a-line denim skirt.  

Next, add a pair of beautiful pale blue suede sandals with a barely-there heel, as well as a copper tote for a fun touch.

Complete the look by accessorizing with a quirky and adorable pair of French Bulldog studs, a boho tassel bracelet, and a dainty pendant necklace.

First Week of College Outfits: #3

Products: Dress – Urban Outfitters, Earrings – Bloomingdale’s, Bangle – Wolf & Badger, Necklace – Nordstrom Rack, Jacket – Old Navy, Sneakers – Keds, Nail Polish – Macy’s, Sunglasses – Nordstrom Rack, Belt – Ann Taylor, Bag – SilkFred

This girly and feminine outfit is sure to make a great impression at the beginning of the school year!  

Start by putting on a lovely coral-pink midi-dress, and belt it at the waist using a white woven belt to create a more defined shape. Layer a simple denim jacket over it for a bit of warmth, and slip on a pair of classic Keds sneakers in leather.  

A neon pink bucket bag adds a bold touch, while delicate jewelry, such as these classy stud earrings, pyrite bangle, and open-heart necklace add a dash of elegance. Paint your nails a cheery shade of coral-pink (or one of our other favorite nail polish shades), and you’re all set to go!

First Week of College Outfits: #4

Products: Romper – Abercrombie & Fitch, Jacket – Target, Earrings – Shopbop, Cuff – Bloomingdale’s, Necklace – Shopbop, Backpack – Sole Society, Flats – Target 

This trendy and chic college outfit is a great option for wearing both to orientation and to class. Start by putting on a sweet blue-and-white floral romper; next, layer it with a gorgeous olive-green bomber jacket with a cute ruffle detail that you can wear for three seasons. 

Grab a cognac-brown (faux) leather backpack with chic braided details, and put on a pair of pretty pale gold metallic scalloped flats. Lastly, accessorize with a pair of bright turquoise stud earrings, a modern cuff bracelet, and a sophisticated gold necklace.

Good luck with your orientation and in your first week of class; I’m sure you’ll look great!  Thank you for your question!

Do you have a fashion question? Send it to us!

Is there something in your closet that you want to wear but have no idea how to style? Do you need advice on what to wear to an upcoming event? Do you have a specific fashion conundrum?

If you have a fashion-related question that you would like to see answered in this column, simply email it to askcf @, and one day you might see your question answered right here on the site!

What do you think?

What do you plan on wearing/what did you wear for orientation? What about during the first week of school? What do you do to prevent yourself from falling into a fashion rut as the semester progresses?  

Let me know in the comments!

Source: #Fashionblogger #fashiontrends

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