Dressing well for school means finding balance

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It would seem a comfortable pair of sweats is now a college student wardrobe staple.

Baggy sweats, oversized T-shirts and bed-head have graced the bodies of Dixie State University students on more than one occasion.

Everyone can remember in high school where a strict dress code was enforced, taking some of the fun out of back-to-school shopping. Vivid memories of vice principals scouring the hallways with measuring tape are all too fond.

This would then raise the question if DSU adopted a dress code for students on campus. Well, rest assured because after scouring DSU’s policies and procedures as well as the students’ rights and responsibilities code, I found no trace of a dress code anywhere.

Holey jeans and tank top wearers rejoice because administration is not going to hunt you down for a dress code violation.

Then, what is appropriate to wear in a college setting? Clothes are a way to express yourself in the moment, and you have every right to rock those socks and sandals with pride.

However, there should be some limits. This doesn’t mean you have free reign to wear a ninja costume to class and sit silently in the back corner. Although that would be an interesting scene, it would also be a huge distraction. Finding a happy balance between wearing what you feel, and not completely scaring everyone around you, is a safe bet.

Also, I am in favor of wearing clothes for the correct situation. You would never wear that ninja outfit to a job interview, would you?

Here are four tips from my own experience for being appropriately dressed in a college situation.

Early morning classes

Classes at 8 a.m. are a college student’s nightmare. I definitely recommend sweats or jeans and a T-shirt. Even coming in pajamas is OK that early in the morning—just be sure to take a shower first.

School activities

This is where it might get fuzzy because it depends on what the activity is. If the activity is a concert or a comedian, for example, I would recommend casual but comfortable. If you are attending a game, T-shirts and jeans are appropriate. You’re there to cheer on the Red Storm, and it’s not a fashion show, so leave your heels at home and paint your face red instead.


This is where you are allowed to put your best foot forward. Casual but slightly dressy clothes would be appropriate for men and women. Besides, you never know who you’re going to meet there.

School to work

I’ve had these moments. Going from class to work or my internship makes decisions a lot harder for that day. I try to make the transition as seamless as possible. Wearing an undershirt or shirt you plan on wearing to work or your internship can make changing quicker if you don’t want to look like a successful business woman in your math class.

There’s a lot of wiggle room to be found in college regarding appropriate clothing. From dress pants to sneakers, they all have their place in a college setting.