College students are cash-strapped and time-crunched. So how can they look fashionable while juggling their studies, campus activities and a part-time job? Integrating basic items into their wardrobes is a start – and adding pops of color with accessories can transform a standard outfit into a standout style.
Building off fashion staples
“For both guys and girls, jeans, jackets and T-shirts are, of course, all staples for a college student’s wardrobe,” says Peggy Blum, fashion program coordinator at The Art Institute of Austin, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston.
Blum says that this fall, “blue is heralded as the new black.” Warm reds and oranges, pastels, taxi cab yellow and loden green are also trendy hues.
And while skinny jeans still rule the denim world, expect to see them in neon colors, or with printed or bleached treatments. Blum recommends that students seeking a more comfortable fit choose a “boyfriend” jean, which features more relaxed styling.
Blum suggests that college students invest in bold-striped T-shirts, with stripes that vary in width. She adds that prepster-style shirts are a fresh look for both men and women this fall.
Also in style – wide-leg jeans and an overall masculine look, says Emilia Valle, program coordinator for fashion at The Art Institute of Houston-North, a branch of The Art Institute of Houston.
“The look for the returning college student is definitely a coat or jacket with a strong masculine look. From pastels – yes pastels even in fall – to traditional men’s fabrics and some punk flair, this upcoming season is full of overcoats to complete a strong polished style,” Valle says.
Accessorizing: from shoulder bags to footwear
Army style, denim and long shirt-style jackets are an easy way to accessorize an outfit, according to Blum. “For girls, pink coats are predicted to be a hit this fall straight from the runways.”
Other must-have accessories include printed smartphone cases, sporty sneakers or cut-out oxfords and strong gold-tone neckpieces to complete the look while complementing a summer tan.
Blum adds that college students are trending away from backpacks and moving toward all-day bags. “A streamlined multipurpose tote will fit any student’s daily must-haves and is appropriate for campus to work or travel.”
Valle mentions that choosing a large leather tote will add a touch of class to a student’s overall look. “A large leather tote will work fab and still keep you in style.”
Thrifty looks: fashion on a budget
Students on a tight budget might wonder how they can incorporate fashionable pieces into their wardrobe. Valle suggests mixing old and new to create a fresh, budget-friendly look.
“Remember, consignment and thrift stores can make a fashion budget stretch longer, and of course you can help out the planet in the process by recycling someone else’s retro fashion pieces,” she adds.
And the runway trend toward disheveled grunge styles should be helpful to those seeking recycled pieces. “A nod to grunge every now and then works this season,” states Blum.
The do-it-yourself trend is also extremely popular with fashionable, budget-conscious college students. “Thrifting at second hand shops, yard sales, or swapping clothing is a cost-effective way to remain fashionable on a budget,” she says.
Looking fashionable while attending college doesn’t have to be time-consuming or budget-breaking. By choosing a few staple items and adding colorful accessories, students can make it to class on time and on-trend.