Classes are stressful, internships are stressful, writing papers can be stressful, exams are definitely stressful. The last thing you want to worry about sometimes is your appearance. However, there’s still a way to look fashionable without tossing on that University t-shirt you bought freshman year at the bookstore gift shop. Even if you don’t feel like trying, you can still look good on campus.
These are fashion staples for the lazy college student.
Never underestimate the power of a good hat. Ball caps are sporty, sure. But they are also great when you don’t have the time to wash your hair or fix it up. Tossing on a cute ball cap covers that bed head you have when you wake up and you can accessorize them to fit any outfit you choose to wear.
Not a big sports fan? No problem. There are many plain caps that have simple logos on them and some that are neutral and don’t have any design on them at all. Either way, it takes the pressure off of having to throw your hair back up into that messy bun again for the third time that week.
These are so plain and so simple, you might pause at the idea that this could be considered one of the best fashion staples. White t-shirts are a must-have, no matter what the outfit. They’re neutral, so you can wear them with basically anything. Is it hot on campus? Toss it on with some cute shorts. Cold day? Put a denim jacket over it.
White t-shirts are bright enough to make you stand out and you also get that clean image when you walk around campus. They’re also super cheap to buy anywhere in packs. Having a white t-shirt will save you the stress of finding the right top, and honestly, they look better than most graphic t-shirts anyway.
One of the cutest fall fashion staples is a flannel. There’s something charming about a flannel over your shirt when it’s cooler outside. They add a pop of color and design to your wardrobe, especially if you’re wearing the white t-shirt that I mentioned above. Thicker flannels will also keep you warm when it gets chilly.
Don’t rule out flannels for the spring semester. Even when it gets warmer, a thinner flannel can still look cute if you tie it around your waist. Shorts and a t-shirt, it’s still the added accessory you can use to add some flair to even the most basic of outfits.
Now that Taylor Swift has brought attention to these fashion staples, cardigans are more in style now than ever before. For starters, they are super cozy and have all the charm you need for a fall and winter look. They’re extremely versatile, meaning they would look amazing in both formal and casual settings, depending on what you choose to pair with it.
In addition, cardigans are great to have for nonrestrictive clothing to hide any parts of your body that you’re not the most comfortable with. The material can also contain designs within the sleeves or along the front where the buttons are. Consider this before you throw on that old college sweatshirt you keep stashed away.
You don’t need the fanciest of fashion staples to look good on campus. You can look cute, casual, and sophisticated with the right pair of jeans. Durable jeans are comfortable for all the excessive walking you do around campus and they’re usually flexible enough for fitting if you gain the dreaded Freshman 15 that I did. Whether you choose black, gray, khaki, or the original blue jean, you can’t go wrong with any of these when it comes to neutral wear for accessorizing.
Designer jeans can also look great for more formal occasions. Heading to a Greek party? Toss on some jeans, a white t-shirt, and a nice cardigan and you’ve got an effortless (literally) outfit for the evening.
Get rid of the baggy sweatpants and switch to the comfort of leggings. Men, I’m talking to you, too. Leggings have become one of the greatest fashion staples for both genders and everything in between. They’re slimming and sporty and you can pull off almost anything with them.
Aside from jeans, leggings are great if you’re spending the day rushing from one class to the next one across campus. Even if you’re riding your bike, they’re convenient for comfort. Planning to stop by the gym right after class? You’ve already got the right attire. And the best part is that you’ll look great, no matter what the situation you’re in.
Not all gym shorts are created equal when it comes to fashion staples. However, if you’ve got cute designer gym shorts, such as Lululemon, Nike, or Under Armour, you’ve got a chance to make this work as part of your outfit. The best part about this is that if you’re feeling lazy, you can go to bed in these, wake up, and still wear these to class.
Additionally, they’re more comfortable during hot days, even more-so than jeans. Avoid baggy gym shorts as they appear just as frumpy as sweatpants do. Find gym shorts that will make your legs look good and still feel comfortable at the same time.
No, I’m not talking about riding boots or cowboy boots, although both can be great options for fashion. I’m talking about Combat or Chelsea boots. Not only are they super sleek and chic, but they are also pretty comfortable. Chelsea boots are slip-on, so it saves you the time of having to tie your shoes if you’re feeling extremely lazy that day.
Additionally, these are great to have for parties because they look nice and are versatile enough to go with many outfits. (Remember the flannels I wrote about earlier?) Definitely be sure to give this a go when you’re considering footwear.
This is the ultimate college shoe when it comes to fashion staples. Sperry’s are a godsend. For one thing, they are comfortable. You can spend a full day walking around on campus and still feel like your feet aren’t breaking beneath you.
Most people see them as the most popular frat shoe, but Sperry’s are more than just for the Greek. Additionally, you can style anything to match them, and most of them can be slipped on with ease. They usually come in neutral colors, so a ball cap, a white t-shirt, a flannel or cardigan, jeans, leggings, or gym shorts will all go well with these. You’re welcome, lazy college students.
What are your favorite fashion staples from this list? Is there anything you’re up to trying next semester? Let me know in the comments section!
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Scott Hill is a former middle school educator and current poet with multiple self-published collections. He has a degree in English Literature and Psychology from the University of Houston and resides nearby where he can be seen tending to plants at his job, snuggling with his dog on the sofa, or spending time with loved ones. He enjoys whiskey and wine nights and loves writing about other poets, personal life experiences, mental health, food, and sometimes Taylor Swift. Feel free to follow him on Instagram @scotthillpoetry!