My dear freshmen, by now you are cozily nestled into your pie-shaped slices of collegiate heaven. You’ve hung band posters on your walls and put extra-long sheets on your beds. You’ve had your first weekend of parent-less freedom. You’re meagerly attempting to accept the fact that yes, you do have to take classes for the next four years.
A lot of lessons in college must be learned the hard way. Me telling you not to take shots of Bacardi 151 after eating nothing but a Soup at Hand for dinner isn’t going to have quite the same effect as a morning spent with your head in the toilet (once you’re 21, of course).
What I can help you with, dear freshmen, is guiding you away from a few sartorial blunders — freshman fashion faux pas, if you will. I’ve made quite a few ensemble errors myself over the years, and hopefully I can assist you by learning from the pain of my mistakes.
The following is a list of suggestions, far from all encompassing, but a few thoughts to keep in mind before you head out the door in something less than fashionable:
1.) Ugg boots. Let’s talk about them. No, they aren’t the most fashionable shoes in the world, but they’re comfy as hell, and in the dead of winter, there’s nothing better to slip on. The key word, however, is “winter.” As in, winter is the only acceptable season to wear them. When it’s 75 degrees outside, pairing them with a denim miniskirt is not ok.
2.) Crocs, on the other hand, are completely unacceptable. Always and forever.
3.) While we’re still on the shoe topic, lets talk flip-flops: I don’t particularly care for them in general, but I get it — they’re comfortable. But just as Uggs are for winter, flip-flops are for summer, so don’t wear them in the middle of January. It will not make summer come any faster. Also, a word of warning — Oakland sidewalks get very slippery when it rains. Run to class with caution.
4.) Those free, baggy T-shirts you picked up at the Activities Fair? Save them for the gym and bed.
5.) The same thing goes for sweatpants and sneakers. I never schedule classes before noon, but I can empathize with those poor souls taking 8 a.m. chemistry labs. However, waking up early is not an excuse to look like you’re still in bed. It doesn’t take any longer to put on jeans and a sweater.
6.) Put your ID in your pocket, not on a lanyard around your neck. College students should not look like they are at a leadership conference.
7.) Here’s one your mothers will thank me for: Girls, when you’re making a mad dash for a frat house in the middle of February, put a coat on over your tank top. Find one you don’t care all that much about and use it. Running around in single-digit temperatures without a jacket is ridiculous.
8.) If you can’t walk in 4-inch heels, don’t wear 4-inch heels. People will make fun of your limping and even more so when you face-plant. Get some nice flats.
9.) Personally, I’m not a big Vera Bradley fan, but if that’s your thing, fine. However I beg you, please, when your wristlet has become so dirty it looks like it was dropped in a puddle, replace it. Preferably with something more original.
10.) Guys, if you want to avoid looking like a giant d-bag, don’t wear T-shirts with suggestive slogans. They are just sad, and no one thinks you are that funny.
11.) An oldie but a goodie: Unless you are a master of print mixing and are so trendy that rules no longer apply to you, plaid and stripes are best worn separately.
12.) If you do gain the freshman 15, go shopping. Don’t try to squeeze into the jeans you wore all throughout high school, because muffin-tops are the anti-fashion.
13.) There are cuter outerwear options than those drab, usually black North Face Denali fleeces. Feel free to find them.
14.) Leggings are great, and I’m their No. 1 fan. I hate being uncomfortable but refuse to wear sweatpants outside the house (see No. 4). There are rules when it comes to wearing them, though: They should always, I repeat, always, be paired with a shirt that covers your butt.
So freshmen, welcome to college. Take my advice and you’ll avoid being ridiculed by your cruel-hearted upperclassmen peers. And remember, go easy on the 151, when you’re of age, of course.