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Applying for college is one of the most exciting and stressful times of your life. You have to answer so many questions, including what to wear to each event you go to. Should you go casual or more formal? Do you need a suit for your college interviews? It can be easy to get stressed out over what to wear, but don’t worry about it! HC has got you covered. Collegiettes™ across the country weighed in on what to wear to different pre-college events. With this guide, you can forget about worrying about what to wear and save your worries for more important things.

What to Wear: The SAT, the PSAT or the ACT
If you’ve ever taken a standardized test before, you’ve probably seen a lot of sweatpants and maybe even pajamas. Though it might be tempting to roll out of bed and take the test, taking a little time to dress yourself the morning of the test is the best way to go. One collegiette™ said, “sweatpants generally make me feel lazy and unprofessional. I want to feel like I can achieve.” Lazy and unprofessional are two words you definitely don’t want associate yourself with on the day you take such an important test! Take the advice of this collegiette™ and dress for success. Try pairing super-comfy jeans, leggings or yoga pants with a tee and sweatshirt or cardigan. Those classrooms can get chilly, so make sure to bring a jacket or sweatshirt, even if it’s warm outside. Also, avoid headbands that can give you a headache, jewelry that makes noise every time you move, heavy earrings, and other accessories that can be distracting. The overall goal is to be comfortable and confident so you can focus on your test and not on your outfit!


What to Wear: The College Interview
Wearing a suit to a professional job interview seems like a no-brainer, but what about an admissions interview? Tarina Quraishi, an HC Contributing writer and sophomore at Harvard, advised, “Dress your age instead of raiding your mom’s closet for business clothes. You want to be professional, but reflect who you are.” A great way to stay professional but stylish is to mix classic pieces with a pop of color or print. Try pairing a pencil skirt or dress pant with a simple top, like a button down, or a sweater. Make sure your skirt is well below where your fingertips touch the sides of your legs, and choose a skirt that isn’t too tight. For your top, make sure there are no gaps between any buttons and that you are not showing any cleavage. As far as accessories go, don’t go for anything too flashy, but you can never go wrong with a simple strand of pearls, small earrings and one ring per hand (at the most!). If you are applying to an art or fashion school, you can bend the general rules of interview dress. Still keep skirt lengths professional and cleavage under wraps, but add a trendy accessory to show your commitment to fashion or a quirky jacket to show your creative side.

What to Wear: A College Presentation in your Hometown
Attending a college presentation in your hometown is a great way to get some information and have an informal chat with an admissions counselor. As Kathleen Kalinsky, a member of HC’s Publicity Team at James Madison University, put it, “You want to be able to give the impression that you take care of yourself.” To make a good impression but keep with the more casual vibe, try pairing dark jeans, a simple tee, flats or boots and casual but cute accessories like a statement necklace or stacked bracelets. Make sure to dress your age (steer clear of Power Rangers graphic tees and outfits your mom would wear to work), but look pulled together in case you get one-on-one time with the admissions officer.


What to Wear: A College Tour
Taking a tour is one of the best ways to get acquainted with your potential colleges. With all the walking you’ll be doing, a comfy, warm (if the weather will be cold there) and stylish ensemble is a must. Anjerika Wilmer, an HC Branch manager, gave advice on what shoes to wear on your campus tour: “I would wear something comfortable. A pair of boots or flats would be ideal,” she said. Try pairing a cozy sweater dress with leggings, a thick scarf and a warm coat. If you’re touring a school with particularly cold weather, don’t forget gloves and a scarf. Make sure your outfit is warm because your tour can take an hour or more and you don’t want to be focusing on how cold you are while missing important information.

What to Wear: Visiting Your Older Sibling or Friend at Their College
When you visit a college, you don’t want to be labeled as “obviously a high-schooler” by your host’s college friends. By dressing too mature (sky-high heels, low-cut shirts and tight skirts) to make yourself appear older, you’re only making yourself stand out. Stand out for your shining personality, not for your outlandish outfits! One way to know what to wear is to ask your host. Most of the collegiettes™ surveyed agreed to ask your host what the style is like at their college and put your own spin on it. Check the weather before you leave for your visit to see if you need a raincoat, umbrella, an extra warm coat or any other weather-specific clothes. Try to stay away from your high school basketball team’s tracksuit or your letter jacket because while sporting your high school’s gear is fine at your high school, it immediately identifies you as a high-schooler. Try pairing a super trendy piece, like red jeans, with classics to look stylish but effortless. Make sure to pack a nicer going-out outfit, pajamas you would be comfortable around other people in, and comfortable shoes for that campus tour. Read here for a closer look at how to avoid looking like you’re in high school without looking too mature.

What to Wear: A College Fair
A college fair is a great way to get more information on tons of different schools. It is also a great time to get acquainted with an admissions counselor or a student representative. There will be a wide range of attire for college fairs, from casual to business, but make sure you are remembered as one of the students that put forth the effort to look her best. This is a fairly informal event, so it’s OK to keep things casual, but make sure you don’t show up in paint-stained jeans and a ripped tee. Anjerika gave another piece of sound advice about dressing for college fairs: “For a college fair, you don’t want to be under-dressed or over-dressed. A simple dress or floral skirt and cardigan would be appropriate,” she said.

Applying for college can be stressful, but it’s also one of the most exciting times in your life. With this guide, you’ll always look put-together and appropriate. Now, go enjoy this process without any added stress from your wardrobe!

Sydney is a University of North Alabama senior majoring in Journalism and Public Communication. She is involved with Alpha Delta Chi sorority and Campus Outreach, and she works on campus as a student worker and at a department store as a shoe sales associate. When she's not running between activities, class and work, you can find Sydney laughing uncontrollably, talking to everyone, shopping, getting pedicures, reading magazines for hours, or planning her future on Pinterest. She loves Jesus, ADChi, New Girl (specifically, Jess's wardrobe and Nick Miller), glasses, discipleship and late night trips to Applebees.