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Why You Should Experiment with Fashion in College

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Bryn Mawr chapter.

Before starting college, I had a pretty consistent wardrobe that I really trusted. Of course, I mixed up my style when the seasons changed, trading in my retro scalloped high-waisted shorts in the summer for more appropriate thick knit tights and a wool plaid skirt for the fall. Or when I noticed a trend start to emerge, such as when chunky, leather, gladiator sandals were trendy, I bought myself a pair of the Doc Marten Gryphon sandals even though they could probably only really go with some of the edgier outfits in my wardrobe. 

Although I love fashion and experimenting with different styles, there have always been some styles and looks that simply intimidate me. For example, considering the fact that I’m only 5’2, I’ve always stayed away from print pants or mom-jeans as I found that these styles made me look even shorter than I already felt. Even box-y tops and chunky sweaters were my enemies as I didn’t like the way lots of fabric sat on my shoulders. 

When I started college this past August, my mindset completely changed. I’m not sure if it was the fact that in college I was given a fresh start, seeing different confident women sporting their unique looks or a mix of both, but I began to seek out many different types of clothing pieces. 

Just in the past two months I have bought WIDE-LEG and CROPPED (!!!!) jeans from JCrew, a black fake-fur lined jean jacket from Target and a simple black beanie from Urban Outfitters. I surprised myself when I bought the wide, oversized jeans but have had such a fun time styling them. For the also oversized jean jacket and edgier beanie, I’ve also enjoyed playing around with them and wearing them together. Needless to say, reaching out of my comfort zone has made me really excited about new styles and what other pieces I can try out in the future. 

If you are looking to expand your wardrobe choices, especially for college students, here’s my advice! 

Understand what’s holding you back – Baby steps!

Try and think about what styles you have avoided in the past and see if you can slowly integrate them or something similar in your wardrobe. For example, if you’ve been hesitant to wear hair accessories such as headbands or clips, maybe try some that are a similar color to your hair so you can test out the feel and overall vibe of them without completely diving into the deep end.

Pick some real-life inspiration

Coming from someone who also spends a lot of time on a campus, find a couple of people whose style you’ve noticed yourself admiring. Whether they’re in one of your lectures or you always see them in the dining hall, over the next couple of weeks, take a look at what choices they’re making in terms of clothing and what you like or don’t like! This is also a good way to see how different styles look on different body types and hair colors.

Check out local thrift and consignment shops

Thrift and consignment shops provide great opportunities to find unique styles for a cheap price! If you have a thrift store near you, check it out and see if you find a clothing piece that you like.


Some prime stores to check out if you want to start expanding your wardrobe in an affordable and easy way: 

  • Target

  • Buffalo Exchange (Consignment)

  • Zara 

  • ASOS 

  • H&M

Holden Davitian

Bryn Mawr '23

Born in raised in Washington, D.C. Lover of fashion, dogs, pop culture, and anything French! My go-to and trusty outfit includes a black skirt including some sort of scalloped cut, a collared blouse, pearl earrings, and some ballerina flats.