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How To Improve Your Sense of Style in College

Anyone can be fashionable without breaking the bank or feeling uncomfortable.Here’s some methods I use to look good and feel better! 

Finding Your Original Sense of Style

For many people, I have found that the most difficult part of dressing up for them is figuring out how they want to dress. In my opinion, one of the easiest ways to be fashionable is to follow your heart…in the least corny way possible. If you see something at a store and you want to wear it— wear it. Don’t let anything anyone says stop you— the most important part of having a good sense of style is being individualistic about it. If your sense of style is original, the world will be impressed. It’s more fun to be the one wearing the craziest outfit in the room than be the one wearing what everyone else has on.

Studying Trends

For some this l may seem daunting, and that’s seriously okay. Trust me. We have all walked into stores and been overwhelmed with everything. If this is the case, then just go for what you have seen your favorite IGmodels in, or find something that is flattering and basic— you can always personalize the look with accessories later. Fashion should never be scary or upsetting, so if you feel intimidated by following your heart, there is always trendy fashion to fall back on. 


Thrifting is one of the easiest ways to develop and cultivate a sense of style. There are a variety of thrift stores out there, both online and IRL—  Goodwill, Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet, and many many more. Thrift stores range in price, but a lot of the time you can find original, fashionable, and inexpensive pieces at most of these locations. Personally, a lot of my clothes are thrifted, because thrifts have a vast range of sizes and styles that you cannot find anywhere else, which I love. I advise anyone trying step their fit game up to check it out.

Fast Fashion

Regardless of any debate about fast fashion brands like  Forever 21, Fashion Nova, and Primark, the facts are that these stores carry wider size ranges than most others targeting young people, making them a good resource for trendy pieces. I have been both overweight and fashionable for most of my life, and it has been hard to find things I wanted to wear, and even if this doesn’t apply to you, these stores are useful in finding cheap basic pieces, especially if you are in a hurry.

Online Shopping

For many college students, time is an issue— a lot of us are too busy and too broke to shop all of the time. Online shopping can be a great resource for finding your sense of style, because of the unlimited number of clothing options that can be found, and it takes away a lot of the anxiety that can arise with in person shopping. This way, you can find good prices and deals on pieces that may not be in stores, which is very helpful in finding an original sense of style.

Be Brave

I am one of those people who went through a “f*ck it, I’m just gonna wear what I want” phase, which impacted my style forever. Even if this isn’t you, sometimes if you are having a hard time figuring out what you want to wear, it is because you are thinking too hard about what other people want to see. Dressing for yourself makes it so much more fun. Try not to be scared of bold pieces and colorful prints because you want to blend in. No one cool ever blended in.

Respect Your Boundaries

I know I just went off about being brave, but within that, I think it is important to understand and respect yourself for what you feel comfortable wearing. If sweatpants are what make you feel good— dress them sh*ts up! You can make anything cute if you genuinely put effort into it.  Don’t wear something uncomfortable in trying to be stylish, because it won’t work. Do what makes you happy.

Have FUN!!

Overall, the most important part of finding your sense of style in college is listening to yourself. If you want to dress better, do it. If you are happy with how you dress, don’t change it. Being stylish is about being an individual, being an original ass, cool ass b*tch. Do it—  you got this. Have fun with whatever you wanna wear.


Zoe Rivera

Emerson '23

Hi! I'm a freshman contributor at Emerson College
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