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What’s The Dress Code?: Fashion in University

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Queen's U chapter.

We all know that fashion allows students to express themselves. You can walk around campus seeing a variety of fashion choices, from statement pieces to sweats to pyjama pants (I may have done that a few times). I think that university is a unique and special experience when it comes to style. 

It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to finding your style, but experimenting is always the first thing I recommend. Start taking the clothes out of your closet and pairing pieces you would have never thought to put together. You’d be surprised with the number of new and fun outfits you can create. I would also recommend taking pieces that you haven’t had the chance to wear and playing around with them. Have some fun creating different outfits around these specific pieces and go out in them to see how comfortable you feel.

But let’s say that you haven’t gotten to the step of going out in these outfits, because you find yourself worried about showing up to campus and feeling like you’re sticking out like a sore thumb. I know it’s easier said than done, but try not worry about what other people are thinking. Your university campus is filled with thousands of students, and with that, comes thousands of individualized personalities and styles. If you want to take leaps and wear an outfit you’ve been too scared to go out in, just know that someone else is going to look like you or might even approach you with a compliment. If you’re worried about fitting in, you might end up succumbing to a style that truly doesn’t reflect who you are. 

Social media platforms, such as Tiktok, have put a higher emphasis on fashion in more recent years. From microtrends to fast fashion, people feel the need to dress up more in order to keep up with the latest trends — I’ve found this especially true in university. However, it isn’t necessarily true that everyone who follows the latest fashion trends fits in better than those who don’t. Many students show up in outfits that vary from trench coats and purses to pajama pants and an old backpack from grade six.

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Courtesy of Vera Bradley

Your style reflects your individuality and confidence. By figuring out the clothes you like and feel most confident in, the more you figure out who you are. I think of style as reflecting your true self and presenting it to the world.

If showing up to class dressed up makes you feel confident, then do it. If showing up in sweatpants and a sweatshirt makes you confident, then wear that. Wear what makes you feel good and don’t let anyone stop you — unless you plan on showing up in your birthday suit.

Sabrina Bernard

Queen's U '25

Sabrina Bernard is a writer Her Campus' National Program. She writes lifestyle content on the site, including entertainment, news, and experiences. Beyond Her Campus, Sabrina is heavily involved at her university, where she is an Orientation Coordinator for the largest not-for-profit orientation in Canada, she is the Co-President of the English Department Student Council, and models for her university's Sustainable Fashion club. She also volunteers at the local Animal Shelter when she goes home. Sabrina is currently a junior at Queen's University, majoring in English Literature with a certificate in French. She has also been a panelist at several literary conferences for her works. In her free time, Sabrina enjoys reading, playing with her cat Poppy, and petting every cat she can find on the streets. She's also a huge Modern Family fan and has rewatched the series multiple times.