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Dressing Your Age in College

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

There’s no denying the fact that college is a transitioning time for students in many aspects of our lives; fashion included! We are learning the skills to develop our future and how to look the part!

However, college fashion can sometimes lead to extremes on both ends of the spectrum. Some women feel that, because they are about to enter (as we college kids love to put it) “the real world”, they must hold onto their high school look and wind up presenting themselves as very young. Other women take it to the opposite extreme and begin to dress like their youth has completely left them.

But I promise, you can find balance that suits you for where you are in your life right now!


Consider this:

If you dress too young,

  • You may be perceived as immature or naïve. This is because it is assumed that as we grow, our style grows as well. If we are still stuck in high school clothes, it’s hard to be taken seriously.
  • You may be perceived as lazy. It is a laudable thing to take pride in your appearance. Embrace this new chapter in your life rather than fighting it!
  • If you are still wearing graphic tees to rebel against “the man!”, still consider all that is available to you and what is appropriate to your everyday situation.


If you dress too old,

  • You can look like you’re playing dress up. Even if your mom has got it going on, you are not obligated to replicate your mother’s wardrobe just because you are entering the adult world. If you are choosing outdated, ill-fitting clothing because you want to look like the older successful women in your life, emulate their work ethic, not necessary their current fashion choices. Remember that their bodies are at completely different life stages than yours; therefore what flatters them may not flatter you.
  • Enjoy being young! Remember that you will never again be as young as you are in this moment. If you don’t love and enjoy the body and youth you have now, you will only grow to long for it later.


All in all, dress to respect and appreciate your body. There is no need to try to force a look upon yourself that doesn’t fit where you are in your college career. And as the famed What Not to Wear stylist Stacy London says, “If you don’t embrace your body at any age, then it looks like you’re fighting it. And that’s not a good look.”



Stay Classy, Ladies!



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Sarah Smith is a junior at the University of Michigan, Class of 2012, majoring in Communication Studies and Political Science. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Forum, Michigan's Greek Life Newspaper, and the secretary of Michigan's chapter of Ed2010. Sarah is also an active member of Alpha Delta Pi Sorority, and she currently serves Michigan's Panhellenic Association as the Vice President of Public Relations.  A native of Sterling Heights, MI, she has been a Michigan fan since birth and loves spending Saturday mornings cheering on her Wolverines. Some of her favorite things include The Office, Audrey Hepburn, women's magazines, and microwave popcorn - preferably with lots of butter and salt!