Remember how easy it was when we were younger and our parents would put together and physically lay out our school outfits for us the night before? Now as adults, we’re responsible for dressing ourselves, and I know I’m not the only one who finds this task difficult at times.
As I got older and my mom no longer picked my outfits out for me, I always strove to look the most trendy and stylish at school. All that mattered to me was that I looked good (even if my shoes left me with blisters after just 1 hour of wearing them).
But after years of trial and error (many, many errors), I learned that I don’t need to sacrifice style for comfort (both physical and emotional). Choosing outfits that are cute, comfy and give you confidence is no easy feat. However, it does help to have these clothing staples in your closet to help you build outfits from.
Here are five wardrobe staples and styling hacks that will have you feeling cute and comfy for classes this fall semester.
The stretchy waistbands on some styles allow for maximum comfort as they stretch with you when you move. Trousers that taper as they go down towards the ankle, as well as those that cuff at the bottom of the pant legs are the perfect way to bring one dressy element into your casual everyday school looks. Material is key; go for a soft-to-the-touch and lightweight fabric to account for breathability and, of course, comfort!
Pair these pants with a loose-fitting tee and throw on a cropped jacket when you’re in those chilly classrooms or leaving late evening classes. These pants go perfectly with a cropped denim or faux leather jacket because your waistline will not be hidden. Chunky sneakers also go great with this look; they create balance as they juxtapose the tapered/cuffed/cinched ankle part of the pants. To transition to a night-out look, throw on some low block heels.
Go for a solid pair of trousers that can easily be matched with anything in your closet, or try a patterned pair to make a statement. The relaxed fit of these pants varies by style/brand, so make sure not to purchase trousers that are too big and loose around your legs that inadvertently make you look like MC Hammer.
- Graphic Tees
Whether they’re cropped or oversized (whichever style YOU feel the most comfortable in), graphic tees are a major statement and can be used as a conversation piece. It’s a great way to show your support for the LGBTQ+ community or demonstrate that you’re a fan of The Beatles or the Toronto Raptors, and will definitely spark up a conversation with someone who shares the same interest in the topic.
Don’t forget about any clubs you’re in or teams you’re on at school! If your extracurricular group has member t-shirts, size up one or two sizes to wear it oversized or tucked into the top of the waistband of your jeans. If you’re into crop tops, go ahead and hack off the bottom of your club tee (if you’re allowed to alter your shirts, of course). You could also cuff the sleeves if they are too long or gather the extra fabric to the front and tie a loose knot with it.
- White Sneakers
This trend is everywhere (and with good reason)! Guys, gals and everyone in between have been rocking white sneakers all summer. But you don’t have to say goodbye to your beloved pair of sneaks just yet! White sneakers are a great piece for the fall as well — they basically go with every outfit (dresses, joggers, you name it!)
Invest in a pair of cute and comfortable white sneakers and trust me, they will definitely be your go-to shoe for the fall season. Try a comfy classic like the Nike Air Force 1. The FlyKnit edition of these shoes bring comfort to a whole new level. If you’re feeling bigger and bolder, go for the Fila Disruptor. This shoe made a HUGE statement this summer and I can honestly tell you, I don’t know one fashion blogger who does not own a pair. For something in between without a platform, try the Adidas Originals Stan Smith — less of a statement but still on trend! The colored detail on the back of this shoe adds the perfect minimalist touch.
Don’t worry too much about keeping your sneakers crisp and clean all the time; a little dirt here and there gives your shoe a bit of life (and stories to tell later). Super clean bright white sneakers may draw attention away from your whole outfit. Statement pieces are always great, but you don’t want something to look like it doesn’t belong.
Babies and toddlers are so lucky that this is all they basically wear. The unity and simplicity of these pieces make it so easy and effortless to look stylish and feel comfortable. You just throw it on, add a few accessories and voilà! You look effortlessly put together.
Layering clothes for the fall months is key. Try pairing your sleeveless jumpsuit with a t-shirt or turtleneck underneath for extra warmth. If the pants portion is a culotte-style, go for your favorite pair of tall booties, perfect for both a daytime casual look and a night-out look.
Granted, going to a public washroom can get a bit awkward, having to undress the upper half of your body in the stall just to slip off the bottom half of your jumpsuit. If you don’t mind this minor hurdle, this piece should definitely still be a staple in your fall wardrobe.
If you do mind this struggle, there is a solution! MATTER is a clothing brand that designs jumpsuits with a detachable bottom half that allows you to use the washroom without having to fully undress.
- Oversized Cardigans
When I think of fall fashion, images of chunky knit cardigans immediately pop into my head. Wearing them can’t help but make you feel like you’re constantly being hugged. They keep you warm while also helping you look stylish — practical, comfy and cute!
Go for a solid neutral color: grey, tan and cream are the perfect colors for fall and will easily compliment any outfit. Try a longline cardigan that falls just above or just past your knees. This will give you even more blanket vibes and keep part of your lower body warm as well.
Loose-fitting/roomier long sleeves allow you to comfortably layer other items under it without making your arms feel super restricted and stiff.
Having these staples in your closet this fall will definitely make outfit planning a lot easier. Whichever piece you choose to incorporate in your outfit, you’ll for sure look stylish but most importantly, feel comfortable.
Follow @hercampusstyle for more back-to-school fashion inspo!