College Students Should Dress Well for Class

How to Dress as a Student:

Modeled by Yours Truly, Brooke Moline

This blog is meant to help guide college students, on how to dress during the school week. It is important to take time to look presentable. I logged 5 consecutive days this past week to prove it is possible to look presentable and wear something comfortable and practical to class everyday. Many students are tempted to go to class in sweats, and unfortunately many do everyday. Students do not have to wear business professional clothes to class, but they should put effort into their appearance. Professors take notice, and if students look like a slob everyday in class it gives off the impression they do not care or they are irresponsible. Like it or not, outward appearance says a lot about a person’s attitude and drive. It is important to make a good impression in class, for professors are students’ educators and window into opportunity.

Professors Take Notice: Accounting Professor’s Viewpoint

Below is Professor Paul Schloemer’s view on the importance of students dressing well for class. He is my accounting professor, which goes to show dress is not just important to fashion or art professors. I had a great conversation with him regarding what he expects students to wear to class, and how they dress impacts the way him and his colleges view a student. Read the conversation between us below.

Q: Why is it important for a student to dress well for class, if at all? And what does that say to you?

A: If they are a senior I would desperately hope they would dress like they would for work. If they are a freshman I would let them go. But if I don’t see any change when I see them in an upper level course then as a parent I get concerned that maybe they are not making the transition from student to professional.

Q: What would you consider appropriate attire for a senior? Is it as simple as don’t wear sweatpants? Are jeans ok?

A: Nice jeans are ok.

Q: Out of the other professors you speak to does how a student dress impact their view of a student? Do professors take note of what an upperclassman student wears to class?

A: We (professors) do. When we start nominating students for scholarships I will hear that from my colleagues (referring to how a student comes dressed to class). If a student comes to class dressed well, my colleagues think “he/she is coming to class prepared.” My colleagues find it (how students dress) even more important than I do. Some professors will even speak individually to students about how they come dressed to class and try to guide them towards dressing more professionally.

In short, my conversation with Professor Schemer confirmed that how students dress impacts the way professors view them. It will also affect the likelihood of professors to recommend a student for scholarships or jobs. Overall, how a student dresses indicates to professors how prepared and responsible they are.

Tips on Dressing for Class Successfully

  • Plan ahead: If you’re rushed in the morning set out your clothes before bed, and make sure to check the weather.
  • Fold your clothes and use a steamer. A wrinkled blouse is no better than a sweatshirt.
  • Clean out your closet: Get rid of inappropriate or old items. This will make creating a great outfit easier. If you don’t have anything bad available you can’t be tempted to wear it. Therefore, ensuring you’ll be dressed appropriately for class each day.

Professional, stylish, and Comfortable.

  • Dresses are wonderful because they are super easy to throw on, for it is only one garment. Plus, they are not restrictive and tend to make you look dressier and more refined.
  • Leggings are a must in my class wardrobe. However, I am not talking about the ones I wear to the gym. Leggings are a refined alternative to sweatpants, when the  right fit and quality is worn. Pair them with a long, bulky sweater or structured jacket and tee. Make sure you where the appropriate leggings. If you aren’t sure read my previous blog post, The Legging Guide.
  • Jeans are no longer made stiff and restricting, so there’s no excuse not to feel comfortable in them. I suggest the stretch or jegging jeans in a dark wash. Also, do not wear too low of a rise. A dark wash jean, colored tee, and scarf or necklace combine to make a great outfit. This outfit combo takes as much time to put on as sweatpants and a university t-shirt.
  • Blazers and structured jackets are a great alternative to zip up hoodies when it’s chilly. Or throw on a cardigan instead. Both alternatives will provide warmth but look more professional.

My Week:

It is really easy to make yourself look presentable! To show students how easy and feasible it is, I documented what I wore all day, each day for a full school week. I did not put any more effort in my outfits than usual just because I planned to blog them.

Day 1: Monday


Top: J.Crew leopard print sweater.

—-The sweater is super soft. Choosing a top with a pattern enabled me to get away without thinking about accessorizing with a necklace early on Monday morning.

Bottoms: Express leggings with zipper detail on the side.

—-These leggings are thick, which makes them look more like dress pants. There is a zipper and seam detail on each leg, separating them from a gym legging. Check out my previous Blog, The Legging Guideto make sure you choose the appropriate pair of leggings.

Shoes: Black Antonio Milani perforated flats.

—-These leather flats allowed me to work and walk around campus all day in style without my feet hurting. Remember to wear no show socks!

Accessories: Gold Alex and Ani bracelets and brown glasses.

—-Hint- glasses can be a great way to cover up your tired eyes.

Day 2: Tuesday


Tank: White House|Black Market black tank.

—-This is the high quality tank I referenced in my previous blog Wardrobe Must HavesIt is a great tank and has a  reversible neckline. I am wearing it with the V neck, but if turned around and moved the V to the back I could have a wide scooped tank. It is a 2 in 1 tank top.

Cardigan: American Eagle cream cardigan

—-This is a textured tank with medal and zipper details, which compliment the zippers on my pants.

Pants: Banana Republic Addison straight fit pant

—-These pants are now called the “Ryan-fit” and BR. They’re a slim cut dress pant, with added style. The zippered pockets, seams, and straight lines make it a stylish, youthful version of the dress pant.

Shoes: Antonio Milani dress flats in calf hair

—-The patterned calf hair shoe is a fun, yet professional addition to my outfit. Adding elements and patterns you love is encouraged. As long as it isn’t done over the top students will look professional.

Accessories: Fossil watch and White House|Black Market 3 toned earrings

—-Watches are a great statement piece and very useful for checking the time. It is rude to pull out a phone to check the time in class. My dangly earrings pull in all the colors, while adding texture and pattern to the top half of my look since the shoes do that on the bottom half.

Day 3: Wednesday


Top: J. Crew sweater tank

—- This crew neck sweater tank is stylish and comfortable. The color brightens up my look too, which fit the sunny day.

Jeans: American Eagle high-rise jugging

—-I swear by high rise pants. If it isn’t high-rise I stay away from it. High-rise pants are stylish and wonderful for tucking shirts into, which always makes an outfit look more professional. Note these are fitted but not too tight and dark washed, which makes them more professional than ill fitting light wash jeans.

Shoes: Sperry sneakers

—-These sneakers are extremely comfortable and convenient. They are practical and easy to get around campus in like an athletic shoe, but they look so much better. Note, I am wearing navy colored socks matching my jeans and shoes to continue the line of my leg.

Accessories: Scarf, Alex and Ani bracelets, and wood toned stud earrings.

—- The scarf provides great pattern to my rather patternless ensemble. The jewelry pulls together the colors from the laces of my shoes.

Day 4: Thursday


Top: American Eagle Soft & Sexy long sleeve tee

—- This tee is super soft, warm, and a blank canvas. It is loose fitting, which makes it pair perfectly with leggings. Also, the simplicity makes it very versatile. I paired it with a necklace, but a scarf would go really well too. Note: This top wrinkles easily, so I utilized my steamer in the morning, which took 2 minutes at most. Do not wear wrinkly clothes. Wrinkles are not presentable. 

Bottoms: White House|Black Market leggings

—-These dark grey leggings professional, due to the quality and design. In some settings they can be worn as dress pants, but it depends on the place or job.

Shoes: Merona ankle rain boot

—- I love the navy color of these rain boots, and they served me well on this rainy day. Navy is a neutral, but the color adds more visual interest than my black rain boots, which I felt would have competed with the grey leggings.

Accessories: Pandora crystal studs, Origami Owl necklace, and Tiffany & Co. Venetian Link bracelet.

—- All the jewelry goes well together because it is in silver, which compliments my grey leggings. Mixing high end and costume jewelry is totally ok and advisable. Jewelry helps a casual outfit look more refined, and accessories always give off the vibe more time was taken into getting ready. Choosing a long or chunky statement necklace with a simple tee is a must.

Day 5: Friday


Top: American Eagle cut out sweater

—- As noted in my previous blog post, My (Versatile) Fall Break Purchases, this sweater is super trendy. Cut out shoulders are a hit. It’s a conservative way to show off skin, yet appear classy and professional at the same time. A plus for me is that this sweater is super soft too.

Bottoms: VSX leggings

—- Unlike most VSX leggings these are not made of their staple thin, cotton. Instead, they are a thick spandex with a subtle shine to them. I love these leggings for rainy days, because the rain doesn’t seem to soak into them as much. The spandex material helps them act like a rain jacket for your legs.

Shoes: Merona ankle rain boot

—- Another rainy, dismal day called for pulling out my rain boots again.

Accessories: White House|Black Market gun medal necklace and hoop earrings

—- The black and crystal of the jewelry pulls out the black from my leggings, bringing the outfit together. The pieces add texture and shine to my rather monotoned outfit. What can I say, I dress like the weather!

Note* I like to jazz monotone outfits up with a bold lip, like the red lipstick in this photo. 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s