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Cute Ways to Dress in College

by Amanda Rumbalski, studioD

College is an experience that creates both memories and opportunities, which is why it's important to feel confident in a wardrobe that is cute, comfortable and classy. Invest in staple clothing items and a few trendy pieces to create a range of ensembles that can easily transition you from class to post-school activities in style.

Daytime Denim

Dark skinny jeans are a wearable and versatile option that can easily transition from day classes to dinner with friends. The options are endless for your denim. Basic t-shirts and tanks can be worn alone with jeans and dressed up with bold accessories like statement necklaces and printed scarves. Basics can also be foundations for sweaters, cardigans and blazers. An oversized sweater and motorcycle boots pair well with your skinny jeans during cooler months, while a V-neck tee, boyfriend blazer and loafers work for warmer months. Colored or printed denim infuses attitude into an otherwise simple ensemble. Since your bottoms are bold, balance the look with a chambray button-down with rolled-up sleeves. Half-tuck the shirt hem and keep add-ons to a minimum -- think a menswear-inspired watch and ballet flats.

Leisurely Leggings

Leggings are not only comfortable, but also work as an easy foundation for an outfit to be built around. If you only invest in a few colors and styles, choose neutral solids like black and gray as they'll go with most items in an existing wardrobe. A shirtdress is a casual option over leggings that can be accessorized with a thin, woven belt and a chain necklace. Ground the look with heeled ankle boots. Layer your leggings with a sweater dress or an oversized poncho to create a cozy ensemble for cooler months. Finish your layered ensemble with a scarf and flat riding boots.

Business Casual

A few staple items are needed for a business-casual look if you want to dress to impress for school presentations, semi-formal school events or interviews. A pencil skirt, a pair of bootcut trousers and a sheath are foundations that can be built upon with bold accessories and footwear. Stick with neutral colors that can be easily worn again throughout the school semester -- dark bootcut trousers can work with a blazer and a blouse for a presentation and be switched out with an oversized V-neck tee for class. You'll get the most use out of a sheath dress in a simple silhouette with minimal details and embellishments -- think sleeveless or cap sleeves in a black, gray or navy. A blazer and heels can be added for a professional look, while colorful flats and a cardigan will make your sheath class-ready.

Collegiate Chic

A fit-and-flare skirt is a fun alternative to a mini or maxi skirt. Pair with a sailor-stripe top or a crewneck sweater for a preppy-chic outfit that shows you're serious about hitting the books in style. To instantly add more prep to the look, layer a top with a Peter Pan collar under your sweater and slip on a pair of menswear-inspired oxfords. Patterned tights and a leather jacket balance the preppy vibe and help to keep warm when temperatures dip.

About the Author

Based in New York, Amanda Rumbalski embarked on a professional writing career in 2009. Her work has appeared in "Icon" magazine and on Entertainment-Central.com, and she has editorial and styling experience with "Women's Wear Daily," the "New York Daily News" and "Allure" magazine. Rumbalski holds a Bachelor of Arts in advertising and marketing communications from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Photo Credits

  • Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images