Back to school fashion guide

Back-to-school sales are everywhere and chances are that adding a few new pieces to your wardrobe for the new school year is a good idea. Before you rush out and scoop up the latest trends, make sure you ask yourself: What kind of student are you? This question could help you to make the most of your time and money as you think about what clothes best suit your needs and student style.

The Balancing Act

Many of us would love to go to school for free, but that, unfortunately, is not the case. Education costs money, and college is the perfect time to learn how to balance obligations. If you are a student who works, it is important to maximize your time, which means having outfits that work on the job and in the classroom. Guys, this might mean finding some khakis and a collared shirt that can be worn casually in class with a hoodie, then swapped out for a cardigan or jacket at your internship. Ladies, this might mean finding a polished-looking pair of boots, along with some leggings that could work with an office-ready tunic or dress. Do you wear a uniform to work? Big coats are hot this season and can easily cover whatever monogrammed polo you are forced to wear.

The key for this type of student is to make sure you can have a quick change by way of backpack. If you add just one piece this term, make it something that is versatile and quality so you can be assured you will look great and feel your best at all times.

The Fitness Fashionista

Whether it is your hip-hop class, intramural soccer or you are just fitting in a little time on the treadmill, it is important to factor in the functionality of your duds this term.

Don’t buy a bunch of fall “fashions” if you are going to go to leave them hanging lonely in your closet while you make the daily reach for yoga pants and tennis shoes! The Pacific Northwest is a great place to be active year-round, so there are plenty of clothiers these days that know looking great in spandex is a game-changer. Bright colors and funky shapes have made athletic wear a billion-dollar industry, so why not see what there is to offer this season? Maybe it is time to pitch your old, stinky workout clothes for something that you can jog to campus in and still look great. Quality athletic wear, if properly cared for, will outlast what is trendy this season while keeping you motivated to maintain your healthy lifestyle.

The key for you fitness-minded folk is to find something that blends your active lifestyle with your student lifestyle without compromising the ability to express yourself. If you buy one fashion piece this season, consider a brightly colored or funky-patterned, water-resistant jacket.

No matter what, consider this: We are paying for education so we can become mature members of society, so why not find reason to start making grown-up choices about the way we dress? Whether you are an athlete, bookworm or commuter, welcoming a smarter wardrobe will set you up for success in whatever student lifestyle you choose.

The Library Hibernator

We will all be doing plenty of studying, and that can mean a lot of time spent at the library or at your favorite studying spot. While you may not be trying to impress your textbooks, there are still ways to dress smartly. Maybe the only seat available is under the air conditioner on an already cool day, or you had to park your car a mile away. Consider adding a couple layered pieces to your wardrobe this year so you can maximize on comfort and function. Ladies, big sweaters and scarves are comfy and have staying power as a trend this season. Guys, instead of throwing on your high school football sweatshirt, think about upgrading to a sweatshirt designed for style without the years-old, cracked screen print ink.

The key for the “hibernator” is to not have to worry about you are wearing while you are focusing on getting an “A”. Plan for comfort, but don’t plan for laziness, because dressing with intention is a great way to stay motivated as you face your flashcards. Plus, you never know when there is going to be a cute guy or girl with an open seat at their table!