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Too cool for school

September 7, 2010

DISCLAIMER: There are some really awful tool-ish self portraits below. Be warned.

OK, so I started school up again last week. Joy to the world. I am starting my thesis aka the final step in my journey to masters glory aka what I’m going to be working on nonstop for the next four to six months. (I apologize now for lack of posts, but I’m going to squeeze some in, I promise. Procrastination is great). I always remembered my first day of middle or high school and how I always wanted to wear my favorite outfit that day. I wasn’t a super trendy dresser back then (I’m not even now), but I always managed to look presentable while roaming the halls. Then I hit college, and everything sort of went by the wayside.


This is a photo reenactment of what I might wear to class in college, whether it be in a lecture hall or a smaller class. Not all that put together. Granted, most of my classes we earlier in the morning so I could make my way to work in the afternoon, so I didn’t care too much what I looked like to my fellow classmates. This was the usual uniform. Jeans (these are from Charlotte Russe), t-shirt or sweatshirt depending on the season (this is my beloved Georgia Fencing tee), then either sneakers, my Chucks, or flip flops. There is nothing necessarily wrong with this getup, but it is acceptable for undergrad, not necessarily grad school, or at least in my mind.

Back two years ago when I first went back to school, I was talking about what to wear to class with a fellow grad student. I made a comment about wanting to look nice, she said don’t bother and that no one really cares. This was right at the time in my life when I was beginning to shift out of the t-shirt and jeans mentality and more in to the put together way of dressing, so I knew that I would put my best foot forward, no matter what.


This is what I chose to wear this time around to kick of the semester. The dark jeggings are from Forever 21 as is the white belt. The flats are Target. And the top is thrifted from a few weeks back (a shopping trip I didn’t share because I may have a slight addiction to thrifting these days, and don’t want to be judged). I felt confident walking in to the classroom, and that’s important, I think, when embarking on one of the most important endeavors in my academic career.

All this being said, I have relapsed to my undergrad days occasionally and slipped on some comfy jeans and my Oxford hoodie and made my way to school, but it was usually during midterms or finals, times when I was sleep deprived and feeling uncreative about picking out clothes. Usually in the winter (at times when my brain is more rested), I’ll pair a cardigan or blazer with jeans or maybe even a dress and tights to brave academia.

I find it’s easier to face the task at hand and concentrate when I am put together. This is just as important to me as copious amounts of caffeine, a college-ruled notebook, my laptop, and my favorite pens.

How has your style changed since college or were you the same then as you are now?

6 Comments leave one →
  1. September 7, 2010 3:51 pm

    I love that we literally published our posts within 3 minutes of each other. (I took Labor Day off from blogging, haha.)

    Anyway, I definitely spent the first two years of undergrad bumming around in my jeans and T-shirts (and gaucho pants! ugh, remember those?!), but by junior year, I feel like I stepped it up a bit. Of course, my schedule was something along the lines of class-gym-class-R&B, so I couldn’t go too crazy.

    Once I graduated and started working, I definitely felt like I was more productive if I made an effort to dress nicely. Although my office was super-casual, I liked mixing it up and finally wearing the heels I’d collected over the years.

    However … now that I work from home, all bets are off. (As I type this, I’m wearing my Peachtree Road Race T-shirt and Soffee shorts. Um … fail.) I generally try to work from Starbucks two or three days a week so I’m forced to make an effort, but I spend the morning working and bumming around in my PJs. Then I hit the gym and don’t really “get dressed” until 1 or 2 p.m.

    I’ve found that the same principle still applies, though – I’m more productive when I make an effort with my clothes. Even if I get out of the clothes I slept in and put on another T-shirt and pair of shorts (and a bra), I feel like I get more accomplished.

  2. Katy permalink*
    September 7, 2010 3:55 pm

    Haha I thought you might post today but I wanted to squeeze this in since I have a big assignment due this week. If I am working on a paper at home on my day off or something, I will changed out of PJs in to jeans and a t-shirt so I don’t feel the desire to go back to sleep.

  3. Jess permalink
    September 7, 2010 10:35 pm

    When I started classes a couple of weeks ago, I was really paranoid about being over- or under-dressed. My program is super casual, but I try to stay on the more dressy side – maybe if I look professional, no one will realize I have no idea what I’m talking about.

    I feel like a lot of the undergrads here are way more casual than we ever were, though. I saw a girl today (at the library, of all places) who was wearing rain boots, a rain coat and the shortest Soffe shorts I’ve ever seen. If you have to keep pulling them down every couple of steps, they’re too short. People keep doing double takes to check she was actually wearing pants.

    • Katy permalink*
      September 10, 2010 3:23 pm

      Since I’m in a program for working professionals, most of the people in my class come straight from work (unlike me, the slacked with the newspaper job and the weird schedule). I feel like I have to make a conscious effort to look nice just so I don’t appear as some bum or something.

  4. September 9, 2010 6:18 pm

    Before the R&B, I used to dress it up a little bit. I would wear sundresses and little sweaters to class — basically, a precursor to my style now. I think catching lots of episodes of “What Not to Wear” influenced this time.
    When I started the R&B and got progressively busier with school/internship stuff, I got a lot lazier with my style. It came down to, do I want to shower and pick out a cute outfit today, or do I want to sleep an extra hour? The former almost always won. There was one eventful class with Fink where he (and other Grady peeps) expected me to show up at a luncheon two hours later, and there I was in his class, with unwashed hair and wearing sweatpants. Needless to say, I high-tailed it to my room after class and somehow made myself look somewhat presentable. I kinda learned my lesson that day — even if it seems like a casual environment (such as a class), you should often treat it as a possible opportunity. I made more efforts after that.

    When I graduated and worked at the state Capitol, it was straight business conservative. Total 180 from college years.
    Now, after a stint in retail and a editing/research job? I’m a bit more relaxed, but I like making an effort with what I wear because it puts me in a better and more productive mood. No cute clothes/effort in hair and makeup tunes my brain into thinking that it will be a lazy day.

    • Katy permalink*
      September 10, 2010 3:22 pm

      Man what is it about the R&B that made everyone lazy? Haha. If I have a day at work or school when I don’t like how I look, I think it does effect my performance, which might sound sad, but I think confidence in how you look will translate to confidence in what you are doing. Maybe I should write a self-help book.

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