Look classy on a college budget

Whether you’re interviewing for a spring internship, attending a theatre performance or embarking on a new journey with a dress code, putting together the perfect outfit is a necessary ingredient in any recipe for success. There are endless ways to style yourself for a special occasion and some of the pieces you need may already be in your closet. If not, they can easily be found on a college budget.

 

Ladies:

A black dress is a chic staple that can easily be dressed up for any occasion. Punch up the darkness with a bright blazer and chunky necklace for a playfully sophisticated look. Photo credit: David Hawkins / Photo Editor
A black dress is a chic staple that can easily be dressed up for any occasion. Punch up the darkness with a bright blazer and chunky necklace for a playfully sophisticated look. Photo credit: David Hawkins / Photo Editor

For outerwear, blazers or cardigan-style sweaters are classic and easy to throw over a blouse or nice tank top. Depending on the occasion, you can add spice by opting for a subtly patterned or textured sweater. Cable knits are a classic style that add a clean and polished twist to your outfit. For a dressed up look, try pairing a cable-knit sweater or blouse with a leather skirt, leggings and heeled booties. Black is a great color for dresses and skirts since it has an inherent classiness about it and goes with everything. If you don’t want to walk around in heels all day, ballet flats are a comfy and chic alternative.

Don’t forget to personalize your outfit with an accessory such as a bold necklace or cuff bracelets, which will add shine to any outfit in low light at a nice dinner or a night out at the theatre. For an interview, simplicity is key: stud earrings and a long necklace with a small pendant are just enough embellishment without being distracting.

For longer trips, such as a museum outing, a clutch is a classy way to keep all your necessities on you without bringing your backpack. You can purchase these items for a reasonable price at H&M, Forever 21 or at your local thrift shops. Boutiques such as William B and Francesca’s have great finds and reasonable sales.

 

 

Gentlemen:

Dress slacks and a well coordinated tie and shirt are vital to any high-class evening.  Photo credit: David Hawkins / Photo Editor
Dress slacks and a well coordinated tie and shirt are vital to any high-class evening. Photo credit: David Hawkins / Photo Editor

Look for sharp, clean and most importantly, well-fitted clothing. Keep it simple with fitted slacks in a dark wash and dress them up with a button-up shirt, a sport coat or cardigan. Classic footwear is just as important as classic clothing, so make sure you have your dress shoes to give your outfit that extra sharp look it needs.

Don’t forget that skinny tie to pull your polished look together. Don’t be afraid to change up the basic black or white color palette by wearing a brighter tie or different patterns to get you noticed. Also, suspenders or a pair of glasses are always fun  to add to your look. You can find these items at Express, Forever 21, Foreign Exchange or H&M. Urban Outfitters is also an option for those looking for reasonably priced items with edge. If you have the time, local thrift shops are always fun, cheap and vintage.