Fashion in general, but especially for higher ed students has been steadily heading in an increasingly casual direction, which poses a dilemma: How can you be feminine and stylish in college while still fitting in? If you’re a college student interested in fashion, and you enjoy putting effort into your outfits every day, how can you dress up but not look like you’re trying too hard? The answer is to imagine that you are “that girl,” and dress your best yet in a laid-back and effortless way.
Everyone knows “that girl,” the one who always looks put together and stylish without drawing too much attention to herself. You, too, can be that girl, with a bit of outfit planning and inspiration. To be like that girl and make a positive impression with your style, work within the given parameters of your college’s fashion scene to express a classy and feminine look.
Here are some of my favorite cute college outfits for this fall, outfits that are both stylish and practical, perfect for the “that girl” aesthetic.
1. Shorts and a Feminine Blouse
This cute and casual outfit will never go out of style. Pair jean shorts or chino shorts with a feminine blouse and minimalist sneakers while the weather is still warm. Look for feminine details on the blouses, like ruffles, florals, or embroidery.
2. Cardigan Top and Jean Skirt
For a super chic look, pair an A-line or midi jean skirt with a bright button-through cardigan for a pop of color and texture. This cute outfit is perfect for attending classes or exploring the town.
3. A Shirt Dress
If you love wearing dresses, a shirtdress is one of the most elegant and stylish choices that’s still down-to-earth enough for attending classes. Look for pretty autumn hues and even understated patterns like stripes and wear with your favorite sneakers.
4. Button-Down Shirt with Denim
This is a classically chic business-casual look. It’s a preppy and sophisticated outfit, but grounded by the jeans. You’ll be sure to feel confident and capable in this polished look.
5. Sundress and Cardigan
Sundresses are universally flattering and feminine, and layering one with a cardigan is a great way to keep wearing sundresses once the weather gets cooler. Also, look into deeper fall tones and heavier fabrics to transition this summery piece into fall.
6. Vintage Jeans and a Chunky Sweater
Mom jeans and other vintage cuts of denim are back in style for a reason – they never fail to provide a classically flattering silhouette. Pair with a colorful chunky sweater for an outfit that’s simultaneously retro and trendy.
7. Sweater Set
Sweater sets are a classic academic clothing item that's now trending again. You can wear one with jeans or a skirt, and a college baseball cap to add some retro school spirit.
8. Wide-Leg Jeans and a Long-Sleeve Tee
Wide-leg jeans are a glamorous take on regular denim. Wear a slim-fitting t-shirt to balance the width of the jeans, and you’re good to go. You can enjoy experimenting with different color combinations too.
9. Athletic Dress and Windbreaker
Athletic dresses are perfect for a fast-paced campus lifestyle. They work within the popular athleisure theme, but the fact that it's a dress adds an element of femininity. To make this outfit fall-appropriate, pair a workout dress with a windbreaker.
10. A Blazer
For a timelessly autumn look, incorporate an oversized blazer into your outfit, preferably one with a neutral plaid or houndstooth print for iconic appeal. The key is to wear it with an otherwise casual outfit to not look overdone.
The “that girl” aesthetic is a great way to approach your life in general, especially during the college years, from decorating your dorm room to your bedtime routine. As for the outfit ideas, they are simple to put together and extremely versatile with many mix-and-match possibilities. Find ways to make them your own by incorporating your favorite colors, prints, and accessories into your look.
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