Being Overdressed on Campus and Owning It


By Myah Taylor

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After pulling an all night study session, forgetting to do that quickly growing pile of laundry and getting up for a dreaded 8am class, the last thing on the average college student’s mind is engineering a stylish outfit.

The thousands of students strolling through campus clad in baggy t-shirts, tennis shoes, aerobic shorts and other athleisure trends are a testament to this simple truth: college campuses aren’t exactly hubs for haute couture (as if college wasn’t hard enough!).

But there are exceptions to every rule. For every thousand people rocking college student-chic, there is one fashion aficionado making their way through campus, leaving the potency of their look in their wake. In their eyes, they  look the part. However, the effort they put into their appearance makes people wonder: What’s the occasion? Why do they care? Why are they trying so hard?

A lot of people fear showing up to an event being underdressed. But the fear of being overdressed and the discomfort that comes with it is real. Being overdressed on a college campus can be isolating to an extent. It’s like showing up to a daily party that you didn’t get the dress code memo for. But it’s okay. To all the people out there who feel overdressed on campus, don’t fret. You should totally own being overdressed, and here’s why:

Fashion is a tool of self expression

What you wear can be a reflection of you, telling the world about who you are or what you want. Being overdressed is simply a way for you to express the pride you take in your appearance or the ambition that you have, and there’s nothing wrong with that. There’s a saying that “you dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” It’s alright to show people that you care and deserve respect. And it’s great to look the part of the girl or guy boss that you want to be.

The world is your runway


The great Coco Chanel once said, “Everyday is a fashion show, and the world is your runway.” By these standards, don’t feel uncomfortable walking through campus in your best ‘fit. Maybe you’ll draw stares, but think of it is this way: Your morning commute is a fashion show and all the eyes you draw are the audience members mesmerized by your graceful catwalk.

You may have a date with destiny

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Fashion pioneer Chanel said many more iconic things in her lifetime. “I don’t know how a woman can leave the house without fixing herself up a little-if only out of politeness,” the designer said. “And then, you never know, maybe that’s the day she has a date with destiny. And it’s best to be as pretty as possible for destiny.” In the context of college, you never know who or what you’ll encounter throughout your day. Maybe you’ll run into your crush. Maybe you want to exude professionalism when you visit your professor’s office hours. Or a big name celebrity might be making an appearance on campus. In cases such as these, being overdressed or looking your best is always a plus.

Looking nice makes you feel better

Sometimes a great outfit can really kickstart a day. Opting for a well-intentioned ‘fit rather than last night’s PJs can make you feel put together, productive and well prepared for the day’s tasks. Dressing nicely and dressing confidently positively affects your inward perception of yourself. Long story short, if you look like a million bucks, you’ll feel like a million bucks. Clothing is powerful. So if you’re feeling overdressed, just relish in the fact that you’ve mastered this philosophy- on top of all the the other things you’re mastering in class.

The next time you feel uncomfortable about how dolled up you are as you sit in class surrounded by a sea of sweatpants, remember that being overdressed can be a blessing. Own your appearance and embrace your uniqueness. Then, you’ll be well on your way.