Clothing Your Tail Feather
Typically, your shirt tends to be the focal point of your outfit, but if your pants or shorts are torn or don’t complement your shirt well, your outfit will be a disaster. Here are some pointers to help keep that from happening.
If you’ve got the legs, now is the time to rock “booty” shorts, which may not be appropriate after your 20s. If you do go for the booty shorts, pair them with a more conservative top so you’re not baring too much skin. Bermuda shorts go with pretty much anything and come in a variety of colors and patterns. Go for some in a sleek, subtle stripe like what a suit might come in. If the pattern is subtle enough, it can still go with tops with patterns.
Capri pants are great for fall and spring when the weather is mild. Try to find Capri pants that hit you just beneath the knee, which will help your legs appear longer than ones that strike mid-calf.
With all shorts, Capri pants and pants, stay away from those that come with holes in them. No matter what you pair with them, they will inevitably bring your outfit down at least a notch. Because they’re below the level of casual, they are not appropriate for as many situations as ones without holes, so go for ones without holes, which offer more versatility.
Denim bottoms come in a light acid wash color, but this look is not in style or flattering. Some jeans are available with the front and/or back of the thigh in a brighter color than the rest of the item. This look makes your thighs appear wider, so unless that’s what you’re going for, steer clear from them as well. Instead, go for dark blue denim, which is slimming and attractive on any figure.
Those with average-to-thin legs should jump on the skinny jeans bandwagon. These pants flatter your legs, butt and are short enough to show off your stunning shoes. Straight cut pants work on all figures and still help your shoes be visible, whereas flare pants, which are on their way out, conceal much of your shoe. Although in style, boyfriend-cut pants don’t accentuate any body type, so don’t waste your money. Ultra baggy pants, especially ones with a high waist, can look attractive if the pelvis area is still fitted.
Hats off to You
Hats are an atypical fashion element because many women never wear them, and those who do tend to only wear them on occasion. If you wear them correctly though, they can make quite the fashion statement.
Hats, in general, often emit a masculine quality, probably because men tend to wear them more frequently than women. As such, make sure your hair is always visible when you wear a hat, so that you still look particularly feminine. Pair your hat with feminine clothes too. If you’re off to the ball game in a baseball cap, resist the temptation to pull your hair into a ponytail, which can give you a masculine appearance when seen head-on. With that said, reserve baseball caps and visors for ball games and when exercising. Also, only sport your cowgirl hat for themed parties and should you choose to go line dancing.
Newsboy and cadet caps are hot right now. With newsboy caps, be sure the billowing top isn’t too large, which can dwarf your head. Unfortunately, most hats come in one-size-fits-all, which for many women, isn’t true. Make sure you try on the hat and that it isn’t so tight that it leaves you with a headache or a mark and that it isn’t so loose that you’re going to have to tug it off your eyebrows all day.
The fedora is another trendy option, but make sure you find one that is intended for women. Fedoras have a masculine look to them anyway, so go for one designed for women that has a feminine touch. Fedoras, newsboy caps and cadet caps all come in a variety of colors and patterns. Find one that speaks to your style, but remember that it has to complement your outfit when you wear it. Therefore, a plain black hat will complement more of your clothes than a hat in a loud pattern.
Finally, winter hats are not only attractive, but also are functional. A lot of your body heat escapes off the top of your head, so a winter hat can really help keep you warm when you’re trekking to class in those cold winter months. Normally complementing colors is preferred, but matching your winter hat and scarf is perfectly acceptable but not required. Skullcaps can appear masculine, so consider a knit beret to go with your winter coat.
Unless you live in an apartment, which usually isn’t possible your freshman year, your bathroom routine becomes a whole new animal. Temporarily gone are the days of setting up your bottles of soaps around your tub. For now, embrace the nomadic bathing routine.
First and foremost, make sure you have a comfy robe so that you can comfortably travel from your dorm room to the shower. Some dorms have men and women on the same floor, so it’s not advisable to go from your room to the bathroom in just a towel. Be securely covered up in a robe instead, and go for one in your favorite color or a fun pattern.
Don’t rely on your robe to soak up all the water when you get out of the shower though. Make sure you bring a towel. After you use the towel to dry off your body, you can don your robe and throw the towel into a turban around your head to help dry your hair. After a few minutes though, the towel has soaked up all it can, so then you’ll either need to let it air dry or use a blow-dryer. Never leave your blow-dryer, straightener or curler in the bathroom unattended because a fellow dormmate may decide it should belong to her.
Next, pick up a pair of plastic flip-flops or sandals in a material that won’t soak up the water. Community showers can be breeding grounds for foot fungi and other pests, so protect your feet by wearing sandals in the shower. Try to find some sandals with good tread so you don’t slip in the shower. Also, be sure to make these your shower sandals and refrain from wearing them outside your dorm.
Because you don’t have a personal shower, you should buy a caddy to lug around all your toiletries. Look for a caddy that has holes in the bottom so that it doesn’t collect water. Chances are it’s going to get wet when you use it. In general, the bigger the caddy, the better. You save money by buying soaps in larger bottles, so to accommodate all your large bottles, you’ll need a sizable caddy.
Snip, Snip Your Gorgeous Hair
An incredible appearance is dependent on all aspects of your look coming together in an aesthetically pleasing way, from your makeup to your jewelry to your clothes and yes, to your hair.
It can be fun to play around with different hairstyles, but your face shape can play a role too. Long hair draws the eye down, which benefits women with round faces. But long hair can make you appear shorter too, so make sure your hair is no longer than three-quarters of your back. Short hair, meaning hair that hits above your shoulders, looks best on women with thin or long faces because it can help make your face look fuller. Medium-length hair, that which falls at the shoulders or just below, looks great on all face shapes.
With any length hair, consider having layers, which add dimension. Layers look particularly beautiful when they’re curled under or out. You can also frame your face by cutting the hair around your face to be even with your chin and then cut the front of your hair at an angle so that the hair away from your face gradually gets longer.
Hair shorter than your shoulders should be cut every six to eight weeks, and hair longer than your shoulders should be trimmed every eight to 12 weeks. If you have long hair, you may be able to go the entire semester without a trim, but if you have short hair, you’ll need some cuts in between to keep your style. If you go home a lot or if home is just around the corner, upkeeping your cut won’t be a problem. Otherwise, you may need to consider finding a stylist at school.
Ask around if your friends can recommend a stylist, or go online and compare reviews and cost. Some stylists offer a competitive edge by trimming bangs in between cuts for free. Speaking of bangs, they’re back in style and can be particularly advantageous for women with larger foreheads. If you’re going for bangs all one length from temple to temple, make sure you straighten them everyday to avoid sporting an outdated ’80s vibe. Or consider side-swept bangs, which should start just under your eyebrow and gradually get longer to the corner of your eye.
The Foundation of Beautiful
Great makeup starts with a great foundation; a great foundation starts with great skin. For great skin, make sure you wash your face nightly to remove the makeup, sweat and any dirt that may have accumulated over the course of your day. If large pores are a concern, look for a cleanser with pore-refining capabilities.
If your pores frequently get clogged, you may want to consider using pore strips once a week. Pore strips come available in shapes designed specifically for your forehead, nose and chin. If dead skin is your challenge, use an exfoliating cream once a week to remove any dead skin cells. Or if oily skin is your culprit, use a mask once a week.
With all that said, you’re still not ready to apply your foundation! Before foundation comes lotion. Be sure to lotion your face daily before applying your makeup. Moisturizing keeps your skin looking young and becomes increasingly important as you age. Look for lotions specifically designed for your face that contain SPF, which is key to protecting your skin year-round.
Now you are finally ready to apply your foundation. Use a non-latex sponge to apply foundation that is one shade lighter than your natural skin tone. This will help your makeup blend better with your natural color. Start at the bottom of your face and apply your foundation upward. Gravity pulls down on your face all day, so giving it a lift as you apply your foundation will help keep your skin looking fresh and young.
Be sure to apply foundation under your jaw line and chin. If you have the right color foundation, you shouldn’t have a visible line where your makeup and bare skin meet, but this is an extra precaution against makeup lines by making the line in a location hard for others to see. Unless you have eye makeup base, apply foundation to your eyelids before applying your eye makeup, which will help keep it in place longer.
Finally, if you have dark circles under your eyes from all that late-night studying…or partying, put concealer under your eyes and on top of your foundation. Concealer should be a shade lighter than your foundation and will cover up your dark circles and brighten your face.
Your Pearly Whites
A woman’s most attractive attribute can be her radiant smile. It may even be the first thing guys notice about you, so take the time to care for them properly.
As you’ve likely heard from your dentist repeatedly, brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes a session and floss once a day. If you don’t already have one, consider buying an electric toothbrush. It can get the job done better than what you can do by hand, and most have a built-in timer so you know when you’ve reached your two minutes. Flossing with string can be a pain, but floss picks are easy to use. Thanks to the tiny handle, floss picks also keep saliva off your fingers.
You should also whiten your teeth every six months. Teeth whitening kits come in strips, gels and even a version that you paint on your teeth. The strips are the most intense, so if you have sensitive teeth, stick to either the gel or paint.
If you have crooked teeth, it’s never too late to put them straight. There are options now that you only have to wear at night, and some are far less obvious than typical metal braces. Unfortunately, most dental plans don’t cover adult orthodontics, so that might be something you have to wait to purchase until you have the money to pay for all of it.
But if you go for the braces that cover your teeth and are molded to their shape, you can also use them as whitening trays. You can even get professional-strength whitener from your dentist to put in them. These type of braces also offer the added advantage of protecting your teeth while you sleep. Many women don’t realize that they chomp or grind their teeth in their sleep, which can wear teeth down overtime. Tiny teeth aren’t cute, so don’t let them get whittled down.
Even if you have straight teeth, if you had braces as a kid, there is a good chance that over the years, your teeth will shift back to their original spots. As such, consider investing in some night retainers to keep them in place.
Skirt the Issue
No matter what you pair a skirt with, the skirt naturally takes your level of dress up a notch. Skirts make you look like you put thought into your appearance, so wear them often. Just make sure you don’t wear them in a situation where you might have to sit on the floor or do some other activity that would make them inappropriate.
The classic denim skirt is a must-have, but there are many style options. Denim skirts come in miniskirts, pencil skirts, pleated skirts, etc. Pick one or more that will go great with your college T-shirts and even going-out tops.
Miniskirts come in more materials than just denim, but make sure you pair them with tops that are more on the conservative side. Showing too much skin can appear skanky. Also, when buying a miniskirt, make sure you find one that fits. It should easily cover your bottom and conceal your underwear when you sit. If not, find one that leaves a little more to the imagination.
Pencil skirts show off your shape while still being conservative, allowing you to pair it with more showy tops. Pencil skirts tend to be cut higher, often hitting you around the navel. As such, they look best with tops that should be tucked in or crop tops; that way the skirt still shows off your figure.
Flowing skirts typically come in the greatest variety of patterns, making it your focal point. Flowing skirts that hit the top of your knees flatter all heights, but full-length skirts should really be reserved for tall women, i.e., those 5’7” and taller. If you’re shorter than that, full-length skirts, and especially those that hit mid-calf, will make you appear shorter.
Finally, check out high-low skirts, which are all the rage right now. These are a great alternative for shorter women because you get the elegant flowing material only available with a full-length skirt, but you still show off your legs in the front, which keeps you from looking shorter. These often tend to come in a variety of patterns, so don’t be afraid to make a statement with a bold pattern.
Bold tights are popular too. If wearing tights with a pattern, be sure to go for a solid color skirt. Solid color tights also look great with ankle booties, but this combination should be reserved for winter and fall. Outside of cool temperatures, dark tights look odd. Fishnets and tights with keyholes in a pattern are trendy too. When wearing any tights though, closed-toe shoes look best to conceal the seam of your tights.
When people look at your face, the first thing they notice isn’t usually your eyebrows, but if your eyebrows are not properly groomed, they will be the first thing people notice but for the wrong reasons. Some women have naturally thin, blond eyebrows that require little-to-no maintenance, but for the majority of women, eyebrow grooming is necessary.
If you’ve never groomed your eyebrows before, let the professionals do it for the first time to establish the proper shape. Then once you have the proper shape, you can upkeep them yourself thereafter. The salon professionals will likely use hot wax and then follow up with tweezers to get the strays.
If you have sensitive skin, the hot wax may leave your skin red and irritated for days or even weeks. If this is the case but you prefer to leave eyebrow maintenance to your stylist, ask your stylist to turn the heat down on the wax. Sometimes this can cause less irritation.
The best time to tweeze your eyebrows yourself is right after you get out of the shower. Your pores are open from the heat of the water, making plucking less painful. Tweezing everyday is best so that not only will your eyebrows always look their best, but also it won’t take much of your time if you only have to tweeze a few errant strands per day.
When tweezing, be sure to only tweeze the wayward hairs and to keep the shape that your stylist has created for you. Ideally, your eyebrows will start directly above the corner of your eye closest to your nose and end slightly farther than the outside corner of your eye. In the middle of your eyebrow, it should peak into a corner. Hairs that are closer in than the inside corner of your eye or farther out than the outside of your eye should be tweezed, as well as hairs that fall above or below the shape your stylist created.
In addition to tweezing, eyebrow maintenance will require some cutting. Buy a small mustache scissors for easy control and an eyelash/eyebrow brush. Use the brush to sweep your eyebrow hairs upward, and then use the scissors to cut anything longer than half an inch to three quarters of an inch.
Swim with the Fashionistas
Even if you’re not lucky enough to attend a college that’s beachside, you may want to lounge poolside at the rec center or a friend may have a pool at her apartment complex. Either way, make sure you have your swimming gear ready.
Obviously the most important part is your swimsuit. Select a suit that flatters your body type the best. Bikinis show the most skin, but a swimsuit that accentuates your figure the best would be even sexier. If you have a full bust, go for a deep-v one-piece. If you have a muscular back, go for an open-back suit. If you have a six-pack, go for the bikini. If you have a large bust, stay away from strapless suits, which can push down your breasts and be unflattering. Plus, you’ll probably want a suit that provides more support than a strapless suit can offer.
You unlikely won’t be stepping out of the car and next to the water, so wear a cover-up over your suit until you get to pool or beach. If you want a blousy cover-up, find one that is transparent, so you’re still emphasizing your figure. There are also plenty of options in short dresses, which emphasize the legs and wraps that emphasize your cleavage. Make sure your cover-up complements your suit in terms of color and pattern.
As you would in a workout situation, keep the makeup minimal. Once you get wet, you’ll lose most of it anyway. Consider wearing waterproof mascara and earrings with backs. Most importantly, don’t forget the sunscreen. Be sure to apply it 30 minutes before getting wet and every few hours thereafter. Even if you want a tan, you should still apply suntan lotion to protect yourself from sunburn and the sun’s harmful rays.
Poolside or beachside is the perfect situation for flip-flops. Avoid leather and cloth sandals, which can be damaged by the water. Go for sandals in a material that can handle getting wet. Most likely, you won’t be able to keep your eye on your shoes the whole time, so don’t bring an expensive pair in case someone else decides to walk off in them. If you’re going to the beach, don’t wear tall shoes, such as wedges or platforms, because the uneven surface may cause you to take a nasty tumble.
The sun can make you surprisingly thirsty, so in addition to your sunscreen, pack a lot of water in a cute tote. Totes made out of rope or canvas look great with a swimsuit, but unfortunately, that’s about it. Go for a tote in a more versatile fabric that would be appropriate in the classroom or for an overnight stay.
Dress up Your Casual Wear
Of course you want to show your school spirit, which many choose to do by sporting a T-shirt or hoodie with their school’s logo or mascot, but make sure you show your support in a way that doesn’t make you, or your school, look grungy.
When wearing a hoodie or T-shirt, fit is paramount. Be sure to buy clothing that it tailored to your body: The seem of the sleeve should start right at your shoulder, the shirt should snuggly fit without causing the material to pull tight across your chest, and it should be long enough to cover your back when you sit down, unless you’re going for a midriff top. Keep an eye out for “fitted” T-shirts, which are tailored for a woman’s body, as opposed to a plain T-shirt, which are unisex.
As there is a time and location for your range of dresses, so is there for casual wear. Casual wear is ideal for when you go to a school event, such as a football game or homecoming parade. Class is appropriate too, but think twice before wearing it to the bar or restaurant, unless you’re going to one of these venues before or after a school event.
Because your top is so casual, it’s even more important that you pair it with flattering clothes and accessories. Unless you’re working out, don’t pair your casual top with sweatpants or leggings; go for jeans, khakis, denim skirt or other similar bottoms. This will make your outfit put together, even when half of it is uber-casual.
Accessories can help dress up your overall look too. Obviously don’t go for dressy jewels, but dangling earrings, statement necklaces or bold bracelets can be totally appropriate. As always, opt for jewelry that complements the colors of your clothing, rather than matches them.
To look trendy and not like you’re headed to the gym, don’t pair your hoodie or T-shirt with a ponytail, which screams casual. Wear your hair down or half up, or if it’s hot outside and you need your hair off your neck, go for a large claw to secure it up with.
Complete your outfit with the right shoes. If your shoes are too dressy, such as a pair of stilettos, your whole outfit will look wrong. Go for trendy casual shoes, such as sandals that aren’t flip-flops, or if it’s cool outside, knee-high flat boots will look awesome.
Dresses, From Everyday to Evening
Don’t be afraid to make dresses part of your everyday attire. With the right style and material, dresses can look casual and completely appropriate for the classroom. Cotton and jersey material usually say casual, so look for dresses in these materials. But don’t make dresses part of your everyday look based on material alone; the style needs to say casual too. Look for dresses with flowing skirts; tight skirts tend to convey evening, but not always.
A popular trend is to wear a collared button-up shirt beneath a strapless dress, which would also be great for the classroom. Go for a top where the first button is low enough to be concealed by the dress. If the dress is simple, be sure to add a skinny belt.
Sometimes colleges really like to crank up the AC, so bring a khaki or jean jacket to wear over your dress. These elements will also help dress down your look for the classroom. Shoes can also be extremely instrumental in setting the tone of your look. If you want a relaxed look, definitely do not go for heels. Go for low sandals, flats or even platforms.
When going to the bar, club or house party, go for dresses a little more on the evening side. Spaghetti straps and v-necks tend to qualify dresses in this regard. Wrap dresses and collared shirtdresses paired with heels will look great. Just be sure your look doesn’t say “cocktail dress,” which would be a little too formal for the occasion.
But don’t pack up your formal dresses yet. If you’re in a sorority or if your boyfriend is in a fraternity, you may be attending a “formal.” These dances are perfect for sleek cocktail dresses and what you might wear to a wedding. Find out just how formal the occasion is; for some, your homecoming or prom dresses from high school may be appropriate. Just be sure you try to reevaluate your high school formal attire with an objective perspective to determine if it’s mature enough for campus. Depending on what you selected for high school, it may or may not be. Be cautious of bright colors and full skirts; darker colors and slim cuts tend to appear more mature and elegant.
Belt Itout Loud
Your belt can be just as important of an accessory as your jewelry. Selected thoughtfully, it can make quite the fashion statement. Contrary to popular belief, your belt does not have to match your shoes; it just has to complement your outfit. As such, don’t shy away from bold belts with loud prints or loud colors.
When you think of belts, you probably first think of the object that goes around your waist.That’s one of your options, but let’s start there. Although you can wear skinny belts around your waist, they have a way of creeping up to the very edge of your belt-loops and above your pants. Therefore, your thicker-to-average-width belts are your best bet. But if you go for a bold belt, be extra thoughtful with the jewelry you pair with it. You can still wear a statement piece of jewelry, but if both are too loud, your look will appear gaudy. If your belt has a print, go for a solid colored necklace or make your earrings your statement piece.
Don’t forget your option of wearing your belt on your natural waist, toward the end of your ribcage. A belt placed here has a naturally slimming effect, and either especially wide belts or very thin belts will do the trick. Keep your cardigan closed with a skinny belt or cinch your waist by wearing a skinny belt with a button-up shirt. If you find a skinny belt with enough holes in just the right size, you can have the option of wearing it on your natural waist or through your belt-loops, so be sure to try out both options before purchasing one. Thicker belts especially look good with deep v-necks.
Finally, you have your hip-hugger belt options. These belts are not intended to go through your belt-loops, either they’re too wide, they have adornments making them too thick or they have dangling adornments that prevent them from going through your loops. These belts look best if they can comfortably be worn over your belt-loops, or better yet, worn with a skirt or pants without belt-loops. These come in a variety of options, from seashells to hanging fringe to double buckles. Just be sure that if your belt does have a lot of embellishments, you let it be the centerpiece and keep your jewelry simple.
Looking Sexy in Shades
When walking to class in the bright sun, sunglasses are a must. Plus, they provide a fashionable flair to any ensemble. Although brown and black can be mixed in an attractive manner, it can be tricky. It’s safer to have both black and brown sunglasses to choose from to complement your outfit. If the contents of your wallet are healthy, go ahead and also get some sunglasses in a fun color and/or pattern. The rules of complementing colors still apply, so be sure to pick a color that will go with a lot of your clothes. Also, consider the colors of your coats because it can still get sunny in the wintertime too.
Sunglasses with the larger frames are in style right now, but they’re not one-size-fits-all. If you have a smaller face, make sure your frames aren’t too large, or they’ll dwarf your noggin. Also, the large lenses aren’t always the same shape. If you’re getting more than one pair, go for sunglasses that are a slightly different shape than what you already own. Or shake it up by selecting sunglasses with unusually colored lenses or lenses with gradient coloring.
Be wary of sunglasses with adjustable nosepieces. Although this feature can make sunglasses more comfortable, they can get stuck in your hair if you rest them on top of your head when you go inside. If you prefer to rest your sunglasses on top of your head, go for the ones with solid nosepieces. Even if you do enjoy resting your sunglasses on top of your head, they’ll likely slide off if you’re tilting your head down to take notes in class. Instead, invest in a hard sunglass case. Cases are surprisingly affordable, and they’re definitely worth it when they protect your sunglasses from breaking.
If you’ve got a little extra dough, splurge on some name-brand sunglasses. Designers have some creative ways of incorporating their logos into the arms of sunglasses. Be careful how much you’re paying for name-brand glasses; plenty are available online and in-store for reasonable prices. Plus, sunglasses are probably one of the most misplaced accessories, so if you spend a lot, you’ll really regret it later if you lose them.
When the Weather Is Frightful, Coats Are Delightful
In the winter when you are walking to class, people will mainly see just your coat. Therefore to be stylish in this situation, an attractive coat is paramount. If your college is located in a climate that enjoys the different seasons, make sure you have jackets for late fall and early spring and warm coats for winter.
Every girl should have the staple jean jacket. To ensure it has a modern flair, go for one in dark denim, which is also slimming. Be sure to never wear denim pants with a jean jacket though; that’s way too much denim for one outfit. If you’re wearing your jean jacket, be sure to have khakis, slacks or a bottom in any other fabric than denim.
Your other staple jacket is the classic trench. Trenches come in a variety of colors, fabrics and patterns, so pick one that speaks to your aesthetic. Keep in mind that your coat should complement your outfit, so find one that will go with a lot of items in your wardrobe.
Leather jackets are timeless too and also come in a variety of colors. Authentic leather may be more expensive, but it looks more luxurious and will last longer. Try buying one at the end of winter because they’ll likely be on sale. Although leather jackets will keep you warmer than a jean jacket or most trenches, they usually won’t withstand the dead of winter unless they come with an extra lining to zip in and out.
For the coldest of days, you’ll need a winter coat. Don’t go for the coats that make you balloon like a marshmallow; go for the ones that show your figure while providing warmth. The material of the garment is paramount when you’re looking for a warm coat. Wool is often your best option, and keep an eye out for coats with lining that can be removed. The best part about winter coats is the fur! When possible, opt for the coats where you can remove the fur, so that they can transition from fall to winter. To polish off your winter look, find a matching hat and scarf set. Leather gloves are especially nice during a snowfall.
Just because you’re sweating at the rec center doesn’t mean your attire doesn’t matter. Anytime you venture into public, you should put thought into your appearance. Working out does give you a pass on some of your usual makeup habits. Leave off the foundation, for example, because it will inevitably be a messy smear by the end of your exercise routine. Plus, foundation can clog your pores; mix that with sweat and you have a recipe for a breakout. Do opt for some eyeliner and waterproof mascara.
When at the rec center, your primary objective should be to burn some fat, so functional attire is key. Although head-to-toe skintight apparel would appear odd in any other setting, here it is not only function, but also it is expected. Tight workout clothes flatter trim figures, and they’ll be out of the way, preventing any possible injury that may occur, such as a weight snagging a baggy T-shirt.
Spandex tank tops are great because they allow your skin to cool down and breathe. With many such tank tops, your sports bra will be visible, so be sure to wear one in a color that complements your outfit. Of course, always wear a sports bra; not doing so will be uncomfortable and can even lead to back injury. Resist the urge to wear just a sports bra though; going shirtless can appear sleazy.
Spandex Capri leggings or pants that complement your tank top are ideal because they also breathe and protect against snagging exercise equipment on bulky apparel. Spandex shorts may look a little out of place; those are best left for bicycle rides and volleyball.
Whereas different hairstyles are attractive everywhere else, a braid or ponytail should be your go-to options at the rec center. Working out is not the time to make a fashion statement with your hair; go for functional instead.
Finally, don’t forget to complete the ensemble with a comfortable pair of athletic shoes. Matching your athletic shoes to your outfit is not necessary; they will most likely complement pretty much any exercise outfit. What is important is to make sure they are in good shape. Make sure to frequently wipe down lighter color shoes, which dirty easily. If they’re torn or ripping, it’s time to buy a new pair.
Ponytails, Buns and Twists, Oh My!
As long as you don’t have a bob or incredibly short hair, you can freshen up any look with a different hairstyle. Not only will you look more put together if you take the time to fix your hair, but believe it or not, guys will appreciate the versatility of your look. Guys like unpredictability, so if you style your hair differently everyday, that’s one way to get his attention.
You’re probably thinking that you don’t know many ways to fix your hair, but I bet you’ll be surprised how many you already know:
3. Low ponytail
4. High ponytail
5. Tight bun
7. Braid as a headband
9. French twist
10. Half up
There are a few more options that require a bit of an explanation:
1. Messy bun– Put your hair into a high ponytail, and don’t pull your hair all the way through. Leave it so there is a loop. Then put in another ponytail holder. Loop it once around the first holder, and then when looping it a second time, only pull your hair halfway through so it cuts your loop of hair in half. Then take pieces of your hair, about the width of soda straw, wrap it around your finger into a tight twist and tuck it into one of the ponytail holders. The majority you should be able to secure into one of the ponytail holders, but a few you may have to use bobby pins for extra support. Twist all your hair up, and you’re left with a stylish messy bun.
2. Wavy – French braid your wet hair before you go to bed. If your hair is still damp in the morning, blow-dry it while it is still in the braid. Once it is dry, undo the braid, and you’re left with elegant waves.
3. Tight curls – With wet hair, wrap your entire head in sponge curlers. The trick is to gel each strand as you go, and keep the strands on each curler small. Again, if your hair is still damp in the morning, blow-dry it, and then remove the curlers. You will be left with really tight curls. Then you can tease the curls out for a dramatic full look or pin your hair up for a sexy up-do or leave your hair as is in cute ringlets.
Be Sexy, Not Sleazy
Before choosing a sexy look, first be sure your destination calls for it. For example, never go for a sexy look if you’re going to class. Even if your look is sexy, it will look sleazy if the look is inappropriate for the venue, such as a classroom.
Next, the key to being sexy and not sleazy is to wear only one revealing item. If your skirt is short, wear a conservative top. If your neckline is plunging, wear pants. In addition to only wearing one revealing item, only one aspect of the item should be revealing. For example, don’t go for a midriff top that also has a plunging neckline. Also important is to select an item that says sexy rather than stripper. Go for items of quality material, and be wary of shiny material when the article is also sexy. That combination can come off as cheap.
Keep in mind that clothing can be sexy without be overtly provocative. Articles with cutouts are a good example. The unexpected hole in the clothing makes it surprising and therefore sexy, even if it’s not particularly revealing. Sometimes the material can be what makes it sexy. Leather, sheer and lace can make clothing sexy, even if it’s not revealing.
Be sure to dress for your body type. If you are small chested, a plunging neckline may not be sexy on you. If you’re thicker around the midsection, don’t go for the midriff. It’s key to go for the items that emphasize your best features. If you have killer legs, go for the miniskirt or booty shorts. If you do have a large bust, go for the plunging necklines and keyhole tops. If you have six-pack abs, go for the midriff. If you have a muscular back, go for the open-back shirt.
Dressing sexy in the winter can be a little more challenging because you want to stay warm too. If you want to wear a dress or skirt, pair it with knee-high boots, which can be surprisingly warm. For an extra layer of warmth, wear knee-high socks underneath. For sexy wintertime tops, find v-neck and keyhole sweaters. As long as it doesn’t have palm trees on it or some other summer feature, you can pair your summer tops underneath a cute shrug, and your plunging neckline will still be visible and sexy.
Shoes for a Night out on the Town
Your flats are for campus, but your heels are for going out! Heels help you project a more feminine stance and elongate the legs. However, that doesn’t mean you should wear heels every time you’re going out for a drink. If you know your plans will call for you to stand all night, opt for a kitten heel or platform shoes with a small slope. There’s a good chance that your destination doesn’t have the cleanest of floors, so dress appropriately so that you’re not carrying your shoes by the end of the night.
If you do decide to brave it, invest in some shoe cushions. There are shoe cushions available specifically for heels so that they’re not visible beneath your foot. While you’re at it, most heels come without traction. Consider purchasing no-slip pads for the soles of your heels to avoid any face-plants.
Peep-toed shoes can be particularly sexy, but they look out of place in cold weather. Make sure you save them for warmer temperatures. Needless to say, heeled sandals also fall into this category. With either shoe, your toes will be on display, so be sure your toenails are painted. If your toenails are not painted, pick a different shoe or make time to paint them.
Platforms can be more comfortable and easier to walk in than heels, but they do have a chunky look to them. As such, it’s best to pair them with slimming bottoms, such as skinny jeans or a pencil skirt. Finally, the stiletto is a classic that looks good with anything. Although they can be tricky to walk in, they are absolutely stunning.
As with all fashion accessories, make sure your shoes complement your outfit rather than match it. If there is a subtle secondary color in your ensemble, you can match your shoes to that, but don’t match your shoes to the primary color. As with earrings, and again wallet permitting, slowly purchase shoes in every color. Shoes can make the outfit. Additionally, heels come in a variety of prints. You can mix printed shoes with a printed pant or top, but only one print should be bold. The subtle print should not even look like a print to someone standing 10 feet away.
I See London, I See France…
Yes, I see your underpants! Well, your undergarment more commonly referred to as a bra. It’s trendy right now to actually include your bra as part of your ensemble. Although you should never wear this ensemble to class, if done correctly, it can be an appealing look for the bar, club or house party. However, if you’re particularly voluptuous, it’s going to be very difficult to do this look tastefully. In fact, it may just be impossible. Sorry, some of you more fortunate girls may have to sit this one out to not appear slutty.
For medium to small-chested women, pair a bra with a sheer top. The top and bra should be the same color, and the bra should be simple without designs or sewn-on flowers. If the top is particularly sheer, pair the look with high-waisted pants or a pencil skirt to balance the look. Only one aspect of your look should be revealing; otherwise, you’ll look sleazy.
The only other time a bra should be seen is when paired with a spaghetti-strap shirt or boat-neck shirt. In both instances, you know your bra will be visible, so you should make sure it complements your ensemble. More importantly, the bra should be stylish and without rips, tears or other aging blemishes. With a spaghetti-strap shirt, try to closely match the color of your bra to the top. With a boat-neck shirt, pick a bra that complements the color of your shirt.
Aside from intentionally putting your bra on display beneath a sheer shirt, straps-straps or a boat-necked shirt, bras should not be seen. Strapless bras are usually the go-to, but there are also corset-type bras that allow for open-back tops. If the top you want to wear is really deep in the back, a sticky bra is probably your only option. This bra actually adheres to your breasts. Unfortunately, this bra doesn’t provide the support that more voluptuous women require, but it’s great for medium to small-chested women. They’re surprisingly comfortable, and if cared for properly, you can get dozens of wears out of it before the adhesive begins to diminish.
Jewelry: The Icing on the Cake
A cake is not complete without icing, and your look is not complete without jewelry. Taking the time to put on jewelry really makes your ensemble complete. With a bold statement jewelry piece, it can “make” the entire look. Just be sure to only do one bold piece of jewelry per outfit; anything more and it will appear gaudy.
Earrings are fun to make your focal jewelry piece because there are so many options. From hoops to studs to dangling, there is such a variety. Your wallet permitting, gradually purchase one set of earring in every color; then you’ll be set no matter what color your clothes are. As with making any outfit, make sure your jewelry complements your attire rather than matching it.
Earrings are also a fun place to go a little daring with. Get two or three holes in each lobe and/or one or two in your cartilage. Just remember that even though that piercing seems so small and even if you try to let the skin heal over it later in life, you will always have a hole or a mark there from the piercing. Just keep that in mind if you’re considering a nose or eyebrow piercing. Your future employer might not be too keen on those too.
While earrings can sometimes lose their center spotlight due to curtains of hair, necklaces are always front and center, making them fantastic statement pieces. A bunch of necklaces together can look interesting and bold, but it can be difficult to decide what to pair together. Instead, opt for the necklaces that have multiple “ropes” but that are connected together. This makes it easier to wear too, so you won’t always be pulling clasps to the back of your neck. Bold chokers are great with tops where the neckline isn’t too high; you don’t want the two competing. For plunging necklines, go for a pendant necklace, which draws the eye down.
Bracelets, especially cuffs, can make a dramatic statement too. In general, it looks best to only have a bracelet on one wrist and let the other stay bare. As with necklaces, multiple bracelets are trendy together, but the ones already connected together are easier to wear.
Rings can be statement pieces, but it’s much more difficult to find a ring that’s dramatic while not being tacky. You may just have to wait for the engagement ring for this one!
Make Your Peepers Pop
The secret to creating amazing eye makeup is to start with a good foundation. The cheaper option is to put your foundation on your eyelids first; the more expensive option is to purchase eye makeup foundation, which tends to run on the pricier side. This often-overlooked step not only will make the color of your eye shadow deeper, it will help it stay in place longer throughout the day.
Next, choose liquid or powder eye shadow. Liquid eye shadow tends to have deeper hues and lasts longer. However, because the colors are deeper, darker colors in liquid eye shadow tend to look gaudy on the eyelid. If you opt for liquid eye shadow, stick with the lighter colors.
Then choose your color. Eyes really pop if you pick the color that contrasts with your natural eye color, meaning brown makeup for blue eyes, purple for brown eyes and blue makeup for hazel eyes. The color of your clothes should also play into your decision. The trick is to choose a color that complements the colors of your clothes. If you’re wearing a blue shirt, don’t pick blue eye shadow. Go for a complementary pink, green or purple.
Now decide how to apply the makeup. Make your eyes appear bigger by placing a lighter color, such as cream, tan or even white, next to your lashes and then a darker color just above the crease of your eye. A trickier option is putting the lighter color near your nose and then fading out to the darker color toward the outside corners of your eyes. The most dramatic option is the smoky eye look, which can be done in black or purple. Start with the darkest color near your lashes and work your way out to the lighter color.
After your eye makeup is applied, put on some eyeliner. Liquid eyeliner shows mistakes more, but it stays in place and is darker. Be sure to bring your eyeliner up at the corners of your eyes so they don’t look droopy. If you’re going for a smoky eye, be sure to go heavy with the eyeliner on top, and be sure to line your lower lashes too.
Finally, end with some mascara. Place the mascara brush at the roots of your lashes and wiggle it back and forth, gently raising it to the ends. Place the mascara wand back in the tube, and then repeat these steps for the other eye. Your winks will never look sexier!
Brunettes, Blondes, Red Heads or Purple Heads?
When coloring your hair, you literally have the option of every color in the rainbow. But coloring too often can be unhealthy for your hair, so make sure you’ve put some thought into it before you go for the dye.
Blonde is an always-popular choice, but because of its popularity, it can also be predictable. Going lighter, especially so much so that “bleaching” is involved, is even more harmful to your hair. Just be aware that if you stick with going lighter for a long period of time, it may start to dry out your hair. A less damaging alternative can be to highlight your hair.
A rich brunette color looks exactly that: rich. Brown hair can be striking and set you apart from all the blondes. With brown, there are a range of shades from which to choose, and you don’t have to pick just one. You can throw in additional browns or highlights too.
Red hair is tricky because even with the best hairstylist, it tends to look fake. Therefore, rather than trying to pull off an unsuccessful natural red, it may be best just to intentionally look unnatural with a bright or deep red.
Finally, you have all your unnatural hair color options. College is the perfect time to experiment with these unconventional colors because many employers will not allow you to do so or will strongly frown upon it. With that said, if you’re in your senior year and starting to interview for jobs, you may have missed the boat on this one. Employers tend to be wary of hiring young people with little experience, so the last thing you want to do is show up with pink hair, making yourself appear even younger. When picking a hair color, don’t forget that the more drastic the color from your natural hair color, the more often you’ll have to touch it up without it looking like the roots of your hair are striped.
After selecting a hair color, next decide if you’re going to do it yourself or go to a salon. Doing it yourself can be very tricky because the color you’ll end up with varies depending on if you already have color in your hair, what color hair you’re going from and what color your natural hair color is. Going to a salon and leaving this to the professionals is probably your best bet.
Down to the Nails
Being truly fashion-forward means caring for and putting thought into your entire look, from your hairstyle to your clothes to your accessories down to your toes. The most important part of fashionable nails is simply making sure they are properly manicured and pedicured.
You certainly don’t have to go to the salon to have them done; you can do them in the comfort of your own dorm room without the high prices and potent fumes. Cut all your nails just a tad longer than what you want them. Don’t just cut them straight across. Cut the top and then cut each side of each nail into as much of a rounded edge as you can.
Then take a nail file and make all your nails evenly rounded and evenly long. After doing this, your nails will be down to your desired length. Then soak your nails, both fingernails and toenails, in water for at least two minutes. Then use the curved tool on your clippers to push back your cuticles. Soaking your nails will make this process much less painful. Don’t forget to sweep the tool underneath your tails too just to make sure they’re clean.
Finally comes the painting. Pick a fun color for your toenails. Darker colors tend to look more appropriate in the cooler months while brighter colors tend to go with the warmer months better. Painted toenails tend not to chip, so it should be fairly easy to always keep them painted.
Fingernails, on the other hand, can be more of a challenge because they break and chip easier. If you know that it’s more difficult to keep up with painted fingernails, go for clear paint. They’ll look healthy and polished, but it won’t be obvious if they’re chipped. If you do choose to paint your nails a color, the new trend is to paint your ring fingernail a different color than your other nails.
Acrylic nails are always an option, but they can be more costly and time-consuming to “fill” in where the growth has occurred. Plus, guys tend not to be fans of the big fake nails. Also, be honest with yourself before getting fake nails: will you constantly be chewing on them because they’ll feel foreign? If so, definitely opt for the natural route.
Book bags are definitely a must. After all, you’re at college to learn, and books are an essential component. Notice I refer to them as “book bags” and not “backpacks.” Backpacks are for 9-year-olds and campers, not trendy female college students. It can be a little of a challenge to find a bag large enough to hold that giant ancient history book and your laptop, but they are out there. Consider your options:
1. Messenger bags – Messenger bags are made for this purpose, so they tend to help keep you the most organized. They often offer loops for your pens and small inside pockets for your calculator or your other academic tools. However, messenger bags are often made as unisex accessories, so be sure not to go for one that is too masculine. The last thing you want to do is show up for class with the same messenger bag as your cute chemistry partner.
2. Tote bags – As these are intended to be used as purses, you probably won’t find many with all the nice organizational amenities of messenger bags. On the upside though, these are designed for women, so you’ll have a much greater range of styles and colors from which to choose. Totes range in size too though, so make sure you pick one that is large enough to hold your books, laptop and whatever else you’ll be lugging around campus on a daily basis.
With a tote, you probably won’t have separate pockets for your books and laptop, so if you do plan to take a laptop with you to class, be sure to invest in a laptop sleeve. Laptop sleeves are designed specifically to protect your precious hardware and are tailored for the specific size computer you use.
3. Briefcase – Yes, you are actually old enough for a briefcase. No, they’re not all old-fashioned brown leather with gold clips. There are plenty of fashionable briefcases, especially in fine leather. The nice advantage of a briefcase is many come with wheels and a handle that extends so that you can pull it around campus rather than hoist it onto your shoulder. Although the bag-on-the-shoulder look is arguably more fashionable, the wheeled option will save you a lot of backache, literally.
Regardless of which bag you select, make sure you select a quality bag in a color you really like because this tends to be an accessory you don’t change out often.
Shoes on Campus
If you’re a responsible student and going to class everyday, you’ll inevitably be spending a lot of time walking. (Why do colleges always skimp on parking and insist on putting parking lots miles away from your destination?) Just because you’re doing a lot of walking doesn’t mean you have to wear tennis shoes. Tennis shoes are for tennis, so leave them on the court!
Your campus kicks will vary widely depending on the weather. In warm weather, there is a wide range of comfortable sandals available that not only look good but are comfortable too. Some flip-flop style sandals can be attractive, but make sure they have some type of feature, such as leather, sequins or beads, that says fashion and not swimming pool. Gladiator sandals are particularly comfortable for campus because they don’t slap your heels when you walk.
In cold weather, go for boots. Unless you have feet of steel, buy flat boots because heels can blister your feet quicker than you may anticipate. As with sandals, there are a lot of options for flat boots, from your fur-topped winter boots to knee-high leather boots to ankle booties. Don’t be afraid to splurge for genuine leather boots. Not only do they look nicer, but they will last longer too.
For spring and early fall when it’s not quite sandal weather or boot weather, go for flats. Flats come in a range of colors and can also be particularly comfortable trekking across campus. As with anything you put on your body, make sure your flat is stylish and not just functional. Flats can have large buckles, beads, sequins, laces and more that make them fashionable in addition to functional.
Now some may disagree, but the ever-so-trendy rain boots should be left to the fisherman. You should always select your attire based on your taste, but you have to admit that you do somewhat care about what the guys think too. Guys tend to think rain boots, especially the ones with the designs on them, scream “children’s attire.” Instead of rain boots, opt for a raincoat and/or umbrella instead. That hottie you’ve been eyeing may want to share your umbrella too!
When you’re headed to the bar, club or house party, you especially want to look your best. That little accessory called a purse can make or break or your look. As with anything you put on your body, it should be in good shape without any holes, tears or anything else making it look it past its prime. With that aside, what are your options?
1. Clutch – There are more options for a smaller purse than just a clutch, but I’m mainly referring to small purses here. A small purse with a strap is ideal for going out on the town because it’s compact, which will help you from bumping into people in what will certainly be crowded situations.
An actual clutch doesn’t have a strap, so I wouldn’t recommend this option because it will keep one of your hands occupied all night. Or if it doesn’t and you set it down, you may have to cancel your credit cards the next morning because it may be in someone else’s possession. Go for a small purse with a strap instead.
2. Totes – Again, there are more options than just the tote, but I’m primarily referring to larger bags here. These are great for campus, and I’ll discuss more on book bags later. But for social situations, these are not ideal because they’re bulky, will be in your way and likely, in the way of those around you. Plus, when you’re at a bar, club or house party, you don’t need to bring enough possessions to warrant a tote, which brings me to your next option.
3. Hands-free – In a social setting, you really only need your ID, a credit card for backup and cash. Some lip-gloss or lipstick can be nice to have on hand because it will likely wear off if you’ve been drinking. These items can easily fit into your pocket, especially if you carry them without a wallet.
This option is really nice because you don’t have to worry about losing your purse, and your hands are free in case you should engage in a game of pool or beer pong. However, you will be missing an opportunity to make a fashion statement by adding that appealing accessory. But don’t write off this option altogether because it can especially be advantageous for dancing. If you’re going to be in a situation where you have to ask someone to watch your purse for you, then don’t bring it. No one wants to be the purse babysitter.
Finally, if you do decide to bring a purse, be sure to select one that complements your outfit rather than matches it. For example, if you’re wearing a green shirt, don’t wear a green purse. Wear a purse in a color that complements it, such as purple, orange or pink.