Dress for success

Ashley Nicholson is a freelance writer. She is also a waitress, a maid, a driver, an editor, and a reviewer. Her BA from Kennesaw State University in Georgia led her to an MA from Kingston University in London. She currently resides in California.


It is a phrase everyone has heard at some point in life. Though it usually coincides with job interviews and business meetings, it is just as important in your classes at college. It is tempting to just go to class in sweats or pajamas, especially if you live on campus. Taking the extra few minutes to brush your hair and put on real clothes can make all the difference in your college career. Looking interested in your own hygiene makes it easier for other people to approach you. It helps your professors see you as a student who cares about their grades and their future. They equate sloppiness with a disregard for their time teaching you.


You don’t have to wear heels and a skirt every day. You just need to keep in mind that a pair of jeans is better than sweatpants. A plain shirt and old jacket can still  look much dressier than a ratty hoodie. If you want to make a good basic impression, invest in a good jacket or blazer, and a nice pair of sensible shoes.


The reason for office dress codes in the workplace isn’t just to make sure everyone looks nice. There are many psychological studies on the effects of dress on the mentality of workers. When an employee dresses a certain way, they take on the mental role of ‘work’.  Just like when you dress up to go to a fancy party, the mindset is different than dressing for a night at the club, or a house party. The same thing applies to dressing for university. In business school, you are expected to wear suitable clothing to show respect for your profession. The art students might not wear chinos and a blazer, but they won’t be slouching around in their PJ’s either.


Those five minutes out of your day might even mean the difference in a job opportunity. Meeting a visiting professor or a guest lecturer can be a great honor, and it can lead to internships or even employment. There are untold opportunities at university, and you should always be ready to meet them.

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