What Do I Wear To: Make A Good First Impression At A New School

And in the end the answer is just what your mom would've said. "Just be yourself! How could anyone not like you?"
Publish date:
July 28, 2011
shoppables, musicians, tee shirts, what do i wear to, first impressions

Hey Laia,

I am transferring to a HUGE commuter college. I'm going to be a music major there. I'm transferring from a small college with a big campus life. Thing is, I'm kinda introverted and shy and I'm overweight (though I do have a nice pair of boobs). I was wondering if you had an idea of what to wear to make the right impression on people. I'm trying hard to go in optimistic and with an open mind and trying to talk to people. Should I wear something that makes me look like a professional? Do I wear something witty that'll make people comment on my shirt? Do I go slutty? I'm completely at a loss! Since I am going to be stuck with most of the same people in the music department, I don't want to embarrass myself...

Thanks a million!Alyssa

Thank you for writing in, Alyssa! First let me say that I think there's a chance you might be stressing out a bit too much over this first-day outfit. College is not like high school where you have one day to make an impression that will stick with you for the rest of your years. Odds are, no one will really give a crap what you're wearing 'cause they're too busy trying to not freak out over being on their own for the first time (maybe). You should definitely BE optimistic and have an open mind about all the things you will experience and talking to people won't really be hard at all.

Now as for your outfit, let me get this out of the way before it's too late, you should definitely NOT dress slutty. I mean, unless that's how you dress every day, but I get the impression that you don't, so don't do it. You're not in class to pick up a sex buddy (that'll happen anyways), you're there to be an awesome musician so definitely don't do the sexy thing.

On my first day of college I wore jeans, my favorite Sonic Youth shirt and my favorite shoes. That same day I met some kids who were also into Sonic Youth and boom! My first friendships were made. It was important for me to meet people with same musical tastes as me and although I didn't wear the tee exactly for that purpose, a part of me feels like it was an unconscious decision. If you have an awesome collection of witty t-shirts then yes, you should totally whip one out on the first day because it's SO you. Otherwise, I wouldn't really recommend you go out of your way to buy one just to impress new people on the first day.

Out of Tune Tee $24, Cafe Press

What is your favorite outfit? This is definitely the best place to start, whether it's a dress with a lil' jacket or jeans with a beat-up tee, you want to be as comfortable and as YOU as possible. What did you wear on the first day at your previous school? If that worked out well for you then follow that example and just update it with things you're into now. Or, you know, wear the same outfit again because you like it! If it didn't work out the way you wanted to then think about why it didn't work and then go from there. The best thing about college is that you're free to really do whatever you want and wear whatever you want and even if every day you show up in a different look, no one will really think twice about it. You have the freedom to find yourself, including your personal style if you haven't gotten around to that yet, and however long it takes you, in the end you will get there.

Have a fashion conundrum? Let me at it! Send me all your queries along with a picture of yourself to laia@janepratt.com.