Due to the pandemic, I didn’t get to have my freshman experience on my college campus. I’m moving into my dorm soon and yet, I haven’t even started packing. I had no idea where to start. How many pairs of shoes should I bring? Are sweatpants still socially acceptable to wear outside my dorm? How can I layer my outfits correctly to protect me from windy San Francisco without feeling too bulky? But the biggest concern I had was how on earth was I supposed to fit my entire home closet in the small closet space my dorm provided me?
The last time I was on school grounds, I was a high school senior in Los Angeles. In two weeks, I’ll be a sophomore in college in the Bay Area. To say that my knowledge of college fashion and college life is nonexistent would be a generous statement. Thankfully, I was able to set up a StyldLife fashion appointment with one of our stylists, Andrea Serrano.
We started off our appointment getting to know each other and getting some background information on what I wanted to accomplish during our meeting. Andrea was super helpful. She taught me the concept of a capsule wardrobe. The idea behind the capsule wardrobe is to utilize certain, timeless pieces that can create multiple outfits. Those pieces can range from your favorite pair of jeans, a top you can wear a few different ways, or an outerwear piece that can last through the seasonal changes. These clothing items are so vital to my college wardrobe. They don’t take up much space in my dorm closet but I can get a variety of different uses out of them. Keeping the idea of a capsule wardrobe in my mind is not helpful for my move to the college, but also for any traveling that I might do in the future. Even with the constraints of limited space, I’m able to bring great outfits with me wherever I go.
Majority of the clothes I own are neutral colors, which Andrea said was a great place to start. Those neutrals that I gravitate towards can be both dressed up and dressed down depending on how I style and accessorize them, which brought us to my next dilemma. I knew that once I’m on campus, there will be college and career fairs where I have to look professional, but I was worried that being too neutral would make me look too boring. I expressed my fear of losing my youthful look in favor of looking serious. I want to look fresh and ready to embark on my academic journey while still looking put together. Andrea pointed out how important accessorizing is in this situation. I tend to stick with my signature gold hoops and nameplate necklace with very little thought for other accessories, especially shoes. She suggested trying a smaller, thicker hoop for a more professional look. I thought it was a great idea. It was still within my comfort zone but it was a new look I haven’t tried. When it came to shoes, she directed me to look at boots. A little black bootie would be a great shoe to wear for these events. A bootie with a small heel would be comfortable to wear and it’s a better option than a pair of sneakers. She, as a fellow shorter woman, also suggested an over-the-knee boot if I wanted to give the illusion that I’m taller than I am. Color-blocking would work against my favor if I wanted to appear taller. To combat that, another trick she taught me was to match my shoe color with the color of my pants.
After talking to Andrea, I received some clarity about what was the most important for me when packing— comfort, youth, versatility, and elegance. My goal is to bring pieces with me that allows me to showcase my drive to be successful in college while still staying true to my comfortable style. Instead of packing the clothes that I think I’ll wear once or twice in the quarter, I should pack the clothes I can get the most use out of. The tops I can dress up and dress down, the heels that won’t make me need to sit down every other interview, and the pair of jeans that I pick up over the others— those were the important ones. Now that I know what I’m working towards, I feel a lot better leaving my home closet 6 hours away. Thanks, Andrea! Book a 15, 30, or 55-minute appointment with Andrea here.