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Back-to-School Fashion Tips From An Aging Hipster

Lifestyle & Opinion

By Kathy Bryson, Communications Instructor and Writing Tutor, once described as ‘wearing cheesy earrings’

After observing many years of students and teachers trying to dress to impress at the beginning of the school year, a few trends stand out. Here’s a closer look at some successful and not so successful back-to-school fashions and the whispers they generate!

Teachers get caught as unprepared as students. If your instructors show up in wrinkled clothes or shorts, they may not have realized just when school started and are scrambling to catch up. If they have a new haircut though, they’re ready; they just haven’t found the iron yet. And if they’re wearing flat shoes, they’re assigning homework right away!

Serious students are the ones who show up in sweaters or hoodies. They know what air-conditioning in Florida is like. They also pull wheeled knapsacks or book bags, sometimes like Indy car drivers! Step aside when you see them; these students are determined to get to class.

Freshmen frequently show up in shorts. They’re trying out school much like they’re trying out new fashions. They look stylish right up to the point they stand up and have to adjust their clothing. Then they’re not saying “I’m chic” so much as “I have a wedgie!”

Guys sometimes try to impress with cologne. The problem comes about when they forget that Ralph Lauren shot those ads on a polo field with a fresh breeze blowing. The smell of dead whale vomit in a classroom full of warm bodies and hot computers? Not so sexy!

Jeggings aren’t bad in and of themselves, but student who wear clothes that belong in a gym or dance club are sending mixed messages. They may want to say “Notice me. I’m cute,” but the message received more frequently is “I’m not serious and will drag you down. Stay away.”

That’s not to say students can’t be stylish. Students with outfits pulled together, color-coordinated, finished with jewelry, makeup, or rigorously coiffed hair, are not stopping at school. The nursing student with scrubs for every holiday wants to head the department!

Clothes send a message, so stop and think what yours are saying. They don’t have to be expensive; they just have to be clean, appropriate, and fit. Oh and no one ever complained when someone popped a breath mint before a meeting!


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