What to wear: style guide for back-to-school

Revamp your style with this list of fun outfit options for synchronous learning.

Charlotte Edmunds and Maggie Victory

After living in sweats for a year, dressing for a public appearance on campus may seem daunting. How is it possible to see so many people you know in such a short walk across the quad?! It’s time to switch out your worn-out pajamas for these fall wardrobe staples; you’ll be in-person class ready in no time (without sacrificing comfort and ease!).

 

The Exercise Dress

Halara dress in black (Hustler Staff/Charlotte Edmunds)

This revolutionary dress has taken the world by storm. An all-in-one outfit, it’s sweat resistant, incredibly flattering and so comfortable that it’s hard to resist. The exercise dress literally could not be easier—most come with built-in support (who wants to wear a bra anyway?) and there’s no need to match separates, so you’re ready to face that excruciatingly early 9:10 in just a matter of seconds. 

Originally pioneered by athletic-wear company Outdoor Voices (OV), the exercise dress is perfect because it allows you to look dressed-up and put together while feeling like you’re wearing workout clothes. Pair with running sneakers if you’re feeling sporty, white high tops for a more casual look or even sandals in the warm weather. Browse the OV site or visit their location in 12 South to choose from a variety of dress colors, patterns and newly released one-shoulder models—all priced at $100. 

If you’re searching for a cheaper option of virtually the same dress, look no further than Halara. Though it has fewer choices for style and pattern, these exercise dresses come in a more extensive rainbow of colors and are only $49.95. 

Garage, 80s tennis short, fall acorn (Hustler Staff/Charlotte Edmunds)

Sweat Shorts

If these had a tagline, it would be: “Your pandemic style, made appropriate for normal life.” The sweat short lets us feel like we are still in bed without looking quite as decrepit. These pieces are essentially sweatpants, cut and hemmed to wear in the summer—genuinely, what could be better? They come in a variety of different colors, lengths and price points: perfect for every body on any budget.

Pair your shorts with a tight tank and statement sneakers to create a fun, yet together look, or match with a cotton tee for a more relaxed outfit. The wear you will get out of these shorts cannot be overstated: put them on to lounge around your dorm, run errands or eat in Rand. 

Check out the Everyday High Waisted Short at Aerie ($34.95) and the Boys Lie shorts collection ($72-$85) for inspo.

 

 

AGOLDE 90s mid-rise loose fit (Hustler Staff/Maggie Victory)

A Comfort Jean

Ah, denim. Not the most accommodating material for comfort, you’re probably thinking. But thankfully, we have entered into an era where skinny jeans are taking the backseat to their comfier counterparts: baggy jeans. No longer must we subject ourselves to the painful rigidity of the you-can-barely-breathe jean. Now, we can opt for a chic wide-leg style that will still give us a put together look. From a high-rise 90’s style to low-rise ultra-flare, the options are truly endless. In any case, deviating from the skinny leg is sure to bring you breathable comfort and mobility. 

To avoid looking like you are swimming in denim, you may want to opt for a slimming top to create the best silhouette. You can never go wrong with a classic tank top, so we paired our baggy jeans with a simple black tank. But the beauty of jeans is that you really can pair them with anything you like and appear effortlessly composed and ready to take on the school day. 

Our favorite baggy jean is the AGOLDE “90’s Mid-Rise Loose Fit” ($198), but for an equally good, cost-friendly alternative, we like the “Dad Jean” from Levi’s ($98). Thrifting a classic baggy jean is another excellent way to cut costs without sacrificing the quality you want. 

 

Aritzia, The Malibu Dress, grey (Hustler Staff/Maggie Victory)

Minidress

Nashville typically remains hot and humid well into the fall season. The best way to beat the heat? A classic mini. Not only will you stay cool during the day, but you will be praised all day long for the “effort” you expended getting ready. Really, though, throwing on a staple short dress is the best way to spare precious minutes in the morning, since you avoid the painstaking process of trying on several different tops and bottoms. With a dress, you are ready to face the day, no wardrobe crisis included. 

Of course, there are hundreds of minidress styles to consider, but the most comfortable option has to be a t-shirt dress. How could you possibly go wrong with a longer version of your favorite tee? The t-shirt dress is also super versatile; dress it up with a nice sandal, or wear it with your favorite sneakers for a more relaxed look. You could also try pairing a solid colored cotton t-shirt dress with your favorite button down for another variation. 

Aritzia has a great selection of t-shirt and tank dresses that are impossibly comfortable, like “The Malibu Dress” ($50) or “The Jane Tank Dress” ($65). A breathable button-up dress from Zara, like the “Short Shirt Dress” ($45.90), is also a great choice. 

 

Happy back-to-school shopping! We can’t wait to see you rock these looks on campus.