How to dress in college?

Ok, this August I am going to a community college in my city, and I could have sworn that there was no dress code and the students dressed however they wanted. But, the sad thing is, my mom wants me to dress dressy and basically, she wants me to be a conformist.

She wants me to dress as if I were to go to an interview every day when I go to college and I don't think the professors care about how people dress. I personally think that's stupid, because I hate collared shirts, especially polos. And I dislike the preppy fashion.

Tell me about your colleges and what the students wore.

Updates:
Side note: my parents did not go to college and they are judging only by my older sister, who went to a preppy school.

My mom thinks I dress sloppy and that I should dress "decent", meaning she hates what I wear. It makes me sick to my stomach. She thinks I need to be a bit more dressy, so I can "be taken seriously". She thinks it's college. So... I have to dress more "sophisticated".
Sorry if this is such a stupid question, but I need assurance that I am not going crazy.

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Most Helpful Guy

  • OK. I have faculty appointment at a university (not a community college), and you and many of those who've answered already are right that professors care very little about what you wear as long as it isn't somehow disruptive. However, when a student makes an effort to engage me (by asking a question in class, coming to office hours, talking with me and others before class begins), appearances do matter. If you're dressed like a slob, chances are that your prof will, at least initially assume that your approach to your work is similarly sloppy and careless. Unless you've the means to change that prejudice, you're starting off at a disadvantage. That could mean that I'm less inclined to consider your question carefully, provide you with a thoughtful explanation or re-consider how I've graded your exam. Of course I try not to be biased in this way, but not every professor is going to bother, and I don't always have the time it might take to figure out if you're really taking my class seriously. (If you don't, then please don't waste my time or yours!) Furthermore, how you dress is indicative of how you feel about yourself. This doesn't mean that goths or punks or skaters or any other social group you care to name can or should be pigeon-holed--there'll be a range of folks within any of these, some very confident and sophisticated and others, unfortunately, less so. I don't walk from my lab to the classroom in a blazer and dress shoes; I'm mostly in flip-flops. But I do wear clean, decent shorts, pants if I'm lecturing and a decent shirt (yeah, it's probably different for faculty than it is for the students). Dressing "nicely" should still provide you with a wide range of options and the opportunity to express who you are; just because that seems to mean "preppy" to your mother doesn't mean that that's the route you have to go. Finally, it sounds as though your parents are genuinely proud and pleased that you, unlike them, are going to college. This is your mother's admittedly somewhat clumsy way of telling you that she cares. I hope that you can give her a break! I would never, ever have imagined that I'd write something like this...especially as, for years, I was one of the scruffier-looking surfer/climbers schlepping my way through college and grad school. However, showing your teachers, your folks and yourself a little respect could really serve you well down the road. I apologize, really, for preaching, but I've been in your shoes (and the despair of my mother too), and I hope you'll at least consider what I've written. Whatever else, enjoy your experience, every last aspect of it. You're incredibly lucky to be going to school.

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    • Thank you for your empathy! You didn't preach, you got the best answer. Everyone's answers were good, but yours stood out. :D

What Guys Said 9

  • girls were mainly in skirts jeans or dresses, t-shirts blouses or whatever, very rarely they were classy with their fashion, so anything goes really, as long as its not suggestive, go with it,x

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  • I went to a downtown big city school.

    A lot if vintage surplus, what would now be called hipsters, lots of black and some general bland sloppy clothing.

    Nobody dressed up.

    I'd occasionally see someone in like a blazer. They would be actors filming stuff pretending to be at some us university.

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  • Personally, I wore whatever I wanted. Being comfortable in a stuffy, people filled classroom during spring/summer and early fall is absolutely brutal. If you are all dressed up, you have the potential to be very uncomfortable. Professors do not care about what you are wearing as long as it is not offensive or incredibly sexually suggestive.

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    • Yeah, that's the part my mom does not understand and I don't think she will understand any time soon. But, that's a good answer.

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    • Well, I think that is the case for some, but it also depends on what you look like. Male professors don't want to see girls who weigh 200+ pounds in Daisy Dukes and form fitting shirts.

    • Yeah, I hate that. But, I am little over 100 lbs and am thin. So...yeah

  • Where I went to school it wasn't uncommon to see people wearing pajamas or sweat clothes. That's a bit extreme if you ask me, but there are very few

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    • Yeah, I heard about the pajama thing. Maybe I can bring my Snuggie. :D

  • I don't think you need to dress for an interview everyday, that's over the top.

    But as long as your not wearing sweatpants you're already in the top 50%

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    • Good enough. As long as I don't dress like a total slob, then I can wear what I wore in high school.

  • Girls wear no clothes

    and guys wear no clothes

    lol jk

    I wear the usual hoodie, jeans, t shirt and button down, and on rare occassion sweats

    but sometimes I like to dress up, shirt and tie because I like to dress up

    Whenever a girl dresses up, I love it. Most attractive thing a girl could wear.

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  • dont dress like a frat/sorority jackass. when you need to dress up you will know.

    t shirts hoodies shorts jeans flip flops or sandals are all normal. the profs don't care what you wear and hopefully they care that you learn something and will judge you by the intelligence you show and effort you put it.

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  • just dress the same as you did in high school

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  • I go to a community college, the girls basically dress just like they do in high school. Just wear what you normally wear.

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    • What college did you sister go to?

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    • Yeah, she did. But, I didn't dress like a wh*re like a lot of other girls did. So... I think as long as I am wearing clothes, I am good.

    • Ok then.

What Girls Said 8

  • you can wear whatever you want. some business classes may ask you to dress up, but you don't have to be dressy. maybe try and compromise and find a cute blouse with jeans and flats.

    i mean if you are living with your mom and she is paying for some stuff, then she can basically tell you what to do, but if you're paying for it, then no.

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    • Yeah, that part blows. About my mom telling me what to do. I hate dressing up for something unnecessary and I just want to wear my t shirts, and skulls (which my mom despises), and be comfy. I mean, I'm not going to Harvard. So... I don't need to dress like a snob.

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    • maybe make your mom visit the school so she can see what everyone is actually wearing. maybe there's some excuse you could use to take her there.

    • Well, if she were, then I will be sure she will be either burned, or make up another excuse. But, she wants me to conform so I can look "normal" and "decent". She hates Hot Topic now. Well, I can either change in my car, or be a total kook and drive her up a wall. I'm sorry, I like to wear loose 'skater shirts" or skin tight clothes. My mom must think the professors are the fashion police.

  • To be honest with you, a lot of people wear sweat pants to class, no one really gets dressed up.

    I mean you do have some on occassion, but a lot of people don't care how they look.

    Some wear sweat pants, jeans, tank tops, shorts, and if it's the winter time all you see is people with their coats on.

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    • I know, right? I mean, it's college. The professors have too many kids to deal with and they're professors; not the fashion police, like my mom thinks they are. My mom thinks that college and high school are totally different, but not dress wise. As a matter of fact, in college you can be more free. I mean, just as long as I don't dress like a hooker, I'm good.

  • I mean if yours is anything like mine, you dress like you would normally in HS. I mean comm college isn't that serious to dress all professional lol

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    • Well, my mom has never been to college. And since my older sister went to a preppy college, my mom assumes the same for community college. I just feel like my mom is trying to tell me that she wants me to conform, since she hates me wearing skulls. I love them though.

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    • Yeah, I don't think the professors care, just as long as you're dressed and not naked.

    • lol exactly, and plus you're old enough to dress how you want..

  • Same clothing style they wore in high school.

    Some girls wore high heels often, short shorts, tank top, sweat pants..

    It's more expressive in college.

    I just stick with jeans, a nice detailed shirt, and converse. Dresses and high heels. Nothing too formal.

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    • Yeah, sounds about right. I think my mom is too scared about dress code and wants to appease my dad, who has never went to college (neither did my mom). I am sure that they do not care if a girl wears skulls or not. Good lord. Parents these days.

    • Haha, tell me about it. Skulls are awesome though.

  • My college had no dress code.

    Many students dressed casual. Converse, T-shirts, Jeans, Unless they were giving a speech, then they would dres up.

    My personal favorite, skinny jeans, chucks, and a graphic T, preferably ones with Super Marion on it.

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    • Well, according to my mother, that's too childish and not acceptable. I think it's fine. I don't need to be shamed into dressing like a prep.

    • Oh, okay. I hope it works for you.

    • Thank you. :). I love wearing my tees and stuff. :)

  • Just dress like your mom wants,she is paying for it and you will be the one girl who dresses nice on campus.

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  • Woah, if you dress like that you would really stand out in my college because everybody dresses really casual, like jeans, tees, yoga pants, and so on. No one ever really dresses up unless they have to. Of course there are the couple exceptions that do dress up everyday but they kinda fit into the preppy category and they do stand out. I don't dress up though because I don't want to have to focus on one more extra thing when it comes to college. It's hard enough to keep up with everything and adding in dressing up would probably make me even more stressed.

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    • Yes, making sure I don't fail my classes, and appeasing the fashion police will utterly destroy me.

  • Ask if she wants you to feel comfortable enought to be yourself and also to make friends. Explain why you want to dress the way you do and get her to drop you off at college one day so she can see what others wear. At the university I attend everyones outfits are so varied.

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    • Well, apparently, my mom has not paid enough attention to college students. It's community college, not some upper class snob college. There is no way that I am going to wear collared shirts, dress pants, polos, and be preppy. My style is totally against it and I do not wish to conform. I would ask her, but she gets smart with me. Eventually, she snaps out of it.

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