What To Wear To A College Visit

Visiting a college for the first time can be a little daunting. Your mind is probably buzzing with questions: Would I fit in? Does this school have the programs I need to succeed? Is this where I want to spend the next four years (or more) of my life?

The last thing you want to stress about as you prepare for your college visit is what to wear. While students on campus aren’t going to care if you rock a “Tired AF” t-shirt for your visit (in fact, they’ll probably nod their heads and say, “same”), you could be meeting admission representatives, financial aid officers and professors—figures who can potentially shape your college career for better or worse.

In other words, you want to come dressed to impress. While we can’t help you pick a major or snag the best dorm room, we can help you figure out what to wear to a college visit to make it a huge success.

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What to Wear: Touring Campus

You never know who you could run into on campus. The dean? Your prospective professor? A super-cute undergrad? Nick Saban? It’s really anybody’s guess, so we suggest dressing in business casual attire for a tried-and-true look that never fails to help you look your best.

Outfit Ideas for Her

Figuring out what to wear to a college visit is arguably much more difficult for the ladies than it is for the guys. You want to nail the ultimate trifecta: Comfort, style, and professionalism—but how do you do it?

Honestly, you really can’t go wrong wearing preppy dresses for a college campus tour. These traditional dresses work year-round (i.e., seersucker dress in the summer, sweater dress in the fall), make you look instantly put-together with little effort and are just casual enough to keep you from looking like you’re trying too hard to make a good impression.

Also, remember to wear casual footwear since you’ll be doing a decent amount of walking outside. Skip the heels and opt for a pair of stylish flats, boots or sneakers instead.

Outfit Ideas for Him

Alright guys, this is your chance to show off the new-and-improved version of the high school you. If you do it right, you’ll make a great first impression and maybe snag a few numbers from college girls admirin’ your refined sense of style (hey, anything can happen).

When choosing your outfit, keep comfort and style in mind. You can keep things simple by wearing a classic polo shirt and a pair of khaki pants. Remember to check for stains before you iron your pants, otherwise, you’ll never get that cute girl’s number, er, impress important people who could potentially shape your college career.

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What to Wear: College Interviews

So, you’ve got a college interview scheduled and you’re stressing out about it. Take a deep breath. You got this!

Similar to interviewing for a job, you’re expected to dress in business professional attire for a college interview. That doesn’t necessarily mean to wear the clothes you wear at your current job (like your summer lifeguarding gig). If you’re now scratching your head wondering just what exactly that means, don’t worry—we’ve got you covered.

Outfit Ideas for Her

Important PSA: Business professional attire for women doesn’t need to mean boring pencil skirts or pantsuits! College interviews are slightly less formal than job interviews, which means you can tone down the overly-formal vibe and incorporate some color into your outfit.

For a mature yet stylish outfit, consider opting for a women’s collared shirt with a pair of cropped ankle pants that flatter your shape. Since you won’t be walking around that much, you can complete the look with a reasonable pair of heels if you’re feeling frisky. Nothing with a heel over 1-½ inches; otherwise, you’ll risk looking unprofessional AND coming home with blisters.

Outfit Ideas for Him

Similarly, guys aren’t limited to stuffy suits that look more at home in a boardroom than they do at a college interview. Instead, reach for a crisp button-down shirt, a pair of men’s khaki pants and a classic sport coat that says you’re ready to run with the big boys now. .

Whatever you do, don’t ruin your sophisticated look with scuffed-up sneakers! As a mature adult (yes, we’re talking about you), you can’t get away with dirty shoes anymore. Finish off your look by picking up a pair of brogues or Oxfords. Based on your shoes alone, you’ll fool everyone into thinking you have this whole adulting thing figured out.

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What to Wear: Attending a Game

If you’re visiting a college on a game day weekend, don’t forget to pack your college tailgate apparel for the big game. Going to a college football game is the perfect way to end your college visit on a high note and will go a long way in making you feel like part of the community, plus its a helluva good time. 

So, what do you wear to a college football game as a prospective student? Here are a few ideas to keep it classy without sacrificing your unbridled team spirit:

Outfit Ideas for Her

The best game day outfits for women will likely depend on the school and the region. Take the South, for example. Southern ladies tend to dress up more for college football games by wearing colorful dresses and pairing them with cute cowboy boots.

If you want to keep it more casual, you can get away with a t-shirt and skinny jeans combo. Just remember: No distressed jeans (no matter how trendy the look is now, college decision-makers tend to find this look actually distressing).

Finish the look with a cute wristwatch and earrings for a simple yet on-trend look. By the way, don’t forget your clear stadium bag that will get you past security. 

Outfit Ideas for Him

Guys, put down the body paint and the beer hats. You haven’t received your acceptance letter yet, so looking respectable should still be a top priority for you. 

Yeah, we know that it’s sort of a buzzkill, but your future is riding on appearances at the moment. For a classy, no-fuss look, consider wearing a polo shirt in your prospective school’s colors and pairing it with khaki pants or shorts. 

And for the love of everything college football, don’t wear a rival school shirt to the game. If you stroll into an Ole Miss game wearing Mississippi State apparel, you have only yourself to blame for the dirty looks and trash talk coming your way.

Dressing for Comfort and Style

Figuring out what to wear to a college visit can be super tricky. While you no doubt want to showcase some of your amazing personality, you also don’t want to go overboard with your style.

When in doubt, reach for a classic outfit that feels just as good as it looks. When you feel amazing in what you’re wearing, your confidence will shine through and impress everyone on campus. Good luck!

 

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