Fall fashions invade AU

For students, 'back to school' means looking cool

Back to school shopping can be just as important-or unimportant-as college itself. The first day (or week, depending on your personal needs and wants) of school shapes the first impressions you leave on both professors and classmates, and for many it is found through the power of spending.

It is always nice to reach into a new book tote or shopper to grab a cell phone or put away a new syllabus. And there's something about walking into a classroom in a new outfit that visibly adds a little confidence to one's step.

Though the first week has come and gone, some are still sorting through new purchases to craft outfits that work well with each day's demands. For a girl's more relaxed class day, for instance, she might wear the towering stiletto sandals that can only be donned for short periods of time before requiring medical assistance. This day could also lend itself to more daring outfits such as an 80s inspired, off the shoulder T-shirt and miniskirt or a modish 60s ensemble that if worn for an entire day could cause quite the campus stir.

For hectic days, a simple fitted T-shirt, jeans and sensible shoes show personal style and common sense. For guys, lighter days are great for breaking in those jeans that are still a little too fitted. A more impressive display of colors and accessories, such as belts, flashy designer sunglasses and motor-sport inspired footwear can be reserved for days that require less terrain coverage and more chances to open oneself to compliments. For days that require more running around, worn-in jeans, a T-shirt and comfortable, yet stylish, shoes or sneakers are a safer bet.

On the other side are the non-back to school shoppers who give the expression "just rolled out of bed" a whole new meaning and whose ancestors originated the craze of "casual Friday." They can be spotted with irritatingly disheveled bed-hair and wandering in the direction of class in pajama bottoms and an oversized (usually stained) T-shirt, topped off with a pair of flip-flops that also serve as shower shoes. This, without a doubt, is an extreme example but accurate nonetheless.

As with everything, back to school shopping should be done in moderation. If one accumulates months of debt in order to sport the latest fashion fad, then there may be something of an issue at hand. The same can be said for those who appear to be anti-shopping. Those that don't follow fashion or just don't care leave just as large an impression on professors and classmates with disheveled appearances as the people with new outfits.

There's something to be said about combining the two, adding a few vintage pieces from ones closet to accessorize those new designer jeans or pairing that new tote with last season's shoes that show that, though you are up with the trends and did invest some time and money into your appearance, you don't take fashion too seriously. Whether you revamp your whole wardrobe and bank account to dress in the latest styles, roll out of bed and glide into class or combine the two phenomenon's, you're representing the mixture of cultures and fashions that campuses bring together. It's best to stick to your mode of dressing and even if you make a few mistakes along the way or want to change your look entirely, remember this: There's always next semester to start over from scratch.

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