A first-year’s fashion guide

As an incoming first-year, you may be unsure of what is and isn’t acceptable to wear on a daily basis in college. While you may have heard that everyone wears sweats or pajamas to class, this isn’t entirely true. On the other hand, you might think that the absence of a high school dress code is your chance to wear things you couldn’t before.

Since you’re coming to Carnegie Mellon, the latter is probably not the case for you, but here are a couple of dos and don’ts that can guide you in the right direction. Remember that it’s important to be comfortable and express yourself, but also to make a good impression.

Do try to look presentable. You don’t have to get dressed up for class, but find a balance. It’s okay to occasionally give the impression that you rolled out of bed and dragged yourself to class, but every day is a bit much. An outfit as simple as jeans and a T-shirt can make a difference.

Don’t get too dressed up if there’s no reason to — during Orientation week, for example. If I could do it again, I’d only wear shorts and T-shirts.

Do stay hygienic. This may seem like common sense, but you would be surprised. Just make sure you shower and brush your hair, for obvious reasons.

Don’t wear your pajamas to class. The occasional sloppy day in sweatpants is excusable, but leave your Spongebob-patterned sleepwear at home.

Do dress up for events that require you to. You may have to dress formally sometimes if you’re in a certain major or program, so take these things seriously.

Don’t wear stuff with offensive words or images. Hopefully, you know the difference between what’s acceptable and what isn’t. Stay away from the latter.

Do dress appropriately for the weather. Pittsburgh weather is notably bipolar, so wearing layers is smart.

Don’t get too caught up in what you wear during finals. Lots of people don’t care what they wear during this week, since they spend most of their time studying at the library anyway. Wear something comfortable, and bring everything you need to avoid making multiple trips back to your dorm.

Do put your own personality into what you’re wearing. College is all about independence and individuality, so express yourself!

Don’t forget to carry an umbrella with you, since it invariably rains at least once every day in Pittsburgh.