I’m often told that I always look put together. I am also often asked if it takes me forever to get ready for class in the morning. The honest truth is that I do not, in fact, wake up “forever” before class to get ready, and that most of my time in the morning is spent chillin’ with my cup of coffee. So how do I do it? And, perhaps more importantly, why?
Those who were in my computer design class last semester may remember the day that second day of class when I was perpetually laughed at for stating that dressing well improves academic performance. Apparently this didn’t quite fit with good-student qualities such as “getting enough sleep” and “doing homework.” Since then, however, only a few people have disagreed with that statement.
The fact of the matter is, that there exists a serious apathy on our campus towards dressing decently—so much so that shlumpy outfits have become part of our stern girl stereotype. The worst part is that it really wouldn’t take that much effort to get dressed, but girls don’t understand that. Well, as someone who is often driven up the walls by the way some girls look around here, I am going to make an attempt to help.
Your pajamas are for sleeping in. Leave them in bed. You will never ever, no matter what, look dressed in your pajamas. This includes sweatpants, fleece pants, Hanes v-necks, and even sweatshirts. Sweatshirts are to be worn when you are cold, not in place of shirts. I totally understand the need to be comfortable, but there are other ways to do so without looking like you’ve crawled out of bed five seconds ago even during the third class of the day. Not only are you disrespecting your teachers and their subject matter, but you may also be stuck in a completely lethargic state all day. Plus, how do you expect anyone to take you seriously if you’ve got Angry Birds on your chest and the name of your seminary across your butt?
Let’s talk about those flip-flops while we’re at it. I don’t mean sandals; I’m referring to those three-dollar rubber flip flops that you wear to the beach or when you’re washing floors. If anything screams laziness, these do. No matter how much effort you’ve put into the rest of your outfit today, you’ve ruined it with that moment of I-couldn’t-care-less. You were barefoot when you got out of bed, right? Find a pair of non-rubber shoes instead.
The next thing I am going to rip on is the exposure of those A-Line tanks, or, for lack of better words, ‘wife beaters.’ First of all, layering is so five years ago. You don’t need to have 3 shirts peeking out from the one you actually chose to wear. Wife beaters are a perfectly simple and easy way to butcher your outfit—especially if you’re wearing them backwards in hopes that they can replace your white shell (shudder). Don’t do that – we all know what the Fruit of the Loom logo looks like. Yes they are comfortable and easy and everything else you can come up with. I promise, there are a million other undershirts you could wear that don’t make you look like you slept on the streets last night.
We’ve gone piece by piece, and now let’s evaluate our less-than-fashionista Stern girl’s outfit. On a typical day, she is wearing a faded Gap tee that isn’t quite long enough because it’s been through seminary washing machines, a baggy wife beater sticking out from the bottom, a black skirt, and flip flops. Here’s what I have to say to you: You all look like everyone else and none of you look good. Get rid of the shirts that don’t fit you anymore, and be mindful of the fact that your weight may have changed. Your shirts, unless of course they are part of last year’s weird belly shirt phase (which is over, thank Gd), should make a point of covering your stomach. No one should see your back when you bend over. It is uncomfortable for us and rude of you.
The wrinkled look that comes with shoving your clothes into your dresser when they come out of the dryer isn’t that cool either. Make a point to fold them when they’re still warm, and you’ll never once need an iron (though I have one if the need ever rises).
Okay, I’ve made my point and eliminated your wardrobe. Now what? I advise taking a moment to consider your outfit the night before, not five minutes before class. This will take only one minute when you’re unfortunately wide awake before bedtime while it will take a lot longer when you’re exhausted and sleepy eyed with only ten minutes before class. What you should do in the morning, however, is look in the mirror and even maybe pat your hair down a bit. No need to style it or anything, but no matter how good your “just out of bed” hair is, we can all tell if you’ve slept in that bun.
Some final tips to help you look better put together: one of my personal favorites are button downs. They are simple, easy, and voila! You look all dressed up. I do recommend stocking up on button downs if you don’t like to spend time on getting dressed but care to look somewhat dressed. Another quick-fix is tucking in your shirt. People are for some reason very afraid to do this, but chances are you don’t look any fatter with your shirt tucked in; if anything the look will flatter you give people reason to ask what you’re so dressed up for today. It may also not kill you to be a little creative and wear a skirt that isn’t black every day, but that’s really up to you and just fine if you feel comfortable. I won’t take that away from you.
If you want to look like a decent individual and also feel like one, even on those really bad days that exist every once in a while, it really isn’t that difficult. It does take some mindfulness and dedication. Especially if you realize that this article is completely bashing the way you look every day. But, the truth is, that as insignificant as another day of class may be, and as silly as it may seem to care about what you look like in school, at the end of the day it’s every day, and do you really want to spend the greater part of your week looking, and thereby feeling, like you couldn’t care less? It really doesn’t take much time or energy to change that, and take my word for it, you will accomplish a lot more when you feel better about yourself.