Homan: Outfits you will need post graduation and clothes that should stay in college

College is a weird time for personal fashion because we’re surrounded by people our own age. We can’t judge each other too much for wearing leggings and Ugg boots to 8 a.m. classes or wearing gym clothes when we are just planning on getting Starbucks and then hibernating in Bird Library all day.

The real world seems much scarier. There are bosses and co-workers to impress and bars that aren’t covered in spilled drinks and fog machines (looking at you, DJ’s). If you’ve been wearing the same clothes since freshman year, graduation is the perfect time for a wardrobe upgrade. Follow our guide to make the most of your post-grad closet:

Invest in higher quality. This doesn’t mean you need a designer wardrobe, but now is a good time to start buying clothes that will last longer than a few months. In college, it is convenient to stop by Forever 21 or H&M for tops and “frat shoes” that you know are going to get torn apart sooner or later. After graduation, hopefully your outings will be a bit classier and warrant some nicer threads.

Leggings aren’t pants — in the real world, that is. It is totally acceptable to kick back in leggings and t-shirts throughout most of your college career, but your new actual career may not look so fondly on the beloved Netflix-binge-chic style. For casual settings, black jeans elevate any look. For work settings, a pair of tailored skinny pants (like J. Crew’s Martie pant) will do the trick.

Say bye to the backpack. Now is your chance to pick out a chic new bag to hold your everyday work essentials. Go for something simple that will go with every outfit, and make sure it is roomy enough and strong enough to hold everything you plan on carrying with you.

Find the perfect flats. Your awesome first-day-of-work outfit may look gorgeous with some professional pumps, but you don’t want to be stumbling around in heels, especially when you’re just getting used to a new environment and aren’t sure what is expected of you. You may have to do lots of walking or even run an errand or two, and you don’t want to be stuck with painful feet. Shop for a pair of versatile ballet flats or loafers that will go with your look and last you all day long.

Toss the costumes. Themed parties may have been your favorite thing at ’Cuse, but chances are you won’t use Hawaiian leis, alien costumes or that under-the-sea ensemble post-graduation. Unless of course, you come back to visit, in which case you’re never too old to throw on your old costumes and party with the little kiddies. Good luck, grads.

Jackie Homan is a sophomore magazine journalism major. You can email her at or follow her @jackie_homan on Twitter.


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