Listen up, collegiate gals: You’re smart. You’re worldly. You know that presentation is important. Sure, looks aren’t everything, but they do matter. And research shows that the people form their opinions of others within seconds of being introduced. So do you really want any of the many new people you meet in college to dismiss you as another sloppy co-ed in a too-big t-shirt and Chacos? No, you don’t – especially when it comes to your professors, potential dates, or future employers.

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True, maintaining high sartorial standards in college can be tough. But it’s not impossible. Swap out some of this year’s most popular (and hideous) campus trends with these 5 cool (and comfy) substitutes for a more put-together look that’ll catch the eyes of everyone on campus.

 

1. Instead of oversized t-shirts, try t-shirt dresses!

Wearing an XL t-shirt with short shorts is every kind of unprofessional and unattractive. You might as well lose the bottoms all together and slip into an equally comfortable t-shirt dress. T-shirt dresses are genius- they’re soft, incredibly versatile, and surprisingly flattering. Choose a fitted version if you want to show off your assets a little, or a loose shift dress if you need to hide that dining hall food-baby. Pair it with wedges or flip-flops in the summer and knee-high boots and a shrunken jacket in the winter- there are seriously a million ways to wear a t-shirt dress!

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2. You know your UGGs are fUGGly, so try slouchy boots and wool knee socks instead!

Chances are, you know how hideous your UGGs are – but come winter, you simply won’t care. I understand, and I confess that I own a pair of ugly sheepskin slippers for those chilly dorm nights. But, around-the-house coziness is the ONLY thing UGGs are good for – I firmly believe that these hideous caveman shoes should never be worn in public. There are other ways to keep your feet nice and toasty, ladies. When the temperatures drop this year, try wearing slouchy suede or leather boots with knee-high wool (or better yet, wool/cashmere) socks. Your toes will be SO warm and you will look SO cute. Pull your socks over tights or skinny jeans, or wear them with a knee-length skirt or dress. As far as the boots go, choosing a slouchy style lends an informal touch to your outfit without making you look lazy like some other form of shoe (cough, cough, UGGS).

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3. Chacos are heinous. For comfort and cool feet, try Havianas flip-flops.

Chacos have become the UGGs of summer – but perhaps even uglier (is that even possible?). Yeah, they’re comfy for walking around campus on hot days, but you know what other shoes perform the exact same function and look significantly less disgusting? Flip-flops. To be more specific – the funky, colorful pairs made by Brazilian brand Havianas. I’ll admit that flip-flops aren’t exactly at the height of fashion, and a pair of strappy sandals would make even better summer shoes. But hey, sometimes it’s nice to be fuss-free when it comes to footwear, and what could be more footloose (ha!) than a good ol’ pair of flip-flops? Pair these simple statement shoes with shorts or a sundress. They’re a little pricey as far as flip-flops go, but Havianas will last you much longer than those flimsy shower shoes you can buy at the drugstore. Just make sure you get a pedi first!

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4. You’re not Willie Nelson – so lose those silly Texas flag shorts and try a classy Kris Nations necklace instead.

Running shorts emblazoned with the home state’s flag seem to be all over Texas campuses these days. First made popular by our home state hero – Mr. Willie Nelson, they are now reduced to sorority-girl kitsch, paired with Chacos and oversized t-shirts (see above). These are fun novelty items (great for themed parties), but for everyday wear, try something a little less loud-and-proud. These Kris Nations necklaces are a sweet, understated way to show your love for the greatest state around.

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5. Every girl on campus is wearing those round Kendra Scott earrings (you know which ones), but you’ll stand out from the crowd with lovely statement jewelry…. that also happens to be designed by Kendra Scott!

Hey, let’s face it – Kendra Scott is awesome. Her designs are fun and affordable, and she’s a great role model for fashion lovers and aspiring businesswomen alike. But the designer’s ubiquitous “Elle” and “Danielle” earrings – the ones with the colorful stone framed in a delicate gold or silver oval – aren’t exactly unique anymore. Luckily, Kendra Scott offers scores of other dazzling pieces, from impossible-to-ignore statement necklaces to funky bracelets and cocktail rings that make the perfect accessories for your girls’ night out. You’re guaranteed to be a trendsetter, not a trend follower. Just prepare to be bombarded by “OMG where’d you get that?!”

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