Clothes are peculiar things in college. Some people spend hours perfecting every detail of their look each day while others throw on sweat pants and a ragged t-shirt and call it an outfit. Some people make sure to have the most up-to-date fashion available, and others make it a point to dress as eccentrically as possible.
Busy class schedules and late night shenanigans take away from time normally spent in front of the mirror, but sometimes it’s good not to totally neglect appearance and hygiene. However you prefer to adorn yourself, here are five ways to get the most out of your wardrobe at college. You’ll save time and money, and you may even nourish your soul.
1. Don’t buy new clothes.
You’re not allowed to complain about being a poor college student if you’re paying $50 for a t-shirt. Sure, I get that you need to reinvent yourself now and then, but thrift shops are good for more than ironic sweaters and chart-topping songs. Search around for what you need at thrift stores, garage sales, consignment shops, and your roommates closet.
2. Only do laundry when absolutely necessary
Laundering clothes at school may be the biggest on-campus scam since the bookstore. 4 quarters will get you 51 minutes of washing time in a machine that looks and works like it came from the 70s. The dryer is even worse. A dollar won’t even get close to dry in one of these appliances. Plus, your mom isn’t around anymore. Stop washing clothes after wearing them once. Hang them up and let them air out for a while. If you can’t smell them, they’re not dirty! Don’t waste your time doing laundry every week. Once enough actually dirty clothes build up and you run out of other things to wear, go ahead and wash them though. Seriously.
3. Start thinking of clothes as tools
This one’s easy. You’re not in high school anymore. What your clothes look like can be important, but what purpose they serve is more important. Think about what a certain article of clothing does for you. That scarf is meant to keep your neck warm, and if your shoes are hurting your feet, you’re missing the point. Clothes should be comfortable, functional, and practical first, but they do communicate a message about you. Your clothes tell an employer that you’re worth hiring or a police officer that you’re a hooligan.
4. Narrow down your wardrobe to the essentials
Do you really need 4 different sports-themed hooded sweatshirts? How often do you wear that button down your aunt gave your for Christmas two years ago? Here’s a tough one for some people. You don’t need eight different flannels. Decide on one or two pairs of everyday shoes, dress shoes, athletic shoes, and old grungy shoes. It will be easier to pick out what to wear when you only have one option for a warm hat. Give away your unneeded clothes to an aforementioned thrift store or roommate. Heck, try selling them if you think people would pay money for your garbage.
5. Extend the life of your clothes
Learn to sew. Fix up that expanding hole in your pocket instead of throwing the whole pair away. Put your clothes in a hierarchy. Nice clothes, normal clothes, workout clothes, and really gross clothes or something like that. When your nice clothes lose their luster, move them down to the normal category. When they get stained or torn, move them to the workout clothes, when they’re falling apart and nasty, finish them off in the last group. This sequence can turn a year of use into four years without a second thought.
Don’t be tied down by your clothing. Express yourself, be comfortable, and use your clothes to their fullest potential, but don’t allow what you wear to distract you from what’s really important in life. Your clothes may affect you and your world more than you think. Find out how in part two coming soon!
Here is Part Two: