Dress to impress at uni

February 24, 2016
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University life and Australia go hand in hand, especially when it comes to the dress code. The first rule about life at these institutions is that you don’t talk about uni. The second rule is that you’re required to wear thongs. A rare sighting is a student tracing around campus sporting closed-in shoes when they don’t study a health degree. Start the year off right by purchasing a fresh pair of Havis that aren’t gonna get stolen by your housemates.

Now to the whole clothing thing for those less fashion-inclined. Practicality is ideal, but if you study law, you can’t escape the mandatory Ralph Lauren and Country Road dress code - sorry to burst your minimum wage pay packet bubble. Just remember to never conform to the pretentious connotations of your degree, and you’ll be set. Stay wild, man.

If you do wear brands, don’t rub it in people’s faces

Look, I’m totally all for the brands. I’m not talking Cameo and a Mimco pouch for a morning lecture, but more a Sass and Bide slouchy tee and Maui Jim sunnies to get you through. Just don’t make it obvious, ya feel me? If I see one more girl prancing to class in an Aje tee, I may throw my MacBook across the quad.

Stick with the little pony man on the left side of your shirt (please note the emphasis on ‘little’), and you’ll offend as few HECS-drowning/multi-job-working students as possible.

Basics are lyf

Your new mantra is, “Basics are not just for bitches.” Embrace the life of putting as little effort into your look as possible before the untimely death of your social life approaches due to fulltime work. No one likes a well put-together uni student - they look too mature. Try a worldlier approach where you sport a beaten tee and denim shorts. No lie, I wear this combo exclusively.

Cotton On will become your best friend. Just trust me on this one, ‘kay?

Never try to talk up your clothes to fashion majors

“Oh, I just love wearing brands. It’s just so expensive, but so worth it!” Moan a little more, Myrtle. Your life isn’t really that hard, and fashion on a budget is just as good - ask any fashion major. Appreciate brands, but dress to your bank account, and try not to be too pretentious around the people who are gonna be running the world one day. Try a little modesty, guys.

Mornings are hard, concealer is valid

Don’t worry about making up your face every day - just keep in mind the wonders that concealer and mascara can do. Rather than looking like you’ve been erected from the dead when you hit up your 8am class, try dabbing some moisturiser and concealer around those under-eyes to get that circulation going. Puffy eyes be gone!

Wait, people wear real shoes?

WHAT A REVALATION! The world has come so far since the old school days in the ’60s, when shoes were completely unheard of. It’s well-known that shoes should probably be mandatory in such an institution, but I guess we would just have to suffice with a norm. Try to expand your horizons even more and branch out to real shoes. Everyone loves some solid Connies. Pop a pair of boat shoes on, and all the girls will even let you park them under the bed.

Just try not to wear pyjamas

My final words of sage advice: Peter Alexander may look cute, but don’t wear it to class. 

Allison Byrnes

Allison is a Multimedia Journalism student at James Cook University. She dreams of emulating Julie Bishop's style on a uni student budget.