Fashionista: Leave the high school rags behind

Kara Nesvig, The Daily’s Fashionista.

When youâÄôre in high school, youâÄôre prepped constantly for college. âÄúItâÄôs the doorway to your entire future,âÄù your teachers say. ItâÄôs one of those oft-quoted mottos about how your futureâÄôs so bright that you gotta wear shades (yes, IâÄôm aware thatâÄôs a one-hit wonder from sometime in the âÄò80s. Hopefully your shades are not fake Chanel). But we get it: college is important. So now that weâÄôre entrenched in our glorious futures, why are we clinging to our ancient Edina sweatshirts and La Crosse track t-shirts, and even worse, wearing them to class? ItâÄôs totally acceptable to wear them around the house when youâÄôre scrubbing the bathroom floor (a rare occurrence in most of the college houses IâÄôve stepped my well-shod foot in) but honestly, if youâÄôre a college junior like myself, youâÄôve been out of high school for about, what, three years? ItâÄôs time to let it go. Like a very wise man (George Harrison) once said, âÄúAll things must pass.âÄù And high school, my dears, is one of those things. What IâÄôm saying is that itâÄôs time to grow up, clean the juvenile âÄúI loved this shirt when I was in high school!âÄù mementos from the closet, and try your very best to class it up a little. Twenty-two year olds should very, very rarely be wearing anything from Hollister. At least step up to Ruehl. If IâÄôm going to advocate anything Abercrombie-affiliated, IâÄôm going to direct you towards its most tailored (and most expensive, sorry) branch. Guys, youâÄôre the target of this advice machine today. IâÄôve seen far too many of you in too-tight Ed Hardy shirts (gross, unless youâÄôre from Long Island and have a penchant for a spray tan) for my liking. Now, granted, a lot of you make an effort. IâÄôve even been pleased once in awhile, when a well-dressed guy saunters into whatever lecture IâÄôm daydreaming in wearing well-cut jeans and actual shoes – you know, the leather kind. There are lots of snappy dressers out there; IâÄôve seen you in your blazers and weathered brown belts. Kudos to you – youâÄôre dressing your age. ThereâÄôs no reason why throwing a blazer (and one that fits, please) on over your daily uniform of t-shirt and jeans should be a monumental task. IâÄôm a huge proponent of Banana Republic and J. Crew sales. ItâÄôs a step up from the Gap and American Eagle, and the sales are often and totally worth it. J. Crew even gives college students (with a valid ID) an extra 15 percent discount. Ladies. oh, ladies. IâÄôve seen far, far too many tiny denim miniskirts to be pleased with how youâÄôre dressing yourselves. Leave the tiny pink T-shirts and leggings under skirts to five-year-olds, who actually look cute in that ensemble. Please, for the love of God, take a trip to my favorite upscale retail outlet, Off Saks 5th Avenue. It takes literally ten minutes on the 3 to get there, and a plethora of ridiculously amazing deals are at your feet, especially during the magical time I like to call âÄúrecession sale season.âÄù The first, and easiest, way to start dressing your age (that means no more light-wash American Eagle flares , please) is with a pair of dark denim – they can be straight, skinny, or bootcut, but please, letâÄôs quit dragging our ragged flared jeans in the slush. Dark denim looks so much sharper IâÄôm also a huge fan of the âÄúthird piece,âÄù which is what they called a jacket or cardigan when I worked at MacyâÄôs. An essential piece for looking chic is the cropped-sleeve jacket. Mine is navy and from Gap , and I wore it for about three weeks straight last spring. A jacket is instant polish and you can keep it from looking too business-y with a loose tank top or a ruffly dress (if it ever warms up). I like to pile on gold chains with mine, or a big chunky scarf. I donâÄôt mean to rag – honestly, IâÄôve been surprised by a lot of the outfits IâÄôve seen cropping up on campus. IâÄôm just saying that, in all truth, honesty, and love, itâÄôs time to grow up a little bit, abandon the sweats, and maybe, just maybe, put on your big kid shoes.