Why Graduating College Was the Best Thing for My Style

Just like any fashion-worshipping girl, there was perhaps no greater runway growing up than the first day of school. I remember selecting my outfit as though I were editing a trend report for Vogue. It had to be unexpected, without trying too hard. I needed to come across as innately academic to my teachers yet clearly cool enough to socialise after hours with my peers. Of course, it couldn’t look like something I would wear the year before. The start of every grade level meant a more mature, sophisticated me. But ultimately it always ended up mirroring what was in-trend with my clique and categorized me into my desired social circle.

Naturally, this meant getting dressed in the morning was a war zone. In my adolescent days, hearing my mum repeat “Honey, it’s not a fashion show” was as common in my household as hearing “Eat your vegetables” in another. And much to my mum’s dismay, her well-intentioned, time-saving suggestions fell on deaf ears. Because once I moved out on my own and across the country to attend college in New York, my perpetual daily outfit crisis got even worse. I mean hey, now I had a whole new environment (and weather system) to dress for. And boy, did I rise to the occasion.

I wouldn’t say my college style was catastrophic by any means. I did all right considering the number of body-con dresses and sloppy graphic T-shirts that rotated throughout my wardrobe. But since it was bad enough to delete numerous photo albums on Facebook, I think that says enough.

For me, graduating college was the best thing that happened to my style. And I think the reason for that comes down to one very simple fact: I found myself. And in turn, I developed this little thing called personal style.

I know developing a killer post-grad wardrobe sounds counterintuitive to what you would expect at that time in your life. You’re broke and trying to figure out your path, and on-point fashion seems as likely as knowing your plans for next weekend. It’s one of the biggest transitional times you go through in your lifetime, and flying by the seat of your pants often means those pants were on sale at a discounted price.

But it’s also an insanely magical period where you’re truly allowed to just do you. No longer are you dressing to the conformities of a daily social group, and you’re finally starting to figure out that your date pays more attention to you when you’re comfortable in your own skin than when you’re encased like a sausage in all of those once loved body-con dresses. Plus, that small budget actually encourages you to put your most innovative, well-fashioned foot forward. Instead of buying those cheap fad pieces, it’s finally time to start investing in a timeless wardrobe.

Once I graduated college, I started to discover where I saw myself in the world. I was on my own. Totally independent. And I finally started dressing, for the first time in my life, completely for myself.

Keep scrolling to shop our favourite pieces to update a post-grad wardrobe!

Schutz Kora Suede Sandals ($200)

We want to hear from you! How have you found your personal style? Tell us in the comments below.