Dress to Impress: What to Wear (And Avoid) During College Visits
College tours can feel a little intimidating, especially if this is your first time visiting a campus. In order to keep your nerves under control and learn as much about each institution as possible, it is important to plan ahead and prepare for every visit in advance.
In addition to brainstorming questions to ask and booking travel accommodations, students need to feel comfortable in their skin and dress for success. Keep reading for our top wardrobe dos and don’ts to ensure your put your best face forward and walk away with a new understanding of each college on your best fit list.
Do: Prioritize Comfort
This isn’t the day to break in a new pair of heels, especially because most college tours require plenty of walking. Skip uncomfortable shoes and instead gravitate towards sneakers or flat boots so that you can take that extra loop around the quad or circle back to the library for one more view. In addition to choosing appropriate footwear, it’s important to select clothes that you feel comfortable in. It’s not necessary to wear anything super formal to a college tour; instead, choose an outfit that you have worn before and something you feel confident in.
Don’t: Forget to Check the Weather
It’s hard to concentrate on your tour guide when you are freezing cold or uncomfortably hot, so review the forecast before you go. The climate on campus may be very different from your hometown, so it’s important to pack according to the destination and consider bringing extra layers if you are going somewhere with cooler temperatures. Additionally, bring an umbrella or raincoat if there is rain in the forecast.
Do: Look Polished
While college tours do not require formal clothing or business attire, students should avoid looking like they just rolled out of bed. Especially since most students will also be attending an information session led by an admission officer (maybe even the reader for your area!) it’s important to dress for a good first impression. Remember that you are touring schools to learn about each campus and emphasize your demonstrated interest in a specific institution, so your appearance should embody this. Avoid sweatpants and athletic wear and leave yourself ample time to get dressed in the morning so that you can greet your tour guide and any one else you meet on campus with confidence.
Don’t: Wear Other College’s Clothing
Even if the school you are touring isn’t your first choice college, you should give university officials the impression it is. Approach each tour with an open mind and view it as an opportunity to learn something new. While colleges don’t expect that they’re the only school that students are applying to, wearing the logo of another institution can send mixed messages – especially if you’re getting some face time with admissions officers or professors while you’re on campus.
Do: Repurpose Outfits
Don’t be afraid to repeat outfits on college visits, especially since you will be meeting new people and seeing new campuses. If you find an outfit that you like, it is more than okay to make this your go-to college tour outfit. Additionally, if you are traveling and plan on seeing multiple schools on the same trip, re-wearing outfits may be useful because it will enable you to pack lightly.
The college application process can feel stressful at times, but picking out your outfits for tours shouldn’t be. Focus on choosing clothes that boost your confidence levels and are weather appropriate. Don’t worry about being trendy or on-brand for a school.
Going on college tours is an exciting opportunity to learn more about different schools and begin to envision yourself on campus. If you are preparing for school visits and looking for extra guidance, our team of college admissions experts can help you prepare for every step of the process.