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Monday, June 11, 2007

Working Around the Dress Code

Going back to school means wearing a white blouse, olive green skirt and black leather pumps (or ballet flats on busier days) for four days a week for me, leaving only Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays uniform-free. Having to go to school on Mondays and Saturdays would mean following a dress code, though, excluding anything that falls more than two inches above the knees, rubber flipflops, sleeveless tops and plunging necklines.

Even with my academic workload, co-curriculars, extra-curriculars and freelance work, I still take time to pick out my outfits very carefully on those two days of semi-freedom, just because it relaxes me. Fashion always makes me feel better. Sometimes, though, the weather can be too hot, limiting my choices. There can also be a lot of walking involved, taking away those heels and wedges from footwear options. It can be frustrating sometimes, but after living the kolehiyala lifestyle for two whole years now, I've adjusted pretty well.

May I suggest this short guide for quick and easy looks that are school day-friendly but still manage to raise the style bar:

    photo credits: and

1. Match the color of your bag with your shoes. This may sound very old-fashioned, but matching bags and shoes instantly make an outfit look more put-together.

photo credit:

2. Add key pieces to make a simple outfit stand out. Accessorize with a scarf, hat, belt, bangle or even a fun pair of earrings that can add oomph to your shirt and jeans. Take the cue from my friend Charlene who worked it in a newsboy cap and hoops one day at school. You don't even have to shell out much for these accessories -- head to department stores for great bargains! Above is one of Ciara Marasigan-Serumgard's creations (feathers not included!) Check out her line of accessories, Ciara Creates.

3. Choose unique cuts on basic items of clothing. One example is a pair of denims. Instead of the usual plain capris, skinny or bootcut pairs, find jeans with different styles such as those with cuffed hems, cool stitching or more pockets. You can even get your jeans personalized (check out Defacto Industry) to ensure that your pair is truly one-of-a-kind. So even when you're just wearing a simple top, your bottoms will already carry your whole outfit.

photo credit:

4. Ditch your flipflops for ballet flats. Find ballet flats in neutral or your favorite colors instead of trying to sneak in those rubber slippers. Aside from avoiding violating school rules, and even for campuses where flipflops are allowed, wearing ballet flats give you a smarter, more polished look.

It also helps to put the clothes that you cannot wear to school in a separate area in your closet. It'll be so much easier for you to pick out an outfit for school, especially when you're already in a rush.

Always keep in mind that when it comes to school, comfort should still be your top priority. Face it: it's difficult to concentrate when you can't stop fidgeting in your tight skirt or torturing your feet in killer stilletos. You can be comfortable without sacrificing style.

The CityLifeStylist


Angel said...

I'm just wondering, what school are you talking about? :) Sorry, me and my being nosy. lol.

The CityLifeStylist said...

Miriam College. ;)

gyk said...

¤ oMG. thanks for the tips. actually, im a nursing student. but instead of buying flats which i wore last sem, i bought the pointed one with heels. im short kasi eh. will that be okay? i'm not really good in fashion though..

gyk said...

¤ BTW. link kita under my "worth readings" sa blog co. will dat be okay? hihihi

The CityLifeStylist said...

Aww. Thanks, Gyk! Of course you can link me. I'll add you to my links, as well. ^_^

It's good to have pointy-toed heels for school, especially when you have to wear a uniform. Not only do they look cute and add a few more inches to your height, they also look more formal.

For busier days, however, I suggest that you also get a pair of equally stylish flats. I always have them just in case I get sick, or am too busy or tired to run around in heels. ;)

Santosuke said...

That was so useful! Not for me cause I'm a boy but my girlfriends always ask me like I'm some kind of stylist hehe even by phone! So learning about this is alway great ;)

tina said...

i have thing for ballet flats too!! :P