No matter how many times you do it, getting dressed for chapter is always a reality check. As much as you’d like to think your closet resembles Olivia Pope’s, sometimes all you can find are 3 sailor costumes and enough frockets to outfit a small army. To add insult to injury, you now have to ditch your comfortable clothes in favor of a scratchy polyester dress that manages to simultaneously make you look flat chested and give you a muffin top.
If stuffing yourself into Spanx and wearing pants that fit better pre-2am pizza binge sounds like a fun time, feel free to disregard this. For those of us who believe that beauty doesn’t have to equal pain, here are 5 super simple ways to upgrade your most comfortable looks for chapter.
1. No pants, no problem.
The problem: I have a sinking suspicion that in a couple of years we’ll all be embarrassed by the fact that we walked around campus in t-shirts so big it looked like we weren’t wearing pants. It’s a shame, because this college staple is perfect for minimizing those post-big/little chocolate binge pounds and getting around the fact that you haven’t done laundry in a couple of days (read: weeks).
The solution: I get it—pants are the enemy. They shrink in the wash. They force you to wear a belt. They have an actual zipper (and all the potential for embarrassing moments that come along with that). So, throw on a shift dress and escape the tyranny of real pants for just a little longer.
2. Chacos, your controversial footwear favorite.
The problem: There are some controversial topics that just aren’t polite to discuss when you first meet someone. Religion, foreign affairs, the final season of Lost…and Chacos. There’s no middle ground with this footwear. Devotees hail the comfort and ease that come with these simple shoes. Detractors question why anyone would spend $100 to wear Jesus sandals in public. No matter where you fall in the debate, Chacos are a chapter attire faux pas.
The solution: It’s understandable that your feet may be a little banged up from those heels you never should have worn to a date party. Dressy sandals will let your feet recover.
3. No bra necessary.
The problem: When they told you to hide your bra straps for chapter, I’m pretty sure you weren’t supposed take that as an invitation to ditch your latest Aerie purchase and throw on an oversized sweatshirt. The beauty of having roommates who don’t judge you for this look is that there’s never any incentive to dress like a normal human being before you’re forced leave the house.
The solution: Those big comfortable sweaters are perfect for when you don’t want to be restricted by anything too tight or structured. An added bonus? You can probably get away with a cute bralet instead of dealing with the hassle of an actual bra.
4. Norts (the best alternative to actual pants).
The problem: Unfortunately, even if your norts are monogrammed and you actually sprung for the real deal (not the off-brand norts at Target that are actually fabulous) they’re not suitable chapter attire.
The solution: A flattering maxi dress achieves the comfort of norts without looking like you don’t understand the concept of business casual. The maxi dress also eliminates the burden of finding bottoms and a top that actually match (its harder than it might sound).
5. Messy bun (see also: woke up looking like Cousin Itt).
The problem: Sometimes our hair works against us. Most of us wake up looking more deranged than #flawless. While the messy bun may pair perfectly with your oversized frocket and norts, it is more synonymous with hung over brunch than chapter.
The solution: Instead of giving up precious hours of sleep to struggle with a straightening iron, invest in a jeweled headband that will make you look like you actually put some effort into it (no one has to know you didn’t).