Multitasking clothing solves the ‘what to wear’ dilemma

A tie-front blouse is more playful than a button up but more professional than a t-shirt. The Pins and Needles Chiffon Tie Neck Tunic in orange offers the perfect mix (Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters.com).

A tie-front blouse is more playful than a button up but more professional than a t-shirt. The Pins and Needles Chiffon Tie Neck Tunic in orange offers the perfect mix (Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters.com).

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There is simply nothing to wear, period. Nothing in the closet is going to cut it today. Might as well give up. End of story. Sound familiar? Because of the countless obligations college students juggle daily, the ‘nothing to wear’ feeling is understandable. On an over-packed day the appropriate level of formality and style can change time and time again, leaving the dreaded fashion conundrum.

One solution to this challenge is to ‘dress up’ all day in order to remain prepared for the fanciest occasion—perhaps a job interview or a formal speech. Sadly, this not only leaves countless chances to wrinkle the good pants but it also creates an awkward divide between the overly-dressy student and the average guy or gal.

Perhaps running between the dorm and the office will create a quick fix. Those precious spare minutes can always be used to hightail to the closet. But alas, you commute? Or even worse, you’d like to use your break to actually take a break? What a fashion bind.

Thankfully there is a stylish light at the end of the tunnel that involves two major factors: preparation and patience. An outfit built in advance, made of the right materials can survive the longest of days and be changed instantly with pieces lightweight enough to carry amidst textbooks and prepackaged snacks.

The key to pulling off such a day is fabric choice. Solid pieces made of wrinkle-resistant fabrics (think polyester or spandex blends, as opposed to pure cotton or linen) can be stored and carried throughout the day. Practical and fashion-forward shoes work with interchanging jewelry to keep the look from being too simple.

A solid and durable base outfit acts as the figurative support beams for this fashion phenomenon. Neutral trousers and a fitted V-neck tee work wonders when paired together as the starting grounds. Aim for semi-skinny pants (i.e., not too tight) with some minor detailing, like the zipper pocket in the Converse One Star Skinny Pant in Eastcoast Grey  ($29.00, Target).

Neutral trousers offer lasting comfort and countless possibilities, like the Converse One Star Skinny Pant in Eastcoast Grey (Photo courtesy of Target.com).

A dual- or tri-blend t-shirt will provide the best comfort-to-durability ratio, as the combination of textiles provides stretch and resistance against pilling. The Essential V-Neck Tee by Victoria’s Secret Pink Line ($17.50) truly lives up to its name and will sit at the right waist level with the semi-casual pants. Pair the ensemble with colorful flats that can add some pizazz and much-needed practicality. One adorable option, the Nine West Onhigh flats ($69.00, Zappos.com), comes in a variety of colors and patterns to personalize the basics.

While many enjoy lunch, or the oh-so-allusive nap, a multitasking student might be off to a meeting. A semi sheer tie-front blouse in a lightweight fabric can help elevate the base outfit from alert student to club president in no time. The lovely sorbet shade of the Pins and Needles Chiffon Tie Neck Tunic in orange ($59.00, Urban Outfitters) will pop against the neutral pants while camouflaging the tee underneath.

A tie-front blouse is more playful than a button up but more professional than a t-shirt. The Pins and Needles Chiffon Tie Neck Tunic in orange offers the perfect mix (Photo courtesy of Urban Outfitters.com).

To store said shirt in a purse or backpack, simply lay it on a flat surface, tuck the arms and tie in, and roll. Slip the garment into a plastic bag for to avoid snags on keys and spiral notebooks.

Before there is time to get too comfortable in that lovely new blouse, it’s time for business, be it a student job or internship.  By adding a fitted black blazer over the existing outfit the look is elevated from casual to business casual. While any snug blazer will suffice, the tuxedo-inspired details on the Forever 21 Satin Collar Blazer ($32.80) offer both uniqueness and style flexibility for a more-than-affordable cost.

The Forever 21 Satin Collar Blazer does double duty as both a business piece and a going-out jacket (Photo courtesy of Forever21.com).

Closing time rolls around and the day is done… Unless, of course, meeting friends for an evening out sounds more fun. By removing the tie-front blouse a simply chic skinnies-and-blazer combination with the original fitted tee underneath remains. Add some sparkly accessories to make the outfit more night appropriate. Simple pieces like Betsey Johnson’s Polka Dot Heart Multi Chain Linear earrings ($50, Macy’s) can bring some brightness towards the face while accentuating the metal details in the trousers.

These Betsey Johnson’s Polka Dot Heart Multi Chain Linear earrings bring glitz and glamour to an otherwise simple look (Photo courtesy of Macys.com).

This easy and dependable base outfit will still be stunning long after the clubs close for the night. With a few accessories and outwear changes throughout the day, any neutral base outfit can truly go full circle by night. The lives of college females everywhere may have just gotten easier.