September 4, 2014


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Ahhh, remember the days when I was a naive (/terrified/perplexed) transfer? See, I journeyed from New York University and the streets of New York City to Cornell my sophomore year, and I was baffled by the abundance of red sweatpants and tee-shirts and general disregard for one’s appearance and dress. Two years later, I still am. But hey! I’ve loved my time here, and I look forward to experiencing my senior year fully and fashionably.

That being said, there is a new term I have heard to describe senior girls. It is the acronym S.W.U.G., or “Senior Washed Up Girl.” This likely stems from the notion that freshmen are thought of as “fresh meat,” while us senior girls are like yesterday’s stale, carb-riddled bread from Wegmans. I personally find the term amusing and in good fun(?); I’m also comforted by the fact that I can think of an equal to greater amount of SWUG(uy)s #realquick. However, I’m here today to throw out a few foundational fashion tips to avoid embracing your inner-SWUG (which can be followed by all of you freshmen, sophomore and junior SWUGs-to-be, too).

1. If you slept in it, no: I understand you thought signing up for that 9:05 a.m. (or earlier, God help you) class would motivate you to seize the day, to take it easy the night before. Freshman girls, learn now that this desired effect won’t happen, at least not most of the time. No, you’ll cry as the alarm clock wails like a funeral dirge. You’ll spill coffee you desperately chug; though, let’s face it, what you really need is water and some sunglasses after last night. You’ll look down at your Cornell sweatpants (in which you slept) and say, “What’s the big deal? Who even cares this early?” Hmm… I do! And you should, too. Having a go-to comfy but cute outfit for those days when wise wardrobe decision-making (or moving) don’t seem possible is key. Right now, have a casual but chic sundress, romper or jeans-and-a-top combo that you know looks good ready to go; we’ll warm that look up as the season (quickly) turns. And, yeah, grab the aforementioned (preferably oversized) sunglasses on your way out, because last night’s mascara is smudging dangerously low — like, Taylor Momsen circa 2010 low.

2. Fit is not a number: I’m not talking “fit” as in your physical health, though I guess that is true as well. I mean that the way clothes fit is what is important, not the size (or brand, for that matter). I know girls everywhere have an obsession with being a certain size (I mean, Regina George was NOT about to try Sears), but the only one who ever knows (…or cares) what the number on your tags are is you! However, everyone sees how you look. I know a lot of girls struggle with their bodies changing once they get to college (this just got real) but as long as you’re healthy, go with it! Avoid buying clothing that’s too small in order to feel like you’ve won the size-prize. I also would never advise you HIDE your body out of any form of self-consciousness. That being said, if you’re going for the Mary-Kate Olsen-homeless-I walk-around-in-a-blanket-look, I’m SO into it. Basically, moral of the story is that you should work what you’ve got, and wear what fits your bod best.

3. Don’t conform, discriminate or give up: God, that sounds motivational; too bad I’m referring to what you wear. There’s definitely a generic look a lot of college girls rock; Lululemon leggings, painted on skinny jeans and that quintessential body-con dress are all present pieces in nearly every female’s closet. And I’m no different! However, everyone has a unique style identity, and it’s easy to lose that, or even just suppress it for a bit when everyone seems to be dressing a certain way. Don’t let that happen! Again, I face this same temptation, but then I say, “To Hell with it” and throw on my best serial-killer chic sheer black oversized blouse (now acting as a dress) and whatever pair of black ankle boots I’m into that month. Additionally, girls would be less worried about staying true to their style if they weren’t afraid of how other people (ahem, other girls) would treat them. Who cares if that freshman (or senior or rando who doesn’t even go here) is wearing a super short mini dress, disco heels and a red lip? She rocks because she has the confidence to do that. Her having confidence is no threat to you — let her inspire you to have some, too.

And never give up. This all goes back to rule #1, my SWUG queens. Don’t make senior year some excuse to spit “I’ve earned the right to wear pajamas to class” or “Everyone already knows what I look like.” And freshmen, don’t take your mom not being around to tell you to bathe as an excuse to go to class looking like you don’t bathe. Take pride in your appearance! I swear I think you’re all beautiful, it’s just taking more effort for me to see that in those of you wearing gym clothes 25/8 (when I KNOW you haven’t been scoring a treadmill at Noyes every day). Now that I’ve gotten all of this off my chest, let’s start this year off on the right, fashionable foot, shall we?