Planning the Perfect First-Day Outfit

Boy with blue Big Student backpack standing with friends

Whether you’re going in-person or taking classes online, here’s how to pull together an outfit that makes you feel great.

Summer’s almost over, and the first day of school is fast approaching—and with it, the pressure to find the perfect first day of school outfit. Even if you’re taking classes virtually, you’ll want to wear something that makes you feel confident and put together. No one else might be able to tell whether you’re wearing pajama bottoms or jeans, but getting dressed can help give you a sense of normalcy. So whether you’re going to classes in-person or online, here’s how to plan an outfit that will make you look and feel good for your first day.


Start early

You don’t want to leave your outfit planning to the last minute. The first day of school can be hectic: After sleeping in all summer, suddenly you have to be up hours earlier, pack your bags, and get to the right class on time. Think about what you want to wear ahead of time. Try it on, to make sure it looks exactly how you want it to look, and lay it out the night before so you don’t need to scramble. Plus, if you start planning early, you can always call in your friends for help. Take a few selfies and ask them which option they like best!


Be yourself

The perfect first day of school outfit should make you feel great about yourself. Don’t worry about impressing others; you’ll have a far better shot of making true friends if you show people who you are instead of trying to predict what kind of person others want you to be. Dressing up in something that you’re excited about will give you much more confidence than wearing an outfit that doesn’t feel like you at all.


Get comfortable

If an item of clothing is too tight, too loose, too short—too anything, really—don’t wear it. What seems like a minor inconvenience at the start of the day can quickly turn into a major source of irritation by lunchtime. Break in new shoes ahead of time and if something doesn’t fit quite right, make sure you’ve had it altered before classes begin. (Another reason to get an early start on choosing the right outfit!) You have enough to deal with on your first day; you don’t want to add to that list by choosing a shirt you have to constantly pull into place or a pair of shoes that gives you blisters. If all else fails, remember: You can’t go wrong with a favorite pair of jeans or much-loved T-shirt.


Take a stand

Is there a cause you believe in, like climate change or LGBTQIA+ rights? Your outfit is a great way to express your passions. Wearing an outfit that nods to a cause you care about can also give you a built-in conversation starter. If you care about protecting the environment, try choosing items that are sustainable, like the Recycled SuperBreak—made from 100% recycled materials—or are second-hand. Vintage, thrifted, or consigned clothing creates much less waste and pollution buying something new.



You don’t have to buy all new things to have a first day outfit that makes you feel amazing. Sometimes, all it takes is a great new pair of earrings, scarf, or watch to give your first day outfit extra special. And don’t forget your lunch bags or backpack: The Main Campus comes in all sorts of fun colors and patterns, like misty rose and buffalo check. Plus, you can always decorate your bag so that it really makes a statement.


Have you put together the perfect first-day look? Show us! Share it on social media with the hashtag #LifeUnzipped.


By: Jessen O’Brien