13 September 2013

Grad Student Uniform

Grad school is officially in full swing, which means two things: fall is just around the corner, and my caffeine intake and amount of sleep are about to have an inverse relationship. My week is spent running from work to school to the gym to home and repeat. The nights are late and every minute is packed. On the plus side, the days fly by; on the down side, they are a sleep deprived, stressed-out blur. However, on the weekends...well, the weekends are a little piece of heaven. The pace slows. The sun shines. The birds chip. Or at least that is how it all happens in my mind as I daydream for them during the week. Weekends are full too, don't get me wrong, between running errands, doing homework, and cleaning the apartment, I am definitely busy. It's just, well, the sense of urgency is gone, which is perfect because it doesn't matter that I am exhausted and going in slow motion. All of this being said, I have a confession to make. On the weekends, every weekend, I wear my grad student uniform.

Ok, so graduate students don't actually wear a uniform, obviously. This is just a term I came up with this weekend as I dressed on Saturday and changed after church on Sunday. Because my mind is doing a million other things and jam packed with tons of useless incredibly important energy engineering stuff, it really, really, really, doesn't want to think about clothes. It becomes a traitor. Goes on strike. Wants nothing to do with how I look. So, I basically wear some version of the exact same outfit every weekend, and to be honest, I don't even care! I am convinced that I am not the only one who does this either, but I could be wrong, you tell me =)

First, the staple piece of the grad student uniform is a pair of leggings, which by the way, I am certain were invented by a graduate student in the same mental state as I frequently find myself. They are like cute sweatpants, the same amount of comfort, without the bulk or judgmental looks in public (just make sure to wear a thick pair that is not see-through, to avoid a different kind of judgement look). Additionally, unlike yoga pants they allow for a cute shoe to be seen, thus giving the illusion that you are more put together and actually do care about looking cute, without any real effort at all. Which brings me to footwear. Really, anything goes, so I tend to choose whatever is the most comfortable considering the weather; riding boots, booties, sandals, flats, moccasins, they all work with leggings in my opinion. 

For the top half of the grad student uniform, I usually layer. On the weekends I do lots of errands and then set up homework camp at a local Starbucks for hours, so flexibility in comfort is always important. These are casual layers and typically include: long tank top, jersey tee or flannel button-up, and a cardigan. I cannot over-emphasize how much I consider cardigans to be wardrobe staples! I own a ton and wear one just about every day. They can instantly make you look put-together, keep you warm, add another dimension to your look, and come in tons of colors, cuts, patterns, etc. there is definitely a cardi for you out there! Finish with a statement necklace, standard arm stack, and top-knot or side braid and you are good to go! Cute, cozy, and little brain power required. 

I have included some sample "uniforms" below:

grad student uniform p2

tee / tank / cardi / leggings / booties / necklace / coral bracelet / amber bracelet / blue bracelet / purse

I love the option of wearing a colored legging, its an unexpected way to add color to an outfit. For this outfit I did some pattern mixing with the tank and tee which I would typically leave untucked. Since there is a lot going on with the colored leggings and patterned top, I chose to keep the cardigan, booties, and accessories neutral, picking up on on the color pallet slightly with the jewelry to tie it all together. I am all about gender equality, so I am not above shopping the men's department for over-sized sweaters. The sweater pictured above is from the men's section at J. Crew Factory and I am not ashamed to admit that I would scoop it up in a heart beat if I was adding to my cardi collection. It looks super cozy and would add a touch of masculinity to an otherwise girlie outfit, a juxtaposition I happen to adore. Lastly, who doesn't like a bold bag to finish off a look? Loving this cobalt option for the fall...and the mint one..and the mustard one! 

Grad School Uniform 1

tee / cardigan / leggings / bag / necklace (out online check in stores) / shoes / black bracelet / crystal bracelet

How darling are these plaid leggings?!? I am a sucker for tartan and I am definitely lusting over these. I am a little worried they are thin, if any one has them I would love to know if they are sufficiently thick. Traditionally, I have not been the biggest fan of leather- faux or real, however, seeing it in surprising details on all sorts of clothing this fall has given me a new appreciation for it. Whether as pipping, pockets, or striping, leather is adding a touch of luxe to everyday items. Between these patent bow flats and the faux leather color blocked cardi, this otherwise casual outfit is given an edgy upgrade. Lastly, add a neutral statement necklace and black and white swoon worthy satchel to carry all my school stuff, and I am good to go!

grad student uniform p3

For this look, I recreated the outfit pictured above that I wore to class one night last week. Tuesday and Thursday nights I spend five and a half hours in class, so comfort is a must. It was cool enough to break out the fab flannel from Old Navy, which I highly recommend picking up (20% off online with promo code ONTREAT). Additionally, I added some leopard flats for a little pattern mixing while also remaining in the neutral family. In my post I am carrying the new cognac satchel from Target, not available online, but check in stores. If I wasn't a grad student though, I would love to be able to afford this classic Robinson Double Zip Tote as well as these amazing sunnies by Tory Burch. Maybe next fall!  

Do you have a weekend uniform?
What is your go to outfit when you don't want to think about getting dressed?
Thanks for stopping by and have a fabulous day!

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  1. Love this look, so cute and comfy! I am with you all the way about wearing basically the same thing every weekend, my mind is just too tired to create something new by the time its the weekend

    1. Thanks so much! Glad to know I am not the only one burnt out a little come the weekend!


  2. I absolutely love your 'uniform'...pinned it!! My fall uniform would have to be dark jeans, a chunky sweater, and brown boots. Easy but always in style. :)

    Style of One's Own

    1. Hi Lauren! Thanks for pinning and following along :-* I love that your fall uniform includes a chunky sweater, nothing says fall to me more that curling up in a soft, thick sweater!