High school is an immensely important period in a person’s life — and a teen’s first day of high school can have a significant impact on their comfort and success. First impressions are difficult to shake, so teens should strive to look their best on their first day at a new school. Here are a few tips for creating a first-day-of-high-school outfit that reflects their personal identity and sets them up for social and academic satisfaction.
Dress for Yourself
Teens often make the mistake of living their life for other people, but many adults know that this will only create disappointment with oneself and others. Especially on the first day of high school but also on any other day, teens need to create outfits that bring themselves joy — not because they expect others to have any reaction to those outfits but because they themselves feel satisfied with the look. Teens can practice dressing for themselves by asking themselves whether they truly like their clothing or whether they are dressing in a certain way as a reaction to media, social groups, parents or others.
Opt for Maturity and Modesty
In many ways, high school is a teen’s primary job, so teens should strive for professionalism in their attire. Most schools have strict dress codes that prohibit clothing that is unnecessarily revealing with the intention of keeping class focus on educational materials. While some teens might chafe at the restrictions on their personal expression, the truth is that sophisticated fashion easily abides by school guidelines. At least for the first day of school, teens might look for dresses or other attire that would be equally appropriate in a professional environment.
Prioritize Fit and Function
One fashion secret that magazines rarely reveal is the importance of good tailoring. Everyone looks better in clothing that is made to fit their unique size and shape, so teens should consider prioritizing the fit of their clothes over the size. Tailoring is more affordable than many expect, and it makes a significant difference in the look and feel of most clothing pieces. At least for the first-day-of-school wardrobe, teens might consider investing in more quality pieces that are adjusted to fit perfectly, which will allow them to move more confidently through their classes. Then again, teens can save some money by learning how to tailor their own clothing — which might turn into a valuable passion for creating their own clothes.
Choose a Statement Piece
The best outfits are built around a statement piece, which draws the eye thanks to its color, pattern or cut. Any wearable can work as a statement piece: dresses, skirts, blazers, shirts, shoes, jewelry. Most fashion experts advocate balancing a loud piece with a more sedate rest of the ensemble; for example, a teen who wants to wear statement kicks might opt for a plain T-shirt and jeans. Then again, teens with more avant-garde fashion sense might be able to combine many bright and busy articles into a cohesive look.
Avoid Creating a Distraction
Many teens strive to use clothing as a means of standing out from the crowd. Indeed, fashion can be used to distinguish one’s personal identity from the masses — but that doesn’t mean that clothing worn in school should be so outrageous as to cause a distraction. As mentioned above, teens and parents should be cognizant and respectful of a school’s dress code, which should help prevent distracting outfit choices.
Make Confidence an Accessory
Too often, teens try to emulate styles they see in the media. While experimentation is an important component of identifying one’s personal style, the first day of high school is not the best time to try out a completely new look. More likely than not, a completely unfamiliar style will only increase a teen’s sense of discomfort on their first day of school, and discomfort often negatively impacts poise and self-assurance. Instead, teens should stick with styles they know and love, so they can start school armed with confidence that will bring success.
The first day can lay the foundation for the rest of a teen’s high school career. Therefore, it is important for teens to think critically about their first day outfits and shop for the clothing that can bring them greater success in their school and social lives.