We love Chetan Bhagat for writing “Rules, after all, are only made so you can work around them”. Here's how to follow rules and yet stay stylish!
Clothes maketh a man, or woman; in any case, the point being, we love to dress! What’s stopping you from flaunting your fashion quotient even if you’re headed to college? The college dress code, you say? We’ll show you how you can “work around” those rules.
Start from the top
Get a mane makeover. No college stops you from sporting a new hair style unless you’ve coloured it red or blue. Go subtle for starters and after gauging the reaction — either a “it doesn’t bother us” or “what were you thinking of?” — experiment some more with your tresses.
Boys with long hair, if the college doesn’t allow it, try tucking it under your collar. If you’re lucky, you may get away with it!
When it comes to your face, girls, spruce up your look with kohl; dark, thick lines, mere outlines or even extending them Bollywood style can make a whale of a difference.
For boys, experiment with your moustache, beard or stubble like John Abraham does in an ad; well, not exactly, but you get the drift.
For the lucky ones studying in colleges with a lenient dress code — read: allowed to wear jeans and t-shirts — your possibilities are endless. So let’s focus on the less fortunate souls who really need our tips.
No jeans? Try cotton or linen pants, they're best for hot Chennai. They’re pretty smart too.
No pants too? Then go for leggings. You get them in pretty much every shade of the colour palette. Have you tried the jeggings? (Leggings that look like jeans, duh!) They’re the closest you’ll get to wearing denims in college.
No sleeveless? Don’t let your spaghetti straps and sleeveless tees sleep. Team them with a knit or plain crop jacket. They add to your look and save you from being picked on for wearing sleeveless. Stoles are great saviours too, but make sure you wrap them properly. Also try layering; a sleeveless top with a sleeved longer one but get the combination right!
Only salwars? No problem. Just look up the Internet or the design book at your local tailor shop to get creative: Straight cut, A-line cut, princess cut, Anarkali… Patiala kameez, parallel-style kameez, boot cut kameez, chudidhar… U-neck, boat neck, split round neck, Mandarin/ Chinese collar… the combinations are overwhelming. Go for different colours and cuts to set you apart!
Ranjith Unnikrishnan, a college student, says, “Fastrack bag + Signature jeans + Benetton shirt + Woodlands shoes/slippers = College Ready.” True, but we can’t always afford the brands, can we?
Only collared shirts or t-shirts? Go for layers. A round-neck t-shirt with a collared casual shirt will ensure your tees see some action. If you’ve got a lenient prof or a break, break the code; just remove one layer.
Only formals? There not much you can do in terms of experimenting except to jazz up with a variety of shirts: convertible cuffs, two-way shirts, plaid, contrasting collars and cuffs, slim fits...Spruce it up with a variety of formal belts usually in muted colours and different patterns like woven, stitches, and buckles. There is a bright side here. The full-sleeves help hide your tattoo or bracelets!
Only shoes: Here again, work with the different types available. But if you think you can get away with floaters, sandals or flip flops over socks, it’s just plain weird, like Bhargav Kosuri puts it.
The one simple rule that is sure to work is: give it time. Don’t go flouting the dress code on the very first day.
Observe what your seniors are doing — if they are getting away with it so can you; and which of the professors are lenient enough to let you get away with breaking a few rules. Remember, if you catch their attention for the wrong reason early on, you are unlikely to go off the radar.
Cooler: Cottons, linen, cotton blend khadi are perfect summer materials that allow your skin to breathe.
Florals: From bold running floral patterns to paisley prints, pick your favourite style.
Pastels: Give your favourite reds and whites a miss, pastels are the new rage. From mint to soft green to blush pink there is no dearth of pastels to leave you feeling refreshed.
Kalidar flared Kurtas: They are back in fashion and how! The panelled kurtas are fitted till the waist and then flared - the flare can range from mid-thigh to mid-calf and accentuate your curves. These kurtas can be worn as dresses or combined with fitted capris, leggings or churidars. Increase or reduce the flares depending on what suits your body type.
With inputs from SOWMYA SWAMINATHAN