Du’s and Don’ts: My abroad fashion versus my University fashion

Elizabeth Duswalt, Columnist

While I was abroad in Tours, France last semester, I dressed very differently from the way I do here at the University. Waking up and throwing on leggings and a sweatshirt is not something the French do. Every morning before my 20-minute walk to class, I tried to make myself look like the ideal Parisian girl. This did not always work.

First, let’s start with the fact that I wore five sweaters on rotation every week because I couldn’t bring everything with me. Also, a sweater is the laziest and comfiest way to look put together. The French do wear a lot of black, so I bought a black cardigan and wore it over every shirt I owned. This way, I could also wear my leggings without looking completely out of place. Seriously, other than in the gym, I never saw French girls wearing leggings. It’s a shame, honestly.

Footwear was also another challenge since I did have to walk a lot during the day to get to and from class. I bought the coolest pair of strappy flats in an attempt to look Parisian, but had to stop wearing them because I am a perpetually late person; when I speed walked and jogged to class with Leah Jennings ’17, I would slip and wipe out on the pavement. So instead I conformed to the Adidas Superstar sneaker.

While studying abroad, you take pictures every chance you get. Naturally, I always wanted to be photo-ready. This is impossible, especially when you have crazy hair like mine. So after 20 years of having my mom and little sister do it for me, I learned how to braid my own hair. I know, my independence really shone through while I was abroad.

Now that I’m back at the University, my laziness has started to win me over. I wear leggings and sweatshirts because what would life be without them when you have an 8 a.m.? But I still wear the black cardigan more than I should and just hope that no one notices. My habit of black on black on black has stuck as well.

I’m still perpetually late and my professor for my 8 a.m. class can definitely attest to this, so I still wear the Superstars when I have to make the early morning jog to Academic West. I’ll break out the cool French flats if I have the time to walk slowly and make sure I do not fall. This is not often, so they almost never leave my closet (but hey, I tried).

Being abroad taught me how to work with a limited wardrobe and get ready within the five minutes it took Leah to walk to my host family’s home from hers. Also, sneakers being in style is a blessing. I can throw on any outfit and it automatically becomes functional, yet trendy. Thank God for the French on that one.

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