Casual vs Formal: Which One Is the Best for College?

Look fitting and impressive at the same time.


Different areas of our life require different forms of clothing. Indeed, many companies urge their employees to adhere to the business casual style in the office. At a private party, you may be asked to wear smart casual, but at home, you might prefer something loose. Still, the question is: what is the difference between all these fashion styles and how to choose an outfit for college?

Of course, the primary responsibility for every college student is maintaining academic success and gaining high points. Thus, using online libraries, essay service reviews, and educational platforms is crucial to receive sufficient help. Still, it is also important to follow fashion tendencies and understand what can be worn to an educational institution.

In general, clothing style is an important element of a student's reputation, which is formed while studying at college. At higher educational institutions there is usually no special uniform for students, as well as a strict dress code. But this does not mean that dressing can be chaotic and “hit or miss”. 

Of course, the approach to clothing is not as strict as at school. Yet, students must understand that they are already adults and must look appropriate within the walls of the educational institution. Let’s find out which one to choose to look fitting and impressive at the same time.

The Contrast between Casual and Formal Styles

Before giving a final answer to the question it would be great to understand key differences between the two kinds of fashion mentioned.

First, casual clothing is worn when you want to feel comfortable and avoid tightness. Formal clothing often causes inconvenience though it can make a more spectacular first impression.

One wears casual clothing for everyday events and formal style for special occasions. Now you have to think: is visiting college a special event for you? Answering that question alone can give you a pretty good idea of what to wear. But let’s continue differentiating with more details.

Casual Style: Main Features


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Informal clothes distinguish from other dress codes by a free and comfortable cut. This style includes classic jeans, simple long sleeves, and pullovers, sneakers, or trainers.

The casual style is a combination of leisurewear with the seriousness of a business style. Instead of a formal suit with a tie, you should spice it up by pairing your jeans with a jacket, this really beautiful Marcella shirt, or a witty cat t shirt.

Despite all the advantages of this fashion, many people still are biased and treat it ambiguously. After all, no one wants to cross the border of casual elegance and look in college as if they were going to the grocery shop. Nowadays, there exist many interesting branches of modern informal fashion - smart, business, sports, and street casual. They are designed to meet the needs of people with different preferences.

  • The smart casual is ideal for the workday, combining formal wear with informal attire. Smart casual provides a magic formula: for example, a T-shirt can be chosen instead of a blouse. Jeans are also quite suitable for this one, but preferably dark blue or black, and combined with beautiful shoes.
  • The difference between business and smart casual is sometimes not evident. As a rule, business casual provides for a more strict style. Yet, it is worth remembering that jeans are taboo in this dress code.

As you can see, casual style can be appropriate for an educational institution if chosen wisely. Variations are acceptable, especially when talking about smart or business casual clothes.

Formal Style: Fashion or Obsoleteness?


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One of the most conservative is the formal dress code. It is aimed at “devoiding individuality” to minimize distraction.

Apart from that, formal clothing is preferred in case of official meetings, business negotiations, and job interviews. So, this style is more popular with people who often attend such high-level events and have to make a good first impression.

Even so, students also have days when wearing something strict and formal seems indispensable. It is necessary to have a few pieces of clothes in the wardrobe to serve as helpers in such situations. Yes, it is quite difficult to find elegant clothes on a limited student budget. But, creating a basic wardrobe and adding a few extra elements to it will make every outfit look good.

  • If you are a male student, make sure to have a suit, a tie, a collared shirt, and elegant shoes at your disposal.
  • If you are a girl, think about adding a pantsuit and a combination of skirt and blouse to your wardrobe. High-heeled shoes will also be a perfect supplement though you shouldn’t wear them every day, of course.

What Image Do You Want to Match?

Dress according to the impression you want to make on the people around you. Good clothing will help you feel more successful and build confidence. Therefore, even while at college, dress according to the job you want to get. 

  • If your main plan is pursuing a career in the business world, it is best to stick to a formal style. Shirts and suits are your bread and butter. Such outfits will give you a feeling of success as if you already have a job. Moreover, it can also help you pass various interviews and show your best in front of teachers. Note that sometimes appropriate clothing plays a role in the examinations.
  • Think about how you will appear in front of the teachers and other students. When it comes to working in a team and building relationships with new people, you may show your attitude by wearing certain clothes. Of course, formal clothing will prove your seriousness and involvement. If you prefer a casual style, make sure it is not too revealing.

Final Words

There is no doubt that clothes do not make the man, so your knowledge and capabilities will not be affected by the style you choose to wear. Still, societies always create sets of rules which are necessary to follow. Wearing comfortable clothes while not violating the unspoken principles of the educational environment is the best strategy for students to apply.