Sweatpants or suits: what you wear matters


“The first impression you can give someone comes from your outfit,” says social media expert and Red Pump fashionista Luvvie Ajayi.

How often do you wear sweatpants to class?

Did you know that what you wear could impact not only your grades, but perhaps your future relationships — both in friendship and business?

Social media expert and Red Pump fashionista Luvvie Ajayi hosted a workshop Nov. 20 in Addams Hall to talk about college fashion.

“The first impression you can give someone comes from your outfit,” Ajayi said. “You want to have yourself reflected in what you wear.

Ajayi manages her own pop culture blog and is founder of The Red Pump Project, a nonprofit organization that raises HIV/AIDS awareness for women and girls. Her talk was sponsored by Women in Science and Engineering.

“The way you dress now, if you love wearing sweatpants, is going to have to eventually change if you need to go into an interview or an office setting where they want you in suits,” she said.

“Ease your way into it. Don’t just expect to wake up and feel comfortable in slacks and a blazer. It takes time.”

She offered some advice on classic looks.

“Dark jeans always go with anything,” she said. “If you like a certain cardigan, buy each color it comes in. This way, people will see you in whatever you choose and it becomes your signature.”

Plus, color matters.

“You want to have a go-to power color,” Ajayi said. “Each color has a certain meaning so it will take some research about what meaning you want to get across.

“My favorite color has been red since I was 3 and I wear red every chance I get. If it’s not shirt, it’s my blazer. If it’s not a scarf, it’s my handbag or shoes.”

When you speak in front of class, wear what other people will probably be wearing, she advised. That’s where the jeans and a cardigan or plain T-shirt can come in handy.

If you are making a presentation to a room full of corporate sponsors, dress up your look with a scarf, blazer and cardigan — whatever makes you comfortable, she said.

“How you dress should be authentically you,” Ajayi said.

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