What To Wear To University: The “Do’s and Don’t’s”


I am currently in my final year at university and believe that after 4 years of picking my outfits to wear to university, I am an unofficial expert.

When I left high school I imagined myself getting dressed up for university every day and always looking put together. I am going to be honest, that lasted a month before it stopped. It took waking up an extra hour in the morning before my 8am lectures to convince me that it had to end. Sleep became more important. Do not get me wrong, I still wear outfits that I like but I don’t put as much effort into them (e.g. doing my hair and make-up). I also came to realize that you can show up in your pajamas at university and it was deemed socially acceptable.

I know some universities work differently, especially at Law school in America, where you are required to wear semi-formal outfits. However, this is my experience specifically for the University of Cape Town. I am going to give my insight into what I have learnt about dressing appropriately for campus.

  1. Comfort is key – I cannot stress this enough. There have been multiple occasions where I have had to unbutton my jeans in the library because I decided to wear the jeans that make my legs look good but hurts my stomach when I sit for hours. A trusty pair of boyfriend jeans or leggings is a better alternative.
  2. Always bring a jersey – even though the day’s temperature is expected to reach 30°C, it is guaranteed the lecture venue will feel like you took a trip to Antarctic with all the air conditioning. Carrying around a jersey can guarantee that you won’t get frost bite if you are unfortunate enough to get a cold lecture venue.
  3. Avoid wearing heals – unless you are willing to get blisters every day while walking between campuses, I suggest that you avoid high heels at all costs. You may think I am joking and wonder who would wear high heels to campus, but I am not. I always see one poor girl struggling to walk in her high heels.
  4. Sneakers are the best to rush off to your next lecture – if your university is big and you have to walk about 1km to get to your next lecture, I recommend getting yourself a pair of comfortable yet stylish sneakers. I recommend the Adidas Campus sneaker.
  5. Use a backpack instead of a satchel – I started university with the most amazing brown leather satchel. I loved it, the only problem was that I started experiencing extremely bad back pains from carrying it around on one shoulder for an entire day. I recommend using a backpack, it is so much easier to lug around, especially during a busy university day between lectures.

And that is it! Those were all of my top 5 university do’s and don’t’s when it comes to what to wear. I hope to carry on these university series, sharing my insights with you lovely readers!


Wearing: Jacket: Woolworths // Jersey: Old Khaki // Leggings: H&M // Shoes: Adidas Campus

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