What to Wear to a College Visit: Fashion Tips to Make a Lasting Impression

So, you’ve got an exciting college visit coming up, and you want to make sure you leave a lasting impression. The good news is we’ve got you covered on what to wear to a college visit! Trust me, it’s not as daunting as it might seem.

College tours are an incredible opportunity to immerse yourself in the campus environment and get a real feel for what college life is all about. Sure, you can read brochures and browse student blogs, but there’s nothing quite like experiencing it firsthand. And part of that experience is dressing the part!

Now, don’t worry, dressing for a college visit doesn’t mean you have to go all-out formal. In fact, most of the time, it’s a casual affair. But that doesn’t mean you should underestimate the power of a well-thought-out outfit. Comfort and classiness are the keys to nailing your college visit attire.

In this guide, we’re going to walk you through various scenarios, helping you find the perfect outfit for each one. Whether you’re attending informational sessions, going on campus tours, or even gearing up for interviews or auditions, we’ve got you covered. So, sit back, relax, and let’s delve into the wonderful world of “What to Wear to a College Visit”!

What to Wear to a College Visit

Tips on What to Wear to a College Visit

Here is a detailed breakdown of each tip for picking what to wear to a college visit:

1. Research the college culture

Take the time to research the college’s culture, atmosphere, and any specific dress code guidelines they may have. This will give you a better understanding of what is considered appropriate attire and help you align your outfit with their expectations.

2. When in doubt, dress slightly more formally than your everyday attire:

It’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed for a college visit. Dressing slightly more formally demonstrates respect and professionalism. It shows that you are taking the visit seriously and are making an effort to make a positive impression.

3. Avoid controversial or offensive clothing

Stay away from clothing with offensive language, controversial graphics, or slogans that may be deemed inappropriate. College visits are an opportunity to present yourself respectfully, so it’s important to choose clothing that aligns with this objective.

4. Incorporate your style within the limits

While it’s important to dress appropriately, you can still showcase your style. Choose clothing and accessories that reflect your individuality, but be mindful of the limits. Ensure that your choices are tasteful, align with the professional image you want to project, and are not overly distracting.

5. Dress comfortably for the activities planned during the visit

Consider the activities you’ll be participating in during the college visit. If there will be a campus tour or walking involved, opt for comfortable shoes that will allow you to explore without discomfort. Choose clothing that allows for ease of movement and ensures your comfort throughout the day.

6. Pay attention to the fit and cleanliness of your outfit

Ill-fitting or unkempt clothing can detract from a professional appearance. Make sure your clothes are clean, wrinkle-free, and well-maintained. Pay attention to details like properly ironed shirts, well-fitted pants or skirts, and overall grooming to ensure a polished look.

7. Consider the weather and dress accordingly

Check the weather forecast for the day of your visit and dress appropriately. If it’s hot, choose breathable fabrics and dress in layers for cooler environments. Being prepared for the weather conditions will contribute to your overall comfort during the visit.

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What to Wear on a College Visit If You’re Just Walking Around Campus on Your Own

outfit for Walking Around Campus on Your Own

If you’re planning to walk around a college campus on your own during a visit, you can opt for a more casual and comfortable outfit while still maintaining a presentable appearance. Here are some tips on what to wear for a self-guided campus tour:

  • Comfortable footwear

Choose a pair of comfortable shoes suitable for walking long distances. Sneakers, flats, or loafers are all good options. Make sure your shoes are broken in and provide adequate support to avoid discomfort.

  • Casual bottoms

Opt for casual bottoms such as jeans, khakis, or leggings. Choose a pair that fits well and allows you to move freely. Avoid torn or excessively distressed jeans for a neater appearance.

  • Casual tops

Select a comfortable and casual top such as a t-shirt, blouse, or sweater. You can choose a college-themed shirt or colors to show your interest in the institution, but it’s not necessary. Just ensure that the top is clean, presentable, and weather-appropriate.

  • Layering options

Depending on the weather, consider bringing a light jacket, cardigan, or hoodie that you can easily put on or take off as needed. This will help you adjust to temperature changes during your campus visit.

  • Weather-appropriate attire

Check the weather forecast and dress accordingly. If it’s sunny, wear sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat. If it’s rainy, bring a waterproof jacket or an umbrella. Be prepared for any weather conditions to ensure your comfort during the visit.

  • Minimal accessories

Keep accessories simple and minimalistic. A watch, a bracelet, or a necklace can add a touch of personal style. Avoid excessive or distracting accessories that may take away from your overall presentation.

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What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re on a Guided Tour

outfit for a Guided Tour

If you’re going on a guided college tour, it’s essential to dress in a way that shows your respect for the institution and professionally presents yourself. Here are some tips on what to wear for a guided college tour:

  • Business casual attire

Opt for a business casual outfit, which strikes a balance between formal and casual attire. This demonstrates your seriousness and professionalism. Avoid wearing overly casual clothing like t-shirts, shorts, or flip-flops.

  • Slacks or khakis

Wear slacks or khakis as they are a versatile and appropriate choice for a guided college tour. They provide a more formal appearance compared to jeans while still being comfortable. Choose a pair in a neutral color like black, navy, or khaki.

  • Button-down shirt or blouse

Pair your slacks or khakis with a button-down shirt or a blouse. Select a shirt in a solid color or subtle pattern for a professional yet stylish look. Make sure the shirt is neatly pressed and clean.

  • Sweater or blazer (optional)

Depending on the weather and the formality of the college, you can consider wearing a sweater or a blazer for an extra touch of sophistication. This layering piece adds polish to your outfit and can easily be removed if it becomes too warm.

  • Closed-toe shoes

Opt for closed-toe shoes that are comfortable for walking. Choose dress shoes, loafers, or clean and polished sneakers. Avoid wearing athletic shoes, flip-flops, or sandals.

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What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Meeting With a Professor

outfit to Meet With a Professor

Here are some tips on what to wear when meeting with a professor on a college tour:

  • Suit or dress pants with a blazer

For men, consider wearing a suit with dress pants, a dress shirt, and a blazer. For women, a suit with dress pants or a skirt, paired with a blouse and a blazer, is appropriate. Choose neutral colors like black, navy, or gray for a classic and professional look.

  • Dress shirt or blouse

Wear a collared dress shirt or a blouse in a solid, subtle pattern, or conservative print. Choose colors that are professional and not too bold. Make sure the shirt or blouse is neatly pressed and clean.

  • Closed-toe dress shoes

Wear closed-toe dress shoes that are polished and in good condition. For men, opt for dress shoes that match the formality of the outfit, such as oxfords or loafers. Women can choose heels or flats that are comfortable and professional.

  • Minimal accessories

Keep accessories minimal and tasteful. A simple watch, a small necklace or earrings, and a professional-looking bag or briefcase are appropriate. Avoid excessive or flashy accessories that may distract from the professional environment.

  • Prepare for the field of study

Consider the specific field of study or department you’ll be meeting the professor from. If it’s a more formal or conservative discipline, such as law or business, you may want to lean towards a more traditional and formal attire. However, if it’s a creative or casual field, you can adapt your outfit accordingly while still maintaining professionalism.

What to Wear to a College Visit If You Have an Interview

outfit for an interview

Source: Pinterest

When attending a college visit that includes an interview, it’s crucial to dress in a manner that portrays your professionalism, confidence, and respect for the opportunity. Here are some tips on what to wear for a college visit with an interview:

  • Business professional attire

Opt for a business professional outfit, which is the most formal and appropriate dress code for interviews. This shows that you take the interview seriously and are prepared to present yourself professionally.

  • Suit or dress in a blazer

For men, wear a suit with matching dress pants and a jacket. Choose a conservative color such as navy, charcoal, or black. Pair it with a dress shirt and a tie. For women, a suit with matching dress pants or a skirt is suitable. Pair it with a blouse or a tailored dress with a blazer. Stick to neutral or muted tones for a polished look. Wear dress shoes that are polished and in good condition.

  • Conservative accessories

Keep accessories minimal and conservative to maintain a professional appearance. Men should wear a watch and, if desired, a conservative tie clip or cufflinks. Women can wear simple jewelry like small earrings, a necklace, or a bracelet. Avoid excessive or flashy accessories that may distract from the interview.

  • Professional bag or briefcase

Carry a professional-looking bag or briefcase to hold any documents or items you may need. Choose a clean and well-maintained bag that complements your overall outfit.

  • Confidence and poise

Remember that your attire is only one aspect of making a positive impression. Carry yourself with confidence, maintain a good posture, and make eye contact during the interview. Your clothing should enhance your confidence and professionalism.

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What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Auditioning

what to wear for a college for an audition

Here are some tips on what to wear for a college visit when you have an audition:

  • Research the audition requirements

Understand the specific guidelines and expectations for the audition. Different disciplines and programs may have different dress code preferences. Research the department’s recommendations or reach out to the admissions office to clarify any specific attire requirements.

  • Dress to highlight your talent

Your outfit should not detract from your audition performance. Choose clothing that allows you to move comfortably and freely, without restrictions. Consider the specific requirements of your audition and select an outfit that best showcases your skills and abilities.

  • Dress for the specific discipline

Consider the nature of your audition and the expectations associated with it. If you’re auditioning for a music program, wearing semi-formal or formal attire may be appropriate. For a dance audition, choose dancewear that allows for ease of movement while still maintaining a professional look. Align your outfit with the requirements of your specific discipline.

  • Choose suitable footwear

Select footwear that complements your audition and allows you to perform comfortably and safely. Ballet flats or dance shoes for dancers, formal shoes for musicians or actors, or athletic shoes for certain sports auditions may be appropriate. Make sure your footwear is clean and well-maintained.

  • Avoid distracting accessories

Keep accessories minimal and unobtrusive. Remove any jewelry or accessories that may create noise or distract from your performance. Your talent and abilities should be the focus, rather than flashy or attention-grabbing accessories.

  • Practice good grooming

Pay attention to personal grooming before the audition. Ensure your hair is well-groomed, your nails are clean and trimmed, and your overall presentation is polished. Good grooming reflects your professionalism and attention to detail.

FAQs What to Wear to a College Visit

Can I wear jeans on a college visit?

While jeans are generally considered casual, they can be acceptable for a college visit if they are neat, clean, and paired with a more polished top and shoes. However, it’s still recommended to opt for dressier pants like slacks or khakis.

Should I wear a suit on a college visit?

Wearing a suit is not necessary for a college visit unless you have a specific interview or meeting that requires business professional attire. Business casual is usually the appropriate level of formality for most college visits.

What kind of shoes should I wear on a college visit?

Opt for comfortable and closed-toe shoes that are suitable for walking. Dress shoes, loafers, or clean and polished sneakers are good options. Avoid wearing athletic shoes, flip-flops, or sandals.

Can I wear shorts or skirts on a college visit?

While it’s generally better to choose pants or long skirts for a college visit, weather, and cultural factors can influence your decision. If you do choose to wear shorts or a skirt, make sure they are of an appropriate length and paired with a more polished top.

What if the weather is hot or cold during my college visit?

Adjust your attire to accommodate the weather. Layer your clothing or bring a light jacket if it’s cold, and choose breathable fabrics if it’s hot. Be prepared by checking the weather forecast before your visit.

Can I wear a hat or cap on a college visit?

It’s generally better to avoid wearing hats or caps during a college visit, as they can be seen as too casual or potentially obstructive to face-to-face interactions. However, if the weather necessitates wearing a hat for sun protection, choose a neutral and unobtrusive style.


Dressing appropriately for a college visit is essential as it helps create a positive impression and demonstrates respect for the institution. While there may not be a one-size-fits-all approach, opting for business casual attire is a safe choice for most college visits.

Dressing comfortably, but neatly and professionally, shows your seriousness and readiness to engage with the college community. It’s important to research the college’s culture, and dress code guidelines (if available), and be mindful of specific events or meetings that may require more formal attire. By dressing thoughtfully and considering factors such as weather and specific requirements, you’ll feel confident and prepared for a successful college visit.



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