Philadelphia fashion stylist Amanda Liptock shares some of her tips for college style essentials.

Courtesy of Amanda Liptock

Amanda Liptock

Be fashionable even if you’re on a budget.

College students have the high cost of tuition to worry about, but it’s still possible to be fashionable on a budget. Shop for transitional pieces that can easily carry over into the next season, and think classic, neutral colors. Build your wardrobe with basic pieces and elevate your look with different accessories. Adding a statement necklace one day or a scarf the next, for example, can make the same outfit look completely different.

Don’t sacrifice style for comfort, or vice versa.

Long lectures in ice-cold classrooms are enough to make any college student want to crawl to class in their PJs. But Liptock says there is no need to pick one or the other; you can be both stylish and comfortable. The key is to look for comfortable fabrics and avoid anything tight or itchy. Instead, stick to washable knits, which not only feel like a t-shirt but tend to wrinkle less. And don’t forget to accessorize.

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Be prepared to transition from casual classroom wear to a night out.

One way to wear a look from day to night is by layering. Blazers, cardigans and scarfs are a great way to make an evening look more appropriate for the classroom. You could even throw a pair of heels in your bag to swap out those flats. It can be as simple as adding a red lip before hitting the town.

“As long as you feel confident, you are dressed for any occasion,” Liptock says.

Make a statement even if you only have minutes to spare.

As a result of abusing the snooze button for those early morning classes, putting together a statement outfit is often the last thing on any college student’s mind. But Liptock says there are easy outfits you can pull together in very little time that will still look great. Her suggestion is to have one terrific jacket that can work with any outfit. That way, even if you only have time to slip on a pair of jeans and a plain t-shirt, you can still go to class looking fantastic.

Find a practical yet stylish bag to use for school.

Let’s face it: while backpacks may be practical, they don’t exactly scream stylish. And for many women, a favorite purse may not exactly be the best way to bring your supplies to class. Another option?

“Messenger bags and laptop bags come in so many different colors and sizes these days,” Liptock says. “My personal favorite is Marc by Marc Jacobs’ ‘Pretty Nylon Computer Commuter’ bag.”

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Amber Butch is an avid traveler that gets a travel fix at least once a month, and has been to 20 different countries so far. As a South Florida native, she also offers tips and suggestions for some of the best hot spots throughout the area. Her work can be found at