Capetown Student Accomodation

Dressing for Success at University

It is often said that if you want to be successful in life, you need to look and behave as if you are already successful. While most varsity students may agree that dressing for success applies to the working world, what you wear on the varsity campus, believe it or not, can also have a big impact on your mentality, confidence, concentration levels and even how you score on tests.

How you dress is a good reflection of how you feel about yourself and how seriously you take your future. When you aspire to a certain level of success, you should be living that way every day through what you wear, how you act and how you present yourself to others like your professors and fellow students.

“People don’t want to see a work in progress; they want to see success already achieved” – Thomas Edison

Dressing for Success

Rolling out of bed and heading to class in comfortable clothing such as tracksuit pants or yoga pants seems to be the norm for many varsity students but taking a closer look at the effects of how you dress, may encourage you to re-evaluate your wardrobe choices given that everything you do in your varsity years can have a big impact on your future.  You don’t want to be that person with great potential who is overlooked for growth opportunities in the workplace one day just because you don’t look, smell or sound like a million bucks.

In a 2012 study done by Northwestern University scientists in the USA, it was discovered that wearing specific clothing directly impacts the wearer’s psychological behaviour while wearing that particular outfit. This theory is known as enclothed cognition.

Choosing outfits that put you in a positive mindset are key to dressing for success. If your appearance looks like that of someone about to head to bed, you’re probably not going to have a very attentive or productive day. When you feel good about the way you look, you will naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude and feel more powerful. Taking an extra step of effort on test days too can really improve your mentality and the outcome of your test results. Think, dress well to test well.

If you’re asking yourself, “Can I still wear comfy clothing to class?” The answer to that is yes and no. If you are watching Netflix in your dorm room or lounging around on a weekend, then by all means get comfy in tracksuit pants and a baggy t-shirt, but if you are attending lectures, aim to get the most out of the education you are paying for. Choose outfits that combine both style and comfort and that will help you propel yourself into your future career and start preparing for your professionalism in the workplace. Start dressing like the person you want to be and success and desire will follow.

For ladies, stylish leggings and a big jersey with the right shoes and accessories that are not too showy or distracting can go a long way to dressing for success while still keeping it simple and comfortable. For guys, wearing an ironed solid colour t-shirt or a hoodie paired with a decent pair of black or blue jeans and clean takkies or high tops is more appropriate than some old wrinkled worn-out t-shirt with musty tracksuit pants.

Personal hygiene and grooming are just as important as what you choose to wear and slacking off on that can ruin the image you wish to convey. Take a daily shower, brush your teeth, brush or style your hair, apply deodorant and ladies, pop on a little make-up.

If you want to be successful and competent in all areas of your life that means dressing for success each and every time you walk out the door. Practice makes perfect and it will get easier once you make it a habit.

“You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” – Academy Award winner Edith Head.

We understand the challenges of university life, and we also have tons of other great tips and advice to make your student life just that much easier. Visit us at