The perfect media tactics to boost business and encourage OU students to shop local

Disclaimer: I am not a professional. All comments come from my personal experiences and observations, and this blog is purely for academic purposes.

Need fresh ideas for reaching a broader audience? Are you interested in the digital strategies and media tactics that could help drive business and encourage Ohio University students to take a stop in your store? Here’s a look at the social media techniques used by several clothing boutiques in Athens. The best part is these strategies can also be applied to a variety of businesses including restaurants,dining, bookstores and specialization stores such as gift shops, craft stores and costume shops.

When thinking of the stores on and surrounding Court Street, there’s a variety of customers and owners. Many would believe each store takes a completely different approach to reach their target audience. Surprisingly, this is far fetched.

After extensive research and vast increments of my time being used to creep through the shops social media, I was surprised to find most of the strategies used by the local owners were extremely similar. The strategies that many stores use often seem to be working well, and unfortunately the mistakes and painful errors were frequently used across the board. Let’s take a look at the good, the bad and the ugly digital promotion approaches used by many local Athens shops.

Artifacts Gallery

Artifacts Gallery is a local clothing shop located at 2 W. State Street., Athens, OH. This store uses Instagram and Facebook as their strongest social media pages. Some techniques used on the Instagram page included using a white background when taking photos of the apparel. Using a white background, or sticking with a common theme, is useful because people enjoy images that are pleasant to the eye.

Facebook is also used by keeping active with posts that do not only relate to their store and products. Using a personalized approach and occasional videos help keep interest in followers, causing them to be more engaged when looking at a media post.

Unfortunately, Artifacts Gallery could use some work on their Twitter page. Twitter is accessible and sharable, but that is not how it is used. Instead, the tweets only link to Instagram posts, and their customer interaction to assist with product feedback or other related questions. Also, the Instagram could afford to involve a few models when marketing their t-shirts and other apparel. Having a real person involved in media posts allows customers, and especially college students, to be more engaged.

The only issue that struck me hard when viewing Artifacts Gallery’s social media pages was the excessive hashtagging. Yes, I understand many people were told to use hashtags to draw in more likes and assist in SEO, but sometimes less is more. My best advice is to use hashtags appropriately and understand that quality really can mean more than quantity.

Bluetique

This trendy local shop focuses on targeting the typical college girl who wishes she was in walking distance to a mall. Bluetique is located 19 W. State Street., Athens, OH. Bluetique does an excellent job promoting their store through a strong social media presence. Their social media is a triple-threat, and maybe more. Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are all used constantly and appropriately to reach a variety of customers in the Athens area. Bluetique is also one of the few local shops that has started using Pinterest, which is very smart since many Ohio University women have joined on the Pinterest bandwagon when collaborating ideas.

There’s no doubt that Bluetique thought about the social media tactics they wanted to use. Overall, their pages are professional and engaging. Gabby Summers, a Bluetique employee, said students and workers are often used to pose in their clothes and accessories because it helps make the posts more personal and attracts a larger audience. All Instagram posts are similar because they use a theme and specific lighting location in the store. The owner has also invested in a wallpaper like background that looks like a wooden floor to assist in making the products stand out and keep a professional theme.

New floral two piece! We love our new arrivals! #bluetiqueathens #shopbluetique #newarrivals

A post shared by Bluetique Athens (@bluetiqueathens) on

Instagram and Twitter are also used to promote sales and positions for hire. The Bluetique Facebook page is a strong presence because they share events and other posts on their page to engage with customers. More frequent tweets would help them reach a wider audience. Videos and a cover photo with girls from Ohio University in their clothing gives the site a more personal approach, which is excellent when trying to find new customers and grow as a shop in a college town.

Although they use similar content among all platforms, especially  by reusing Instagram photos, the Bluetique social media techniques are definitely appropriate for most local business. Their techniques drive business and gain OU students as loyal customers.

Figleaf Boutique

Figleaf Boutique is a company that can be found in several college orientated towns, such as Kent, Columbus and Athens. The Athens location can be found at 57 N. Court Street., Athens, OH. Due to the larger presence this boutique has in other cities, their social media techniques are also updated and frequently used to reach OU students.

Figleaf is smart by using Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter in creative ways. All their sites maintain a professional setting, and the links on Instagram photos, Pinterest pins, tweets and Facebook posts are directly to their official website. This is extremely important because it increases availability and sales. Many college students, and specifically OU students, don’t like feeling rushed if they can’t make it to the local shops during their daily hours. Having a website that is promoted daily through social media is an excellent technique which could potentially benefit all local shops.

It’s also apparent that Figleaf knows and understands their target audience which is the trendy college girl. They understand how to reach girls needing dresses and accessories for date parties and other social events through all medias. The also reach the parents of many OU girls whose parents are on the lookout for trends and sales on Facebook. Their Facebook content is slightly altered to engage a different group, which is smart since their Facebook audience has relations with their target audience.

The best advice for Figleaf Boutique is to be more interactive on Twitter with customers and keep the variety between their different media sites because it does make a huge difference.

Honey

This lingerie store is located at 13 W. Union Street, Athens, OH. Truthfully visiting the store is the best way to have any idea about their apparel and products. Honey lacks much of any social media presence. They have very few followers across the board, and they have few posts.

Honey’s Instagram has not posted since December, which is poor for almost any company in 2017. This is extremely disappointing since they are targeting OU students, who more often than not use Instagram daily. In fact, according to a Pew Research Center study, 90 percent of American adults aged 18 to 29 use social media. As a local shop targeting this specific group, it’s best they amp up their social media presence and begin to focus on the successful tactics available to boost business.

However, the one good thing Honey does with their social media is their use of Facebook. There are several more posts and more interaction on their Facebook page, and they even post links and articles to other sources. Outside sourcing to relatable content is a fantastic marketing tactic that many small, local businesses are afraid to test. Although this is very different than other trends among local shops in Athens, this out of ordinary social media technique would be worth a shot for other stores. Many stores and websites appreciate interaction from one another, and promoting a different store potentially brings new customers if the favor is returned.

The Other Place

The Other Place is another trendy store focusing on women’s clothing, accessories and gift items. This boutique can be found at 43 S. Court Street, Athens, OH. This college town shop engages with OU students on a variety of platforms, including Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The owner has recently teamed up with the Scripps’ Impressions team, which has developed a few new techniques to boost business and student interaction among social media.

The Other Place is beginning to use real OU students to model their apparel in hopes to promote a real life experience and receive more engagement from friends and family members of the girls featured in the photos and posts. Another exciting social media tactic is the startup of a WordPress site to allow blogs about trends and styles that can be created from the apparel and accessories in the store.

Show off those shoulders with one of our super cute rompers! #rompers #shoulders

A post shared by The Other Place Athens (@theotherplaceathens) on

Other social media ideas that are common and effective include using Twitter constantly and posting promotional sales and hirings on their sites. When linking, it could be more effective to link to a store site, but instead they link back to their Facebook. This technique could be useful in reaching a different group of OU students, but there’s limited interaction on the Facebook page. Limited feedback and limited posting on both Facebook and Twitter may be the cause for the lack of followers, or vice versa.

10 West Clothing Co.

The new local shop, 10 West Clothing Co. is located at 10 W. Union Street., Athens, OH, and the store is known for selling new and nearly new name brand clothes. Their store specializes in making trendy clothes affordable for the college students in Athens.

As any new store in the area would do, they post quite often in order to gain followers, likes and attention in general. They use Instagram as their best social media platform by posting photos of their clothes, information about sales and funny memes in order to give it a personal feel. Unfortunately, their photography skills could still use some assistance to stand out and be more appealing to customers.

Another bad habit constantly used on their social media pages includes linking directly to Instagram only. Their interaction with customers and the shop’s creativity spreading content is lacking. A few alterations and more variety on all platforms would make a huge difference and advance 10 W. Clothing Co.’s business and appeal to OU students.

In conclusion, local businesses shouldn’t be afraid to try new things, such as promotional events or blogs. Using OU students for modeling clothes, or holding events, engages other students, friends and family increasing publicity and social media awareness. Ohio University faculty could also be a wise partner for events and social media promotion because they carry respect and people have a tendency to shop at local places if they have heard good reviews from people they personally know.

Spreading content creatively and using all media platforms allows local business to reach their max audience and customers. Sometimes, different platforms require, or strive, from a different form of media. Balancing videos, photos and text increasing attention for OU students interested in the local stores because millennials expect businesses to be up-to-date and use social media in a multitude of ways. Also, owners should not be afraid to dip their feet in and try using more than Facebook. Learning how to tweet and pin information is very important to a successful media platform because Twitter and Pinterest are the most shareable content sites.

Finally, keeping a professional look to all platforms makes a huge difference. Photography skills matter. Good lighting, backgrounds, using models instead of mannequins and keeping a constant theme makes a huge difference. Frequent posts are most effective when they are put together and consistent. Keeping digital media in correlation with college students’ expectations allows businesses to increase sales and encourages OU students to shop at the local stores around Athens.

The best kept secrets about Victoria’s Secret and the truth that goes on behind the magic

Health and fitness have become leading movements and have been capturing the attention of many young women. We have finally realized it’s important to treat the human body with respect.

This includes hydrating, working out, eating right and having a positive self-image. Coincidentally, the leader in this trend is Victoria’s Secret.

Recently, Victoria’s Secret has focused on their sports line. This has included a focus on health and fitness, especially in preparation for the annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show. This hoopla doesn’t happen without the angels’ effort in the gym and on the runway and the employees’ effort in the stores.

It’s not all fun and games for employees

Victoria’s Secret employs thousands of women in a range of locations. Most days they can be found folding panties or looking in the back for more leggings to be added to the shelf. The truth is as much as they the clothing and fragrances, sometimes it isn’t what it’s ideal. Between the awkward fathers trying to buy bras and the way the panties table looks after the Semi-Annual Sale the secrets of a Victoria’s Secret employee makes it sound a lot more intimidating.

Give Victoria’s Secret. Unwrap sexy. ’Tis the season, after all.

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

“Train like an angel”

To become fit like the Victoria’s Secret angels it’s surprising to some that they focus on weight training, ballet techniques and being tone because lean is not the answer anymore. Training like an angel means bootcamp. The best techniques can be found online at the Victoria’s Secret Youtube channel. To your surprise your new routine might include more weight lifting and less cardio.

Eat healthy, be healthy

Balanced diets are the best and most successful. Regardless of vegan, high-protein or loads of vegetables and fruits eating enough, and eating right, is the best way to get results for that dream body. This does not mean having to eat small portions, but instead it means eating throughout the day and balancing the food groups. If you’re looking for ideas, check out some of the angels’ personal diet plans. Finding what’s best for your body helps keep you lean and toned. These plans may not be the biggest diet plans but shh, don’t tell anyone.

?? life!

A post shared by Candice Swanepoel (@angelcandices) on

The glamorous runway lifestyle 

Yes. The angels are gorgeous when they hit the stage after months of training, but there’s many downsides that viewers of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show don’t take into consideration when they dream about being one of the angels. For starters, the fantasy bra is extremely heavy, the average heel height is 6 inches and the wings can weigh around 25 pounds. The heaviest pair of wings weighed in at 40 pounds. So next time you’re dreaming about being an angel read up on the runway secrets that can’t be seen from the television.

Au revoir, Paris. Here’s to the most fabulous #VSFashionShow ever!!

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

Behind the scenes 

So what actually goes on behind the scenes? Natural beauty tips and tricks. This includes natural makeup application, natural hair and beach waves ideas and even health tricks. The day of the show the beauty tricks are loaded up and the health tricks are thrown away. All liquids, including water, are cut off. However, the year long diets and exercises are the key aspect to make the angels look the way they do on the night of the show. Next time you want to look your best and get “the look” of a Victoria’s Secret angel remember to keep it natural, stay healthy and exercise.

What’s not to ❤️ about a runway-perfect mani-pedi from @redcarpetmanicure? #VSFashionShow

A post shared by Victoria's Secret (@victoriassecret) on

The best kept secrets about Victoria’s Secret and the truth that goes on behind the magic is a newsletter by Tori Pishkula to inform supporters about the background information that goes into the success of Victoria’s Secret. Keep up monthly to gain a recap of any new, fun facts about beauty tips, the angels or the company because you never know where the angels will take the brand next. 

6 fashion trends that are only acceptable in college

Everyone has a bad day once in awhile and fashion sense is not a top priority. Unfortunately, some of these terrible clothing choices are accepted, or even normal, in a college environment. Sometimes, the weirdest trends are even praised by peers. Here’s a list of fashion trends that will make your parents cringe.

  1. Sock and sandals
    Photo by Gamma Man via Flickr

    This used to be a trend, but then people came to their senses. It’s now back. It might look dorky, but it’s easy and convenient when running to the dining hall or class.

2. Wearing a baseball cap instead of showering

Photo by cuncon via Pixabay

Some days it just makes sense to go purchase a hat instead of washing your hair. College is rough. Hats make it easier. And you know you roll up to class with the same expression on your face.

3. Leggings… with calf-high socks… and tennis shoes

Photo by Steven Depolo via Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For some reason college girls love the calf-high socks over their leggings. And the Converse or tennis shoes are convenient. This trend isn’t advised after college, but not a day goes by without seeing one person do this.

4. Slippers

Photo by didgeman via Pixabay

They’re not shoes… but sometimes they’re shoes.

5. Sweatpants at the bars

Photo by Paulding County Area Foundation via Google Images

College is the only time when it’s more acceptable to wear sweats to the bar over a suit or nice outfit. No one questions your lazy bum self. In fact, it’d be more weird if you were dressed up. Less money spent on nice outfits means more money for the bars. It’s a win-win situation for every broke college student!

6. Groutfits

Photo by Agatha Garcia via Flickr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You shouldn’t do it. Even in college. But we all rock a groutfit here and there, so embrace it.

6 Fashion trends from the 2000s that are making a comeback

When I think back on being a kid and pre-teen in the early 2000s, it’s hard not to reminisce about shows such as “Lizzie McGuire,” “Zoey 101” and “One Tree Hill,” or movies like “Bring It On,” “Love Don’t Cost a Thing,” and “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen”. I nearly strain myself trying to suppress the urge to hum the tune of my favorite Ashanti song, or break out in the choreographed dances me and my cousin would make to the latest “106 & Park” videos. I can still remember the days when putting on my purple, velvet Velour tracksuit, Coach high tops, and watermelon flavored Lip Smacker lip gloss, made me feel like I was the trendiest girl in school.

But alas, those days are behind us all. The era of “peasant” tops, studded belts, gaucho pants, and ponchos, is dead– or is it? Although my style has evolved since those formative years, I must admit that there are some trends from the 2000s that are making an emergence in the fashion industry. Who knew that a period when airbrushed t-shirts were popular, would make a comeback.

Below are are 10 trends from the 2000s that are becoming increasingly popular.

1. Chokers

clip_image002 (sarina-rose.deviantart.com via Google)

These ’90s and ’00s accessories are the perfect accent for any grunge outfit. From the thick, velvet bands to the whimsical tattoo inspired neck pieces, chokers are on trend in 2016.

2. Trucker Hats

clip_image004(Flickr, Kris Krüg)

This throwback trend was worn by celebrities, such as Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, and Paris Hilton, back in the 2000s. Now it’s back for another ride.

3. Tracksuits

clip_image006(commons.wikimedia.org)

Tracksuits– either you love them or you hate them, or you love them because they’re hated, but there’s no denying that they are in again.

4. Crop Tops

clip_image008(Flickr, Bob Suir)

During the summer months, it’s hard to go anywhere without seeing someone in a crop top. You can thank the 2000s for that, and pretty much every decade before it. Crop tops have always been in fashion, and they probably always will be.

5. Denim Skirts

clip_image010(Vimeo.com, via Google Images)

Like crop tops, denim skirts have been in fashion every decade since the 1970s. There is really no escaping it.

6. Puffer Jackets

clip_image012 (Flickr, Bob Suir)

Remember the days when we were forced to wear puffer coats in the winter, because our mom or dad said it was too cold to go without it. Who knew our parents were trend forecasters?

Women’s Fashion in Athens: A guide to looking good at OU while not giving a sh*t about what people think of you

HIGH SCHOOL VS. COLLEGE

Ah…high school. Strategically planning your outfits the night before a full day of school as if your life depended on it seems to have been a common occurrence among teenagers. In college, nobody gives a sh*t about what you wear. I’m telling you right now to stop stressing. If you need some helpful fashion tips, keep reading.

The following information includes the general fashion trends. Do not limit yourself to these. Wear whatever you want. Be happy, comfortable, confident, and express yourself… even if it means wearing a banana suit!

WHERE TO SHOP

Amazon Prime. As a college student, you are eligible for a free 6-month trial of Amazon Prime. This will give you free two-day shipping, access to hundreds of free movies and TV shows, and access to hundreds of playlists through Prime Music. It’s awesome. After your 6-month trial is up, you get Amazon Prime for 50% off ($40 a year, so worth it). Click here to sign up! 

Court Street. Fig Leaf and The Other Place are two of the more popular boutiques on Court Street. Some of their items can be expensive, but watch for their awesome sales! If you’re looking for some nearby OU apparel, try College Bookstore, Follett University Bookstore, or UniversiTEES.

East State Street. Did you know Athens has a mall? I use the term “mall” loosely. It consists of a couple stores like Elder-Beerman and Goody’s. These places usually have some good deals. Dunham’s Sports is also located at the mall. It’s basically Athen’s version of Dick’s Sporting Goods. They also have OU apparel there. If you need to go to a real mall, the closest one is actually in Vienna, West Virginia (about a 45 minute drive).

Explore East State some more and you’ll find a couple other gems like Rue 21. Check out the whole strip. You’ll also find SHOE Department.

 

We can’t forget Walmart. Other than underwear and socks, Walmart is good for simple clothing items like tank tops, sweat pants, or t-shirts. They also have cute, cheap OU apparel!

 

 

A NO BULLSH*T, TO THE POINT, SEASON-BY-SEASON GUIDE

The following information is subject to change due to the indecisive weather of the state of Ohio.

FALL

Leggings. Skinny jeans. Boots. Scarves. Vests. Hoodies. That’s all you need to know.

WINTER

Same as above. You may want to dress a little warmer and have a heavier jacket. Make sure you dress in layers because the classrooms can get really hot. If you want to REALLY break the “not giving a sh*t” meter,  just dress up as a winter Disney princess and lighten the mood on campus. Check out The Post’s article on this dude here.

SPRING

Spring is an interesting time in Athens. It can be 40 degrees or it can be 85 degrees. You’ll want to have some flip flops, jean shorts, rompers, comfy dresses, and tank tops. If the weather is in the “in-between phase” you can always mix and match tank tops with a pair of jeans and a light jacket. Athens can be pretty rainy too. Invest in some rain boots and a rain jacket.

FEST SEASON

You should dress obnoxiously. Everything and anything is acceptable (unless you’re naked..then the horse cops will get you). Fest season might be the only time where fanny packs are actually a fashion trend. Sports jerseys seem to be a common trend too. Make sure you wear clothing that you don’t mind getting dirty. You should definitely consider wearing boots. Also, show your school spirit. Wearing a lot of OU apparel is another option.

SUMMER

Wear the same outfits you’d wear in the spring if it’s hot. You can throw a bikini in there too.

WHY YOU ULTIMATELY SHOULDN’T GIVE A SH*T

OU is the greatest school. Coming here was the greatest decision of my life and it should be yours too. I have never seen anyone get judged or made fun of over something they chose to wear. We are all a loving Bobcat family. Don’t over think it.

 

MEMORABLE QUOTES FROM SEASONED VETERANS

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Alexa Uber (sophomore), center, poses with friends. “If you like to look cute everyday, look cute everyday. If you like messy buns and sweatshirts, that works too.”
Allison Hinton fearlessly dons her fanny pack. "This isn't high school anymore so you don't need to worry about what every other girl is wearing or if you'll stand out, do whatever makes you happy!"
Allison Hinton (freshman), left, fearlessly dons her fanny pack. “This isn’t high school anymore so you don’t need to worry about what every other girl is wearing or if you’ll stand out, do whatever makes you happy!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Victoria Fox (senior) poses with a friend prior to #fest. "Just do you boo boo."
Victoria Fox (senior), left, poses with a   friend prior to #FEST. “Just do you boo boo.”  

 

 

 

 

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Miranda Stepka (sophomore), left, poses with her friend. “Be your own person with confidence and you’ll look good in anything.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


*Subjects freely contributed the above Instagram photos 

What to wear to feel your best during recruitment

Soon after arriving on campus the buzz of sorority recruitment will quickly catch your ear. If you’re anything like me, I had no idea what the recruitment process consisted of and had a million questions. So, to give you a little background, the recruitment process consists of four different rounds. The first round consists of the welcome days, the second is the sisterhood round, followed by philanthropy, and the final round of recruitment is preference night. All of these rounds consist of different activities and call for different outfits. What are these different outfits you may ask? Have no fear, that’s why i’m here. Picking out recruitment outfits can be a little stressful but hopefully after reading you’ll feel confident and ready to take on recruitment! Good luck!

Welcome Round:

These are the opening days of recruitment and probably the easiest to dress for. You will be given a t-shirt that everyone going through recruitment will wear and your only job is bottoms, shoes, and accessories. Below are some examples of what you can pair with the given t-shirt. Also, don’t forget that it’s okay to accessorize in your favorite jewelry!

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These dark skinny jeans from American Eagle would be a perfect pair for any color t-shirt and they are super affordable!  Pair the jeans with a casual pair of comfortable sandals, like shown above and you will be on a fast track to a successful welcome round!

 

Sisterhood Round: This round goes a little different then welcome. During these rounds, you will go to fewer houses and also have the opportunity to showcase your style. Dress for this is categorized as cute and casual. There are many ways to go with this, make sure you dress as yourself and whatever you’re comfortable in!

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Above is a outfit combo that would be perfect for the sisterhood round!. The top and jeans can both be found online at the juniors department at Nordstrom, and the shoes are from Target. If this isn’t exactly your style, below i’ll feature another outfit!

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Here is another cute yet casual outfit that will be extremely comfortable to go from house to house in. The green shift dress can be found in multiple colors online at Charlotte Russe as well as the gold pendant necklace. The gladiator Steve Madden sandal available at DSW completes the look.

 

Philanthropy Night: This is a special night for the sororities, it’s a night for them to showcase the philanthropy they work hard to support. During the philanthropy round, you will go to fewer houses and are expected to dress in a cute, business casual fashion. The most popular option for this day is a dress.

 

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This is a easy outfit to throw together yet still looks super cute! This long sleeve shift dress which can be found at Charlotte Russe goes perfectly with this classic black wedge found at Target. Pair this outfit with your favorite combo of ALEX AND ANI bracelets and you’re dressed for a successful philanthropy round.

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If you’re not much into heels, these flats from Charlotte Russe will easily dress up an outfit. Paired with a classic wrap dress from Tobi and silver chain from Nordstrom, this stylish combo will be a success.

Preference Night: Congratulations, you have reached the final round! During this round, you will be down to only a few sororities left. It’s a powerful evening and the last round before the ever so anticipated bid day!!! For this night you are expected to dress your best and wear a semi-formal dress.

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This semi-formal outfit is everything you need for preference night. The wine colored shift dress from Tobi is stylish and the simple necklace from Charlotte Russe adds a pop. The outfit is finished with these strap sandals from target.

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This dress from Tobi adds pattern and a pop of navy. Paired with this is a simple black flat from Target and some silver rings to add some accessories. This look comes together to look very chic and would be the perfect outfit to finish out recruitment.

 

That about sums up the outfits necessary to get through sorority recruitment. I hope you found this to be helpful and it took away some of the outfit stress. Recruitment is a fun and unforgettable time that you will always remember. Keep calm and happy recruitment!

 

 

 

The ultimate Ohio University girl’s shopping list

Packing for your freshman year of college is on par with the stress levels of taking the SAT for the second time trying to get a higher score. It can be pretty tricky decidng what you think you’ll be wearing day-to-day. To streamline the process, and give you advice into clothing that college girls actually wear, I compiled a comprehensive list of items that are must-haves. Follow this list and these links, and you’ll be styling on your walk to your first ever college class.

Tops:

First and foremost, you’ll need t shirts. Like, a lot of them. You’re going to be exhausted for your 9 a.m. class, you’re going to be looking for a causal look for the weekend and you’re going to be looking gross for finals week, so t shirts are a go-to in college. Whether athletically-inclined, bold and graphic or something you stole from your older sister, just make sure it’s not high school related. Maybe you’ll join a sorority and have more than you know what to do with, but you should start with a small stash of your own.

Festing is cool and all, but you’re eventually going to need to get a job. So, while you’re looking into internships at the career fair, or applying for an executive position in your student organization, you’re going to need to look the part. Bring a casual blouse that you can transition from business to snappy casual.

Casual shirts are what I would call the staple of college life. Am I going out? Did I dress up for class? Am I some trendy fashion blogger? Who knows. Casual shirts can take you straight from class to the nightlife without even stopping by the dorm.

There is not a college aged girl that I know of who doesn’t live in sweatshirts. Comfy enough to nap in, and warm enough for the crisp walk to early classes, these sweatshirts will last you through the seasons. I’d grab an OU one, like this.

Jackets are important for layering when it’s 35 degrees ferenheit in Bentley Hall, or it’s colder on your walk to a weekend party. Plus, almost every girl at this university has this jacket.

Bottoms:

Athletic shorts are useful from classes to the gym. Getting a solid colored pair can make picking outfits really easy, and allow you to buy less pairs. Nike shorts are pretty standard on campus for classes and running errands.

From one girl to another, you will not survive college without leggings. No one will care if you don’t drop $90 on Lululemon leggings, the $5 Forever 21 kinds will work just fine. These will be your every day outfit staple. Class at 9 a.m.? Leggings. Class at 2 p.m.? Leggings. Community service event? Leggings. Guest speaker? Leggings. Leggings? Leggings. These are worn every day of the week no matter the weather. Get them.

In college, when you’re trying to appear classy, or you’re not allowed to wear leggings, you’ll reach for jeans. In the past 6 months Athens has seen an influx of distressed jeans, so I’d definitely grab a pair or two in black and blue denim. Of course, skinny jeans will always be in and can take you from classes to meetings to nightlife to church. I bring 6 pairs of jeans with me every semester, and I have yet to regret that decision.

When the time comes to move up in your organization or for you to get a job, you’re going to need a staple pair of black dress pants . You can absolutely get crazy with dress pants and patterns, but black will get you the job every single time. Plus, who wants to spend money on work clothes? No one.

I was going to include a link to sweatpants because a lot of girls do wear them to classes, and to eat around town, but I hate them, so morally I refuse to include a link. If you do like sweatpants, Nike or Lululemon will suffice.

When you’re not in class, or if you like to dress up for your classes, high waisted cut off shorts will be your best friend. Comfortable, chic and a little bit edgy, these babies will keep you cool on your 7-minute walk to class, and make you look put together. Pair these with the t shirts I liked above, and you’re set for a weekend in Athens. Boyfriend shorts are big for me because comfort is key on college, especially at OU. When you’re out on the weekends or hitting up a local joint to eat, casual shorts will take you a step further than athletic shorts, but won’t skimp on comfort.

Weekends and special events call for skirts. I’m not too partial to them, because dresses are easier to wear and make you look dressed up when you’re not, but plenty of girls wear a-line denim skirts out or to class or crochet mini skirts. Whether it be bars, a weekend trip to Columbus or you’re just feeling yourself for classes, skirts can be a way to elevate your look easily.

Dresses:

Contrary to what you might believe, dresses are not a huge part of college. Yes, things are getting fancier by the day, but your everyday look probably will not include one. Weekends and special occasions are when dresses emerge, and you’ll need to leave your satin homecoming dresses at home. If you join a sorority or get invited to a fraternity date party, you’ll be rocking a dress/romper to remind yourself of the homecoming days that are long forgotten. Pro tip: Don’t wear dresses out on weeknights or to house parties; there is no easier freshman identifier than a dress on a Wednesday.

Two-piece dresses are really popular for special events, and rompers are the most popular pick. If you’re invited somewhere else fancy, you’ll want a little black dress: this dress will have you ready for any occasion. Great places for dresses include: Tobi, Lulu’s and ASOS. Off-campus, we also have Figleaf, Bluetique and The Other Place, but mind you, if you shop uptown, every other girl on campus will be rocking the same dress.

When it’s not a special occasion, girls definitely wear dresses out or around when the weather gets nicer. Casual dresses can make you feel cute again after your week long binge of shorts and t shirts. These can be worn out on the weekends too, without much effort.

At some point, for some event or organization or interview, you’re going to need a professional dress. This needs to be simple, classy and ready to get you a job. You’ll only break this out probably twice a semester, but it’s definitely important to have.

Shoes:

If you’re going to pay attention to one thing I say to you, pay attention to the shoes category, AKA, now.

Newsflash, you’re going to have to walk to class. That being said, you need to be comfortable doing so. Casual walking shoes for college girls typically include: gym shoes, Tom’s, sandals or flats. Gym shoes are the best pick because you can obviously wear them to the gym as well, cutting down on items to bring to school. Black Nike’s and white Converse rule the school, so you can’t go wrong there.

When you have to be fancy, flats are a comfy way to look put-together without breaking an ankle. I recommend a classic black or nude flat shoe to keep it simple, but look professional or cute.

Heels are important for aforementioned date parties, interviews and other special events. Important to have are: Nude heels, black heels and a chic pair to show your style. These three pairs are perfect for any situation you may find yourself in.

Go-to weekend shoes in the warm weather are wedges. You won’t fall as easily in wedges, the heel won’t strip in the middle of the bricks like stilettos and they can make your jeans look more dressed up when you’re feeling lazy. Wedges in black and tan will get you through the warm seasons no problem. With heels and wedges, reserve these for the weekends, ladies, and by weekends, I do not mean fests..

You will die without rain boots. You won’t actually die, but you will be miserable without them. It will rain when you’re supposed to be walking to class, and your umbrella can only do so much. I thought I was too good for rain boots my first semester here, and Athens proved me wrong. Get Hunter boots, or get a cheap pair, no one will judge you when it’s raining, I promise.

Speaking of the elements, snow boots are a must-have as well. It will also snow when you’re supposed to go to class, and unless you’d like to sit through an hour and a half lecture with cold, wet feet, I’d get some snow boots. Pro tip: These can be your rain boots; you don’t need snow boots if you have rain boots.

Final element: Sun. Sandals will be your best friend when it’s hot and steamy outside. If you’re living in a dorm, which you’re required to, you’re going to need shower shoes. These are very different things. Get $3 shower shoes from Old Navy, everyone does. Next, get cute sandals from anywhere else. Comfort is key, I assure you.

Accessories:

Kind of optional, kind of not is the rain jacket. I’ve done without one thus far, but some of my friends swear by them. Anything to get you to class dry can only be positive.

Spoiler alert: You might not have time to shower before your 9 a.m. class. Wear a hat and pretend like your hair is not greasy. Or you can pretend like it was sunny that day, and your hair is definitely not greasy. Hats can be OU themed, Vineyard Vines, your hometown, etc. Just make sure it’s not your high school. Make sure anything you bring isn’t from high school, basically.

Whether you’re an athlete, you pretend to be or maybe you don’t like to wear real bras, sports bras are comfy and practical. From yoga class to Philosophy, this gem will keep you in place, while offering cute details to show off. Cute bras are really popular right now, and will be for a while so grab some while they’re hot.

If/when you go out at night, you will not be bringing your big Michael Kors purse. You will be bringing a cross body bag or a wristlet. Small, portable and hopefully durable, this bag will hold your dorm keys, your OU i.d. and your money. Some girls splurge on Kate Spade, I, on the other hand, go cheap because I don’t want my bag to be ruined by a spilled Natural Light beer.

Maybe you actually want to know what time it is, or maybe you’re like me, and want to look chic, but watches are extremely popular as an accessory alone. Wear one to an interview and look sophisticated, wear one to the bar and look cute. Whatever you do, get one. You can use it to count down the seconds until you’re out of your dreaded general education requirements.

There are only two schools of thought on school bags. People either wear backpacks exclusively or they wear purses; I fall into the later. If you’re in a math or science major, you’re going to need a backpack for who knows what: calculator, expensive books, laptop, etc. Everyone else can carry a purse because, frankly, I don’t even understand what people fill backpacks with. Longchamp, Michael Kors or Target will do. Make sure it fits your laptop and notebooks, but other than that, show your personality.

 

There you have it: The ultimate packing guide. I know you’re going to over-pack first semester, everyone does. I hope this list offers you the ability to over-pack the right things.