What do I wear to law school?
Not going to lie, prior to law school orientation I was freaking out. I really wasn’t sure what I should wear. When you google “what to wear to law school” the results differ drastically. Some blogs advised business attire, random forums from 2008 recommended casual clothes. Overall the advice I seemed to glean was to “dress casually” but not “too casually”, many past law students specified “no workout attire”, “no ripped jeans”, “no revealing club attire”. Even with this advice I felt there was a lot left to play with. So, as I do with any “first day” I spent hours agonizing over what would be appropriate. In the end I don’t remember what I wore on the first day of summer classes.
By the first day of fall semester I was more comfortable with the law school atmosphere. I was an expert people watcher (read: lurk) all summer long observing what my classmates wore to school. Seattle is a VERY casual city, and law school was no exception. Other blogs I’ve read mentioned not wearing workout clothes to class…at my school this rule did not seem to apply. There were plenty of guys wearing basketball shorts and t-shirts and women in leggings and sweatshirts.
Personally, I chose to treat law school a little less casually. I don’t wear workout clothes (the one day I wore an oversized sweatshirt our professor asked to take a group picture of the class and I immediately regretted it). I have worn ripped jeans but only on days I knew I would just be going to class and not to any meetings or to see any speakers. I wore this exact outfit on the second day of fall semester (trade the purse for a backpack) and tend to wear similar looks.
Sad confession: I hate business attire. I feel ugly in a suit. I feel ugly in an ill-fitting oxford, and find pencil skirts pretty boring. I know I will need to get over my hatred of business clothes for my career (I’ve had to do it in the past) but I was happy to find I could keep dressing “like myself” at school. I wouldn’t say you need to dress business casual for law school classes, at least not in Seattle. I would say you should put a little more effort into your appearance than you did in undergrad, especially if you essentially just rolled out of bed and walked to class. I don’t avoid fashion forward looks at this point but I know I will dress a bit more conservatively when I have a networking events, meetings, etc.
If you attend a professional school I would love to hear about what you wear and if it was an adjustment from what you wore to undergrad or what you wore to work.
P.S. If you are looking to update your business casual attire, Banana Republic is having a 40% off everything sale right now. I personally don’t buy anything from Banana Republic unless they’re having a sale because they have sales so often. I could NOT resist this ruffle pullover . I know it’s hot out now but fall is just around the corner and having a cozy sweater in my closet makes the cool weather less dreadful.
Thank you Madeleine Wilson for the photos!