Parent’s Weekend: What to Wear

It's been about 6 weeks since you dropped your fabulous offspring off at college.  If this is his or her freshman year, you may even miss him/her.  I'm kidding -  of course we miss them, regardless of how long they've been out of the nest.    

But fear not.  Most colleges host a Parent's or Family Weekend sometime in the fall, so you get a chance to see your kid in their new environment. I've been to 2 of these so far and here's some brief insight before I tell you what to pack/wear. (FYI,  this packing guide can work for any casual fall weekend).

1. Best to have low expectations and then be pleasantly surprised. 

2. If at all possible, make dinner reservations. Most of the time the campus will be a complete zoo and this could result in lots of aimless walking and long lines.

3. Have your kid invite any friends whose parents aren't making the trip. ( This year, that's us. So, anyone at Miami University in Oxford, son is free for dinner;)  

4. Football tailgates and pre-gaming is fun, but remember it's not 1988, and there's no need to shotgun that beer. Your child will thank you for taking a hard pass. 

Ok, that's all I have for you as far as practical tips.  Now let's get to the important stuff...

What to wear.

Here's a handy capsule wardrobe you can shop your closet for and pack accordingly. Substitute with what you have.  


As you plan, here are a few do's and don't  to keep in mind:

  • DO wear comfortable shoes.  Hands down, the most important tip.  My go-to is my slip-on sneakers and low heel, comfortable and waterproof booties.  Your favorite loafers are a good choices as well.   Needless to say....this is not a time to break out the heels.
  • DO plan on weather changes.  Especially if you're traveling, wear layers, bring an umbrella, and have a neutral jacket on hand.  

    I love my black ponte blazer because it's so very comfortable, easy to pack, and polished looking without being stuffy. 

    An olive field jacket is another versatile winner because it's on-trend without being trendy...and you'll blend in with the scenery which is your goal.  Another go-to is  my all-time favorite denim jacket - it's just cool enough without screaming "I'm 50+ years old and want to look like a teenager."
  • On that note:  DON'T dress for fashion.  Yes, you can be fashionable, but trust me, your kid doesn't want you to draw undo attention to yourself.  
  • DO bring a scarf to add some personality to your neutral look.  Scarves serve multiple purposes including adding some warmth, keeping your head dry in unexpected downpours, and covering the inevitable stains. 
  • And remember my cardinal rule: put on a necklace...Heck, it's college, so go crazy and put on TWO necklaces.  And hoop earrings.  Now you're good to go.

So, what makes this a Capsule Wardrobe? Well basically it's like Garanimals for Adults...All the pieces are chosen because they can be mixed and matched together to make innumerable outfits. 

Dress it up or down with jewelry, shoes and substitutions as needed. For example, need to have a dressy outfit? Swap the burgundy v-neck  for a dressier top like this, and swap the booties for a comfortable heel like this, and you're good to go! 

Use this capsule for any casual fall weekend at all. And if you are visiting your kiddo, have a great time! 

Now, go #justgetdressed.

How about an entire SEASON of outfits using my Style System? A 36- piece capsule wardrobe with a hard copy book of 24+ fabulous and customizable outfits to get you dressed (looking and feeling fabulous) - for every occasion between now and Thanksgiving!  Learn more and sign up here.


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