How To Dress To Impress For Your First Day of Law School

By Francine Fluetsch on August 23, 2016

This article is brought to you by Kaplan, the leader in test prep for over 90 standardized tests, including the GRE, GMAT, LSAT, and MCAT.

Your first day of law school is coming up and you want to make a lasting impression. A good step to get you there? You gotta dress to impress.

You thought picking a first day of school outfit in middle school was stressful, well this is so much worse. Should you go casual professional or dressy professional? Splash of color or neutrals? There are many ways that you can play this, but remember that you can never be overdressed or overeducated.

Here are some outfit ideas to help you narrow down the big decision.

Professional World, Here I Come:

First look: the professional. You are going to own that first day of school walking to your desk, sporting your professional attire that proves you are meant to be in the courtroom already.

For the guys, we will use Connor Walsh from “How to Get Away with Murder” as an example (if you don’t know the show, are you even a real law student?). He sports crisp button-downs with dark denim or slacks, and sometimes has a nice jacket to complete the ensemble, and accessorizes with a stunning watch to catch the light as he walks. Sexy and professional, dressing like Connor will make sure that you never look like you are slacking, and you will look like you are taking law school seriously from the get-go.

For the ladies, pencil skirts and silky blouses will be a good start. Also, pinning your hair up just somehow makes the look more classy and professional, so play around with ways to get your hair to stay up in a cute way. You can add a fun pair of pumps to give you some extra height and confidence, but make sure to pack a pair of flats in case your feet start to hurt.

Glam up the look with a centerpiece necklace and some nice earrings, and don’t forget the lipstick to give your face all the attention it deserves.

The Elle Woods:

Elle Woods definitely knew how to make a statement in “Legally Blonde,” and while some of her looks might be too out there for you, you can use her as a guide for how to stand out while still keeping it professional.

When people think of lawyers, they tend to think of colors in the neutral ranges, like grays and blacks, but who is to say that you can’t rock the pink and be professional at the same time? Take Michaela Pratt’s outfits (also from “How to Get Away With Murder”) into account. She sports so many adorable dresses that are all over the color scale, but she still looks very well put together and on her A game. She is slaying the fashion world and the law field at the same time. Who says you have to pick between looks and brains?

And guys, you can mix it up as well when it comes to button-down shirt colors, ties if you want to rock a tie, and even shoes (but not too crazy there).

Making a fun but professional statement will give people a way to remember you, and with a class size as big as yours, you want to make sure that you stand out.

Cute N’ Casual:

If getting fancy isn’t your thing, especially when you aren’t quite sure how everyone else is going to be dressing, you can always go casual for your first day. You don’t want to rock sweatpants like you did during your undergrad years (don’t you miss that though?), but sporting some dark-washed jeans and a nice top will do the trick.

Everyone is going to be so stressed out about the first day and their own outfits anyway, so if you would rather blend in, this outfit will be perfect. You can still look cute while also feeling comfy! Your professors will let you know if and when more formal dress is required, so as long as you look like you put some effort in, this look is great for your first day.

Style Tips

Now that you have three versions of a first day outfit to choose from, you want to keep these style tips in mind.

1)   Is it comfy?

You are going to be sitting for a while, and don’t want to be fidgeting every five seconds because your new slacks are itchy or because your skirt bunches weird when you sit down. Make sure to try the outfit on the day before or something so you can practice sitting in it. Sometimes it feels fine when you stand, but sitting is a whole different story, and since class time is going to consist of sitting the whole time, you want to make sure that you’ll be okay doing that.

2)   Invest in a Tide To Go pen.

Having a stain on your outfit is a big no-no, and you don’t want to be stuck in class with a giant stain on your shirt and no way to remedy the situation. Keep a Tide To Go stick in your backpack for emergencies. It is a lifesaver!

3)   Make sure to iron your outfits.

People notice if your outfits are wrinkly, and it makes you look less professional, so make sure that you learn how to iron before you start law school. I personally prefer using a steamer (you can buy cheap handheld ones at Costco), but whichever way you choose to do it, make sure that your outfits are looking fresh.

Good luck on your first day, and work that outfit!

Learn more about Kaplan’s test prep options and start building the confidence you need for Test Day.

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