What NOT to Wear to School as an Adult Student

Don't look like an old lady on campus. Or a cougar!

You walk across campus and smile at the kids who, for the most part, could be your children, even your grandchildren. Heavy sigh. As much as you'd like to fit in (and you can!), wearing what they are wearing is not the way. Follow these five tips and save yourself some embarrassment. That means more energy to spend on studying!

You might start with Top 5 Things a Grown Woman Should Never Wear from Cynthia Nellis. You'll get a kick out of the tips her readers have added.

And don't miss What .

of 05

Don't bare too much skin.

Cleavage - Image Source - Getty Images 75941462
Image Source - Getty Images 75941462

You probably wore a miniskirt the last time you were in school. And I'm sure you had the legs for it back then. Even if your legs are still hot, a miniskirt will only serve to make you look like a cougar this time around. If you don't know what a cougar is on campus, you really don't want to wear a miniskirt.

If you want to wear a skirt, which can be really fun, choose something full and knee-length. Tights would be fun, too.

The same bareness advice goes for too much cleavage and/or low-rise jeans. You know the ones...the waist line hits right above the pubic area. I'll go out on a limb here and say, in my opinion, that style doesn't belong on campus even on 20-year-olds. Nobody wants to see bare midriffs in the classroom, especially when the midriff is several decades old or not in the best shape. You know what I mean.

of 05

Don't try to look 20 by wearing the trendiest fashions.

Belly - David McGlynn - Photographer's Choice - Getty Images 200411217-001
David McGlynn - Photographer's Choice - Getty Images 200411217-001

We're not saying you have to wear polyester and sensible shoes, but wearing 20-something fashions when you're 40 or older is only going to earn you pitiful looks. You may even hear whispers of "poor thing." Nobody wants that.

You can look highly fashionable no matter your age. The key is to choose styles that flatter your age and your shape. About Fashion helps us out here:

  • What to Wear Over 40
  • What to Wear Over 50
of 05

Don't wear pajamas unless you're attending class in your living room.

Student in pajama pants by Rolf Sjogren - Getty Images
Rolf Sjogren - Getty Images

Pajamas may be in, but please don't wear them to class unless you're sitting in your own living room taking an online class. I don't care if everyone says pajama pants are in. They may be comfy, they may be in, but they're also tacky in public.

If you want to be taken seriously, is the image pajamas create really the image you want? I doubt it.

of 05

Don't overdo your makeup.

Makeup by Jupiterimages - Getty Images
Jupiterimages - Getty Images

Blue eyeshadow may be okay today, but if choose to go with jewel tones on your lids, remember that the rest of your makeup should be light. About Beauty Guide Julyne Derrick writes about the matter in "Is it OK to Wear Green and Blue Eyeshadow?"

If looking younger on campus is your goal, besides learning, of course, Julyne has some additional tips for you: How to Look Younger: 8 Tricks I Swear By.

of 05

Don't carry a small bag.

Struggling with books by Photodisc - Getty Images
Photodisc - Getty Images

The opposite of this item appears on our "do" list. We dare to double up on the advice because it's good advice. Struggling to carry books, a laptop, a purse, your phone, and everything else you want with you for the day or evening, a snack maybe, is the only thing people will notice about you. It won't matter what you're wearing if you're bumbling across campus dropping things.

Find a shoulder bag or stylish backpack that is the right size for you, a bag that accommodates everything you need. You'll look smart, organized, and pulled together.