First Day of Class College Outfit Ideas

My first day of class college outfit with everything from shoes to backpack- including my favorite college style bloggers for more inspiration. My first day of class college outfit with everything from shoes to backpack- including my favorite college style bloggers for more inspiration. My first day of class college outfit with everything from shoes to backpack- including my favorite college style bloggers for more inspiration. My first day of class college outfit with everything from shoes to backpack- including my favorite college style bloggers for more inspiration.

Tank top: Old Navy (similar) | Bralette: Abercrombie & Fitch (similar) | Jeans: American Eagle | Backpack: Granite Gear (c/o) | Water bottle: Lilly Pulitzer | Sandals: Red Dress Boutique (similar) | Bracelet: local boutique (similar) | Necklace: A-List Greek (c/o)

Dressing for the first day of class in college is so much different than dressing for the first day of class in high school. When I was in high school, I would get so excited about the first day of school. Everyone dressed to the nines. There was no shame in it. Dressing for college- that’s another story. It’s different for everyone. Some people roll right out of bed and into their 9 am class. One or two still dress to the nines. Then there’s me. I rest somewhere in between, still really caring what I look like and wanting to put in the effort but not wanting to look like I tried too hard. In the end I try really hard to look like I wasn’t trying. To me it’s all about the perfect combination of casual and cute.

Today, I paired two very simple items- my plain white Old Navy tank and my colored American Eagle skinny jeans to look relaxed. Then I added summery accessories to add a little effort to the outfit- my custom coordinates necklace from A-List Greek, my Jack Rogers lookalikes and my sailor’s bracelet from Door County, WI.

Sometimes I like to wear shorts to class, but I get cold very easily, so I tend to lean toward wearing warmer clothes even when it’s 80 degrees outside because the classroom AC is always blasting. I can’t concentrate if I’m shivering!

I received this backpack from Granite Gear just in time for back-to-school season. There were a few key features that really made me want to try this backpack. Most of all I was drawn into all of the comfort features built into this backpack. The shoulder straps have load absorbing pads and the back of the backpack has padding to help support your back. I was always the type of student to skip the bus or bike, so I spent a lot of time walking around with a heavy backpack on my back and could have used these features when I was in college. The bag also has a protective, cushioned computer pocket that fits laptops up to 17″. I liked that too!

The bag overall is much bigger than I thought it would be. I’ve always gone for more of a cute, small backpack. This bag is definitely very functional and comfortable though. For a college student hauling around a laptop, an armload of books and any other on-campus necessities, it actually seems to be a good pick. It all depends on your personal style and the level of functionality you want (because the functionality of this backpack is on point). Granite Gear also has smaller options, of course!

Need more first day of class college outfit ideas?

Finding my Floppy Hat | Although you might not need a floppy hat for class, I’m obsessed with the simple cream peplum top, jeans and little black booties I paired my hat with. It would make the perfect casual, chic outfit for the first day of class.

Chambray & Brights | This chambray shirt dress and bright, light-weight scarf are great for the first day of class because it’s a super quick outfit to pull together and very comfy.

My favorite college style bloggers for more inspiration:

Style by Liv | Olivia just graduated like me (eek!) but has continued to post great outfit ideas for college students. She has a way of pairing a comfy tee with the perfect jeans and accessories to make a winning first day of class look. One of my favorite posts from Style by Liv is her post specifically on college fashion. She covered exactly what she wears to class and featured a super cute “happy camper” graphic tee. She also spills on what brands carry the comfiest jeans- a must-have for class.

Bowtiful Life | Although recently Megan has been documenting her travels around Europe, she is constantly linking her preppy outfits for us all to shop. My favorite thing about Megan’s Bowtiful Life is in one post she can be sporting Lilly Pulitzer, Kendra Scott and J. Crew and in the next she’s found a steal at Old Navy or Forever 21. Life is all about balance! I love this shirt dress Megan wore around Poland.

Mostly Morgan | Morgan is neither a college blogger or a style blogger, but she used to be a college blogger until she quit school and moved out to New York for an amazing internship. She doesn’t focus on college lifestyle topics anymore, and it doesn’t seem like she’ll be posting college content any time soon, but her old posts are still really relevant and high-quality. With that being said, I still love her old post about the  best looks for back-to-school because she covers so many style and options. From girly to sporty, she has it!

What will you be wearing for your first day of class?

DIY Back-to-College Care Package

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Gift Card Mall. All opinions and text are my own.

DIY Back-to-College Care Package | A step-by-step guide to building the perfect DIY back-to-college care package for your friend or family member heading back to school.

Care packages: the best two words a college kid could ever hear. Getting a package from my family or friend could always put a smile on my face without fail- even if it was a bad day. With the back-to-school season gearing up, it’s about time to start planning for your care packages again. In fact, it might even be a fun idea to send your friend or college-going family member a care package for the back-to-college season. Here is my step-by-step guide to help you build the perfect care package for your college student no matter the season:

STEP ONE | Pick Your Theme

Since it’s August, I obviously chose a back-to-school theme for my care package, but care packages are perfect for any time of the year. A few of my favorite themes/reasons to send a care package are:

  • Any holiday (include fun decorations for her/his apartment or dorm)
  • Homesickness (include a stuffed animal, photos, letters, sentimental items, etc.)
  • Finals/midterm season (include study essentials)
  • Just because (include virtually anything you want)

Of course, care packages are highly customizable, and you definitely don’t have to play by the rules. Include whatever you want… If your box doesn’t follow a theme, I highly doubt your college student will mind. Put as much or little effort into this step as you like.

STEP TWO | Choose Your Big Ticket Item

DIY Back-to-College Care Package | A step-by-step guide to building the perfect DIY back-to-college care package for your friend or family member heading back to school.

When making a care package, I like to vary the sizes and prices of my items and have one main gift- the biggest and/or most expensive part of the package. The great part about care packages is the variety and never knowing what you’re going to pull out next. Alternating the sizes and prices of items adds interest. With this care package, I relied solely on price and not size for my big ticket item.

The wow factor for my DIY back-to-college care package is the Fuel Everywhere Visa gift card. The Fuel Everywhere Visa gift card can be used at any gas station that accepts Visa debit cards and can be used on fuel, snacks, car washes, oil changes and other services. As a former broke college girl myself, I know there is nothing less fun to spend your money on than gas… But a girl has to get to Walmart, right?!

Don’t want to run out to the store, searching for the perfect gift card? Gift Card Mall is a great website for buying gift cards. They have everything from Amazon gift cards to iTunes gift cards to Target gift cards to generic Visa gift cards. The possibilities are endless.

STEP THREE | Buy Your Filler Items

Once you have chosen your package theme and big ticket item, it’s time to buy your filler items! I decided to think of categories for my filler items as well. I chose three item categories:

  • School supplies
  • Relaxing/luxury items
  • Necessities (AKA snacks)

For all of the categories, I tried to choose items that a college kid might not want to spend his/her money on. So, I bought cute school supplies instead of the basics. I bought a candle, magazine and face masks as my luxury items. I bought healthy, fun snacks instead of the cheap stuff. Getting items your college student might not necessarily want to spend their own money on will make your care package feel like even more of a treat (and you were already highly practical with the Fuel Everywhere Visa gift card).

STEP FOUR | Find Your Packaging

Things to think about with packaging:

  • Does everything I bought fit?
  • Do I have to mail it? Or am I delivering it in person?
  • Can it be used after opening? Or will she/he feel bad throwing it away?

I really like the idea of being creative with your packaging. With that being said, you have a lot more choices and freedom if you are delivering your care package in person. If you’re mailing it, you’ll probably be a little more limited. Regardless, it would be great if you could make your packaging multifunctional. For my care package, I found this great laundry basket for only 98 cents. It didn’t cost me anything and will be able to be used after opening the packaging instead of just being thrown away like a cardboard box.

Other creative ideas for back-to-college themed packaging:

  • Backpack
  • Storage containers

That’s it!

DIY Back-to-College Care Package | A step-by-step guide to building the perfect DIY back-to-college care package for your friend or family member heading back to school.

Your care package is officially complete. Now all that is left to do is get it into the hands of your college student. No matter how much or little effort and money you put into your care package, it is going to be appreciated- never worry about that! If your care package came from your heart, your college student will see that. A little gift can go a long way.

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Moving Into Your First Apartment

5 Easy Hacks to Simplify College Life

7 Terrifying Thoughts You’ll Have Senior Year

Must-Have iPhone Apps for College Students

Preparing for a New Semester in College

Preparing for a New Semester in College

Preparing for a New Semester in College

Seeing the back-to-school sections all over stores makes it hard for me to believe that I’m not actually going back to school in the fall. I feel so old! Is it possible that graduating in three years has made me feel older than just 21? I think it has. 21 going on 31 (it doesn’t have quite the same ring as 13 going on 30, but it’s how I feel).

Lucky for me, I’m still gearing up for back-to-school season here on the blog. And just like always, I’m getting ready ahead of the game! Keep reading and you’ll find out that getting ready early is better (and for some tips, necessary). Start now and prepare for a successful school year:

Check Your Closet

I’m a huge advocate for not buying new school supplies every year. I know, it’s fun. Realistically, though, you probably have leftover supplies from last year tucked away in your closet or even still at the bottom of your backpack. Would you rather have a new pack of pens or use old pens and have a Starbucks coffee/Subway sandwich/new pair of socks/drugstore lipstick? The choice is yours!

Adjust Your Schedule

Sleep is important for so many reasons. Getting enough sleep will improve your concentration, motivation, alertness and overall health. Chances are, you will do better in school if you are taking care of your body. So, just because school means waking up earlier, it doesn’t mean you have to lose hours of sleep. A week or two before school starts, start slowly adjusting your schedule to fit your academic lifestyle. If you have an 8 am, wake up what time you would at school to get ready and walk to class in enough time. If you’re not a morning person, do this for your 10 am too! Everyone is different. Know your body and adjust to its needs so you can start your first day of class feeling fresh and alert.

Take Care of Your Skin

Preparing for a New Semester in College

Each year you are bound to meet new people and make first impressions- regardless of whether you are starting a new school or returning to the same one. When you’re meeting your classmates for the first time, you want to feel confident and comfortable.

I personally feel the most confident when I have glowing, clear skin. I don’t have to worry about whether people are looking into my eyes or staring at the mountain forming on my forehead.

Most dermatologists will tell you it takes four to eight weeks to achieve glowing, clear skin. That’s why it’s best to start preparing now! This year I have taken the Oxy 28 Day Challenge to get clear skin.

To help you stay on track with your goal to clear skin, Oxy created an app that will change the way you take care of your skin. After downloading the app, you enter in your age and current level of acne. You then receive a personalized acne fighting regimen consisting of three products. For example, I use the Daily Defense Skin Clearing Cleansing PadsMaximum Action Rapid Treatment Sensitive Skin Face Wash and Maximum Action Rapid Spot Treatment.

Over the course of 28 days, the app will send you daily tips and alerts to remind you to use your products and help you fight your acne. If you want to learn more about the Oxy 28 Day Challenge, you can find Oxy on TwitterFacebook,  Instagram, or check out their website.

 Plan Ahead

Preparing for a New Semester in College

I just want to start off by saying this is definitely my favorite part of going back to school. I love planners. To start your year off right, invest in a planner. Then, print off all of the syllabuses that are available for you to access online. Put every due date and important date in your planner to remember. Then, for the rest of the year, you won’t have to worry about whether you are missing something. You also won’t have to juggle multiple packets of paper!

Order Your Textbooks ASAP

Trust me, I know there is serious temptation to wait until the first day of class to order your books. I myself have had professors that decide on the first day you no longer need the textbook that had been “required” on the syllabus.

Ordering your textbooks well before classes begin, however, has far more pros than cons. You won’t get behind on the readings. You won’t have to scramble to find fast shipping or worry about your books selling out at the bookstore. You’ll also look great when your professor asks who has their textbooks and you’re the only one to raise your hand.

Find Your Classes

Maybe you transferred, maybe you’re a freshman or maybe you just haven’t had class in that building before- either way, I find it very beneficial to go on a walk through campus to scope out your classes beforehand. If possible, even go inside to find your room number! University of Illinois had some crazy building layouts; you could spend a solid 30 minutes looking for a room only to find out you’d been walking in circles.

There are so many ways to prepare for a new school year. It all just depends on how prepared you want to be! Whatever you do, don’t forget to enjoy the last month/few weeks you have left of your summer.

Need more back-to-school tips, tricks and advice? Be sure to check back in! Before the end of August, I will be posting my back-to-school essentials, DIY college care package ideas and much more! If you are moving into an apartment this year, be sure to check out one of my latest posts Moving Into Your First Apartment that has great tips even if it isn’t your first apartment.

What is your favorite way to prepare for going back to school? How early do you buy all of your school supplies and back-to-school clothes? Let me know in the comments below!

Other Posts You May Enjoy:

Moving Into Your First Apartment

5 Easy Hacks to Simplify College Life

7 Terrifying Thoughts You’ll Have Senior Year

Must-Have iPhone Apps for College Students

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Oxy . The opinions and text are all mine.

Five on Friday | Vol. 1

I’ll be honest. I’ve seen these “Five on Friday” things around the blogosphere for a while now. I never really quite understood what they were though. Just five things? Anything? Three years later, that’s my understanding.

I am participating in my very first “Five on Friday” post because I made a goal for the month of July to be more personable over here on Ali in Bloom. I’ve noticed that while trying to be informative and help out all of my fellow college students/recent grads, I can be a bit dry. Oops! Guys, why didn’t you tell me?

If you like this post and think it is as fun as I thought it was to make, let me know in the comments below! If you participate in this so-called “Five on Friday,” leave a link to your latest post. I need to make sure I’m doing this right, you know?!

ONE | A Trip to the Zoo

Five on Friday | Vol. 1 | A Trip to the Zoo

Last Friday I went to the Brookfield Zoo after getting back from vacation. Did I tell you I went on vacation? I spent two weeks in the woods with my grandparents. It was such a great experience. I need to spend as much time with family as possible before life gets to crazy and I move (fingers crossed that will be any time now).

Anyway, the zoo was fun! It was an overcast day, but I managed to only get hit by a few sprinkles. I saw lions and tigers and bears (oh my!). Everyone needs a good zoo visit every once in a while. I hadn’t been in two years!

TWO | Sommersby

I watched Sommersby for the first time last weekend. When the movie first started, I was hesitant. Super hesitant. I was watching it with my mom at her suggestion. She had watched it before and loved it.

The movie did start off slow. But, boy, did it sure speed up quickly. Watch this movie. If you’re anything like me (or my mom), you’ll be hooked.

Here’s the brief synopsis from Google:

A man returns to his home town after a lengthy absence spent fighting in the US Civil War. Although his apparent character transformation arouses his wife’s and others’ suspicions, everyone is delighted when his tobacco-growing scheme is profitable for the whole town. Just as he is settling into an idyllic routine with his family, he is accused of the murder of a man killed many years before.

THREE | I Bought Some Clothes

Yay me! I actually uploaded my Youtube video for the week. Traveling threw me off schedule for a while. It was well worth it though because I spent so much quality time with my family. Who has Youtube to worry about when you have family to have fun with?!

Anyway, this week was my first clothing haul ever. I actually had a lot, a lot of fun filming it, so I hope you guys enjoy watching it. I’ve gained 20 new subscribers in the last month without being very active on my channel at all. I’ve been ecstatic about that. I’m almost to 100 subscribers, which I know isn’t much, but I think it’s still an important milestone. I haven’t been on Youtube very long, so I think celebrating 100 is in order. What video would you guys like to see to celebrate 100 subscribers? Let’s try to reach 100 by August  26!

FOUR | The Importance of Being Alice

I’ve been on a reading kick lately. I just can’t stop! Although, I have finished the last unread book on my bookshelf, so I suppose I am trapped into taking a reading break until I can get to a library/bookstore again. The Importance of Being Alice by Katie MacAlister was my latest read. This romance doesn’t make it onto my list of favorites. In fact, I was surprised to find such good reviews for it online. Maybe it’s just me?! Here’s the synopsis from Katie MacAlister’s site:

Nothing about Alice Wood’s life is normal right now. Her fiance called off their wedding and relationship days before their luxurious tour down Europe’s most romantic rivers. And due to a horrible misunderstanding, now Alice is cooped up in her honeymoon suite with a strange—yet mysteriously handsome—British aristocrat.

All Elliott Ainslie wants is some quiet time to write his latest book. But his stodgy, serious self is about to be sidetracked by a woman who seems to have jumped out of the pages of a fairy tale, one who is determined to shake up his life…and include him in her own happily ever after.

The synopsis sounded great! I just wasn’t fond of the execution of the plot or characters. I was intrigued and entertained enough to feel inclined to keep reading and finish the book. The book felt a little too jam-packed and over the top for my own personal taste, however. I love a simple love story, I suppose.

Any suggestions for my next read? I think I may try another Katie MacAlister novel just to see if a different series suites me better.

FIVE | Visiting My Alma Mater

Five on Friday | Vol. 1 | Visiting My Alma Mater

This weekend I am heading to Urbana-Champaign to visit the lovely University of Illinois (my alma mater). I’ve only been away for two months and I’m already going back! This won’t be a regular occurrence, though. I really just have to go back to drop off my cable box that had been left in my apartment for the subleaser.

While I’m there I’m hoping to also hit the farmer’s market, Ko Fusion for sushi and take a walk around campus (although the weather isn’t looking too good for that). It’s a long drive, so I won’t have time for too much. I’m dragging Ty along with me to make the drive more bearable; we may make a short, little weekend vlog, so make sure to subscribed to my Youtube channel if you don’t want to miss it!

How was your week? Any fun plans for this weekend? Did you enjoy this “Five on Friday” post? Let me know in the comments below!