Heres Exactly What to Wear on Your College Visit or Tour

 

A college tour is one of the best ways to learn about what it’s like to live on a college campus. Reading promotional materials or even student blogs isn’t the same as seeing and experiencing it for yourself, but just like any other aspect of applying to college, you need to make sure you’re prepared for a college visit—and that includes dressing appropriately!

The majority of the time, dressing for a college tour is a casual affair. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t think about the best way to go about it—comfort and classiness are essential. This guide will walk you through the best way to dress for a variety of college visit scenarios. A little forethought will help you have the best possible experience, as well as prepare you for interviews, auditions, and simply exploring your dream campus. Continue reading to learn how!

 

What to Wear to a College Visit

 

One of the most important things to remember when deciding what to wear to a college visit is that, in most cases, a college tour is intended for you to see the college rather than for the college to see you.

You can dress casually for the most part. However, there are some special considerations if you aren’t simply touring the college, so keep that in mind as you plan your outfit.


What to Wear on a College Visit If You’re Just Walking Around Campus on Your Own

If you are not on a guided tour and are simply exploring the campus, you can wear whatever you want, within reason. If you’re strolling through campus in a suit—whether three-piece or bathing suit—you’re on your own, but if you’re just there as a visitor, you’re on your own.


What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re on a Guided Tour

If you’re on a guided tour, it’s perfectly acceptable to dress casually. You don’t have to be impressive, but you should strive for comfort and self-assurance.

Comfortable shoes are required, but choose something nicer than your scuffiest pair of sneakers. Whatever shoes you wear should be broken in so you don’t end up with pinching and blisters in the middle of the day. When your feet hurt, you’re less likely to pay attention to the tour!

Jeans and t-shirts are acceptable, but avoid anything with an offensive slogan or image. Even if a curse word or a scantily dressed person does not bother you, it is most likely not appropriate for your first impression!

You don’t have to dress up, but you should make an effort. Present your best self—the self you want others to see as you leave for college.

If you’re meeting with a professor, feel free to dress up a little.


What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Meeting With a Professor

Many students take advantage of their time on campus to meet with advisers or professors in their field of study. If you’ve decided to do so, it’s a good idea to dress it up a little. Dress clothes are not required, but dress a little nicer than you would for a tour.

Polished shoes are a good choice, but they must also be comfortable. If they’re going to pinch you as you walk around campus, go for something more casual like a boat shoe, loafer, or boot. Whatever you decide, make sure your shoes are broken in.

For a meeting with a professor, wear dark, nice jeans. You could also wear corduroys or khakis, depending on what makes you feel the most at ease and confident.


A meeting with a professor is more formal than a tour, but it is not as formal as a college interview. Instead of a t-shirt, opt for something a little more formal—a button-up shirt or blouse is always a good option. You don’t have to wear a blazer, but if it makes you feel better, go ahead and do it!

Most importantly, bring questions and a positive attitude. This is your chance to learn more about the school you want to attend, and that will be far more important than looking like a model.


Your college interview outfit should make you look and feel like this.


What to Wear to a College Visit If You Have an Interview

When it comes to dressing for a college interview, business casual is the way to go. Spend a little more time choosing your shirt and pants for a guided tour or meeting with a professor if you want to look confident and professional.

If you’re walking around campus and doing an interview, you’ll want to make sure your shoes can withstand a lot of walking while also looking sharp. Unless you’re absolutely certain you’ve broken in the dress shoes and they’ll still be comfortable after an hour or two, loafers may be a better choice than a dress shoe.

Wear a skirt, khakis, corduroy pants, or something similar with a button-up shirt or blouse. Dresses are acceptable as long as you cover your shoulders with a sweater or blazer. Keep your skirt length to around your knees (especially if you’re going to be walking around! ), but don’t worry about wearing pantyhose or tights if they’re uncomfortable or out of season.

Select an outfit appropriate for the season and climate. If you’re touring in the fall or winter, layer your clothes so you can look presentable while staying warm outside. Wear light, breathable fabrics in the spring and summer to avoid overheating outside—you don’t want to show up for your interview red-faced and sweaty.


Consider bringing a change of clothes if you’re doing an interview as well as a tour. If you want to be at your best during the interview, changing into a new set of clothes may be your best option. If not, see if you can schedule your interview before the tour, so you’re not tired and disheveled from a day of wandering.


If you’re auditioning while on tour, you should consider changing your outfit as needed.


What to Wear on a College Tour If You’re Auditioning


Business casual is a good starting point, but depending on what you’re auditioning for, you may want to make some additional changes to your attire.

What would a professional musician, for example, wear? What about an actor going to an audition? What would you wear to a gallery opening (but don’t go overboard!)? Don’t overdo it, but choose your outfit based on what’s appropriate for your field.


Comfortable shoes are still required, as you may be required to stand during your audition as well as walk around campus.

Choose an outfit that is appropriate for the weather—don’t wear a sweater on a summer campus tour in California—or add layers that you can remove once you’ve finished auditioning to avoid overheating. The opposite is also true; bring a warm coat and gloves if necessary.

If walking around in your audition outfit is going to be too uncomfortable, bring a change of clothes. Even if you must bring a change of clothes, it is far preferable to be comfortable and confident for your interview, as well as simply comfortable for the tour!


How to Pick What to Wear on a College Tour

 

What you should wear is determined in part by what you’re doing. Don’t go out and buy a new wardrobe unless you’re going on an interview or audition.

Try on a variety of outfits and see what makes you feel good about yourself while also being comfortable. Again, you’ll be more concerned with learning about the campus than with impressing your tour guide. Make an effort, but don’t go overboard.

It cannot be overstated: you will be walking a lot, so wear comfortable, well-worn shoes.

Bring a bag, whether it’s a stylish messenger bag or a clean, sophisticated backpack. You’ll be given a lot of information, pamphlets, and other materials, and having a place to put them will make walking around much easier. A bag can also hold a water bottle, snacks, and a notebook, which can be used to jot down any questions or notes you may have while touring.


Don’t be too concerned with your attire. You’ll be in a group, so your main concern should be what you’ll learn from the visit, unless you’re interviewing or auditioning. You’ll have everything you need if you appear clean and confident.


Do you want to raise your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by four points? We’ve created a guide for each test that outlines the top five strategies you must employ in order to improve your score. Download it now for free:

 

 

 

 


Sample Outfits For a College Tour

Seeing is easier than reading with clothes. Here are a few sample outfits (including some that will not work) to provide you with the fashion inspiration you need to plan your college tour!

You don’t have to go all out, but look at how confident and at ease she is. That’s the kind of air you want to exude, whatever that means in terms of clothing for you!

 

These looks are ideal for a more formal occasion, such as an audition, interview, or meeting with a professor. Don’t feel obligated to wear a full suit and tie, but pay attention to how each outfit looks tidy and well-put-together. Pay close attention to the shoes as well—they’re all different styles, but they’re all appropriate for a business casual setting.

This outfit is perfect for the model’s distinct style. These short sleeves and sunglasses are ideal for the summer. It’s fine to be different as long as it makes you happy.


This look is very simple and casual, and it would be ideal for a college tour. A clean t-shirt, a favorite pair of pants, and tidy hair are all it takes.

While this look is ideal for going to the beach, it is not appropriate for a college setting. It’s a little too eye-catching; remember, you’re there to learn about the school, not to stand out. The shirt’s low-cut sides and bright pattern are too much, especially when paired with the razor blade necklace and sunglasses. The print would be acceptable on a t-shirt, but try to go for an understated look rather than a loud one.


Don’t feel like you can’t be yourself on a college visit, but those shoes are a no-no given how much walking you’ll be doing. Again, don’t be concerned about standing out—you’re not there to make a big impression, but rather to learn more about the place you might be spending four or more years of your life. If this is your everyday outfit, by all means, go for it, but make sure you’re comfortable and confident in it.

How to Make the Most of Your College Visit

 


Now that you’ve decided on your outfit, you can concentrate on the important stuff: making the most of your college visit..

Bring your questions, including those for current students, academic advisers, and admissions officers, with you. You might get the chance to ask them, and it’s always better to be overprepared than underprepared!


If there’s something in particular you want to see, leave some time during your visit to check it out in case it’s not included in the tour. You can always ask your guide if it’s okay to go to the library, the gym, the art museum, or the football field. Even if you can’t get into all of them, there’s no harm in asking! Looking at a map and a list of facilities ahead of time will help you plan what you want to see.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask for recommendations on your tour. Stopping by a local restaurant recommended by a student is a great way to get a feel for student life. See what else the neighborhood has to offer besides your future school!

What’s Next?


Campus visits are only one aspect of the college application process. This step-by-step guide to college applications will assist you in planning your application!

 

There are over 5,000 colleges in the United States—how do you know which ones to apply to? Using a college finder tool can assist you in sorting through your options and locating your ideal school without having to visit every single campus.

After you’ve identified a number of schools that sound promising, you must decide which ones to apply to. This guide will assist you in narrowing down your list to the essentials — safety, matches, and getting

to school.


Want to build the best possible college application?

We can assist you. PrepScholar Admissions is the best admissions consulting service in the world. We combine world-class admissions counselors with our proprietary data-driven admissions strategies. We’ve helped thousands of students gain admission to their top choice schools, ranging from community colleges to the Ivy League.

We know what types of students colleges prefer. We want you to be admitted to the schools of your choice.

Learn more about PrepScholar Admissions to improve your chances of acceptance.