The NSO Going Out Guide: What to Wear

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The NSO Going Out Guide: What to Wear

Nothing screams “new school year” like new school supplies, new furniture and, of course, a pile of NSO Facebook invites too big to even look through. For all the freshman girls stressing out about what to wear, and for the upperclassmen looking to go out with a bang, this is for you. We’ve compiled some pieces for NSO-worthy outfits and some crucial style tips that are  sure to keep you looking good and, even more importantly, feeling good.

First up, On-Campus Attire. This is what you should be wearing to frat parties, dorm hangout sessions, school sponsored late-nights (if you’re into that) and any other University City shenanigans. The key here is to bridge the gap between chic and comfortable. You want to look good, but you want your outfit to last those long nights spent hopping back and forth from party to party, to Allegros to Wawa, and then back to a late-night. The look is cute and flirty, so try big trends like high-waisted shorts, fierce prints, and sheer shirts. Frat parties get quite hot so make sure your outfit is versatile enough to handle it. These tips should get you through it all:

  1. High heels are a no-no. On-campus parties are far apart, and you won’t last long (plus, it’s a hint that you are a freshie).
  2. Keep your designer duds at home. You might think you’re impressing someone, but believe us, it’s just not worth it.You don’t want jungle juice on your $100+ skirt.
  3. Crossbody bags are your friend. All the benefits of having all your valuables on you at all times, with the added perk of being hands-free! This may be a shock to the system, but for some reason, most parties don’t have coat checks, and there will be no place for you to stash your purse or jacket. Keep it light to minimize the chance you’ll lose your belongings.
  4. Keep the glitter, rhinestones, and sequins to a minimum. While these embellishments may seem like a good idea at first, on-campus parties are too casual for them. Save them for another time.

Get the “On-Campus” look. Clockwise from top: Lace Romper, $59 at Urban Outfitters. Boxy Tie Hem Shirt, $19.80 at Forever 21.  Linea Pelle Wristlet, $20 at Target. Merona Croco Mini Bag, $20 at Target. Metallic Cap Toe Flats, $16.80 at GoJane. Steve Madden Shiekk Beaded Sandals,$31.49 at Dillard’s. Bamboo Fighter Military Boots,$28.90 at Urbanog. Cable Chain Bracelet,$8.80 at Forever 21. Colorblocked Chain Necklace, $7.80 at Forever 21.


If you’re up for the journey  and interested in getting a little dressy, a downtown event hosted by a campus-affiliated organization or fraternity might be for you. Downtowns are certainly more formal, but keep in mind that you want to be dressed to impress, not dressed and in distress. We suggest an LBD or a classic pair of black skinnies, dressy but functional. While heels are a must, go for a comfy pair of wedges or booties that complement your outfit. Upgrade your jewelry and go for a classic pair of studs or a cute cuff. To hold your belongings, keep it chic and go for a clutch rather than a crossbody bag. Here are our tips for pulling off the perfect downtown look:

  1. Classy, not trashy. No one wants to see your midriff. Even if you are perfectly tanned from your awesome summer spent vacationing in Europe, we still don’t want to see it.
  2. Make sure your heels comfortable. Heels are key to complete a downtown outfit, but it is really embarrassing to fall on the street in the city. The general public is a lot less forgiving than your Penn comrades. Make sure you can walk and dance for several hours in your pair of choice.
  3. Don’t overdress. Most people feel that going “clubbing” gives leeway to bust out their best outfits, but that is not necessarily the case. While, yes, you want to stand out, you also want to blend in. You don’t want to be branded as an obvious “freshman” (even if you are) or as the girl that’s “trying too hard.”

Get the “Downtown” look. Clockwise from top: Black Skinny Jeans,$62 at Lulus. Cropped Red Jacket,$56 at Lulus. Black Bandage Dress,$32.80 at Forever 21. Kate Landry Striated Box Clutch,$55 at Dillard’s. T Tahari Coral Resin Cuff Bracelet, $85, at Macy’s. Teardrop Stud Earrings, $3.80 at Forever 21. Bejewled Ring, $5.80 at Forever 21. Metallic Contrast Wedges, $30.30 at GoJane. Nancy Woven Straw Wedge,$19.90 at Urbanog. Vintage Lace-Up Heel Bootie, $50 at Charlotte Russe.

As always, the best thing to wear for NSO is your confidence. Be sure of yourself and stay safe. It’s the best four days of fall semester. Enjoy it while you can! Happy Fratting!
-Nanette Nunu

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