9 Clothes And Accessories You Can’t Wear In High School You Can Finally Wear In College

Don’t you hate it when it feels like our society is going backwards? Let’s take school dress codes, for example. Up until the early ’70s, many schools forbade girls from wearing pants. Yes, really, they weren’t allowed to wear anything other than a skirt or a dress. But times changed, schools eased up on restrictions, and the rest is history: We probably wear pants to school more than anything else!

If you look back at photos of high schoolers in the ’80s, ’90s, and even early ’00s, it kind of looked like you could wear whatever the hell you wanted to school. Midriff overload, cami tops left and right, and dyed tresses everywhere. I’m not saying that schools didn’t have dress codes, or that people never got in trouble for violating them, but it seems there’s a more aggressive stance toward school dress codes these days. We’ve posted article after article about ridiculous dress code violations that so many high schoolers–mostly girls–have to endure day in and day out. When teen girls are told that showing a little bit of their thigh or even their collar bone (COLLAR BONE) is distracting to their male classmates, schools are not only sexualizing girls’ bodies, they’re also putting the onus on girls to make sure a boy is able to pay attention to his teacher as opposed to a bit of a girl’s skin. How ridiculous is this? My private high school didn’t even have a dress code and we all managed to graduate and get into college; yes, including the boys. Wow, it’s almost as if…this idea that girls’ bodies are hindering boys from learning is a load of crap? It’s…it’s almost as if girls can have successful futures despite wearing a skirt that fell above the knees. Who would have thought?

sloan eye roll

Luckily, you can kiss this BS goodbye when you’re in college (unless you also end up at a college with a strict dress code too, which…yikes). No more getting called to the principal’s office for wearing short shorts, no more worrying about how much shoulder is showing, and no more reserving sandals for non-school days. Check out these nine clothes and accessories that you can get excited about wearing in college.

Cami/Halter Tops

One of the teachers at my middle school was notorious for punishing girls who dared to wear a tank top with straps that were less than two inches thick. God forbid that strap be 1.39 inches thick! Save our virgin eyes, we might see a collar bone, or a visible bra strap! OH, GOD! Pfft. In college, you won't have to worry about your straps--the size, the positioning, whatever--and you'll feel like a weight has been lifted, especially during those hot months.

Buy it at UNIF for $45

Check out the pictured look at UNIF

Short Shorts

Isn't it ridiculous that in some of the hottest states in the US, girls are being punished for wearing shorts as a way to beat the heat? Whether a school judges appropriate length by the fingertips test, or they can't end more than an inch above the knee, it's absurd that it is a borderline crime to wear a pair of shorts. In college nobody will even look twice at you for walking on campus with a pair of shorts.

Buy it at ASOS for $58

Check out the pictured look at American Apparel @ Instagram


I cannot believe that some schools ban leggings and deem them in appropriate to wear; there are skinny jeans that are just as tight as many pairs of leggings are! Look, leggings will be your BFF in college. They're great to lounge around in, and they're hand when you want a quick outfit without spending too much time thinking about it. Sweater, leggings, shoes, boom. And, yes, you can even rock a pair with a plain ol' t-shirt that isn't oversized if you want. You've got the power, it's time to exert it.

Buy it at ASOS for $29.12

Dyed Hair

Have you been avoiding dyeing your hair because any color that isn't "natural" is against school rules? Well, when you graduate high school, dye away, because I can't imagine that a modern college in the 21st century would even bother having any rules against hair dye.

Buy it at Amazon for $10.50

Check out the pictured look at Manic Panic @ Instagram

Mini Skirts/Short Dresses

Tall girls with long arms definitely have an advantage when it comes to getting around the worst parts of the fingertip test. You know, when you drop your hands to your sides and aren't allowed to wear anything that falls above your finger tips? For everyone else, however, this rule blows. But in college, you don't have to pass on that cute skirt or short dress ever again. Nobody is going to stop you.

Buy it at UNIF for $63

Crop Tops

Crop tops are for everyone and every body type, and it's ridiculous that they're so controversial. They show some tummy, even less if you're rocking high waist pants. But, many high schools forbid it. But you should totally stock up on some for college. Get some form fitting ones that look a little more dressy and some loose ones that you can throw on with a pair of jeans.

Buy it at Forever 21 for $12.99

Open Toe Shoes

Unlike the rest of these ridiculous dress code violations, I always assumed that the rule against open toe shoes was a matter of safety above all else. Still, your toes will feel oh so free when you can unleash them around campus. Finally, you have an excuse to get a killer outside of your summer vacation schedule.

Buy it at Urban Outfitters for $25

Visible Piercings

Does your school forbid students to rock visible piercings anywhere beyond the ears? Well, you don't have to hide that nose ring anymore. Plus, hell, if you're over 18, you don't even need your parents' permission to get a piercing anymore. If you come back home from your first semester of school with a lip piercing, however, don't blame us if your parents freak out!

Buy it at ASOS for $6.47

Explicit Clothing

Okay, assuming you've got some brains up there, you should know that you should never wear anything that incites hate or violence against any group of people, right? Right. Well, that won't stop you from, say, wearing a top with a curse word on it, or rocking a marijuana leaf necklace (...I mean, if you must), or wearing some cute middle finger socks like the ones shown. Just remember to use your freedom wisely.

Buy it at Dolls Kill for $12

What are you most excited to wear in college? If you’re already in college/finished college, did you often wear clothes that you wouldn’t have been able to wear in high school? Tell us in the comments!

You can follow the author, Ashley Reese, on Twitter or Instagram. Don’t worry, she doesn’t bite!

6 Things You Did In High School That You Need To Stop Doing In College

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