Two Designers Attempt To Save College Students From Freshman-Year Outfit Regret

Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
Remember how much you stressed over the clothes that you’d bring with you to college? How much energy you expended into figuring out perfect outfit combinations, whether certain trends looked cool or lame, and if you could get away with wearing heels to class. But then — then! — do you remember what happened afterward? Despite your best efforts, your entire first year’s wardrobe consisted of sweats to class and a rotating collection of “going-out” tops, with a black bandage skirt for parties. You know there’s a reason you went on an untagging spree with all those photos from that era, and outfit regret ranks high on that list.
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Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
But it didn’t have to be that way, and two ladies who experienced a similar sort of remorse had a chance to right those wrongs. Chrissie Miller and Madeleine von Froomer, from the much-loved but now defunct label Sophomore, have always been casual dressers (says von Froomer, “I definitely slept in my clothes in college”), but they think that dressing better in your freshman year doesn’t have to mean giving up the contents of your “sleep drawer,” as Miller calls it. “It looks messy,” she acknowledged. “Madeleine and I wanted to fix this problem and make loungewear that looks chic.”
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
The women started CXM, and recently teamed up with Urban Outfitters on a collection of separates for back-to-school season (and beyond). Athleisure and pajama dressing are bona fide trends these days, so there are fewer taboos associated with public displays of coziness, but the collection is so slick-looking you can barely call them sweats. For example, take their version of sweatpants, an item that’s become a punch line in jokes about collegiate slobbery: “I think there’s lots of hope for a better sweatpants — [the current stereotype is] it’s all the same dumpy shape and boring gym-class fabric," says von Froomer. "We did a sweat version of men’s long underwear, tailored for women, in a washed French terry.”
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
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These clothes are sexy, too, which is a quite a feat. Says von Froomer, “The vibe for the first year in college is always to not try too hard…sexy, but not overtly feminine. Casual, but the right balance of sloppy and tailored. Our clothes let you be you. They don’t dominate your look. You can make it your own.” And during a time in your life when you wear a million different proverbial hats and try out a million different roles, personalities, identities, and hobbies, that kind of flexibility is crucial.

The collection launches next Monday, July 27, on Urban Outfitters.
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.
Photo: Courtesy of Urban Outfitters.