WTW: University Exam

WTW short for What To Wear is series of posts where I contemplate what to wear (for a specific occasion). A real shocker that one. It’s actually one of my favorite things to dream up. Welcome to the first official WTW on Very Veronique!

Outfit I wore to the Zoo in June 2012 and which basically looks like something I would wear to an exam

For a Summer Semester uni exam outfit I have four very simple guidelines:

1) is it a written or oral examination? Written means you can get away with more but in both cases the outfit shouldn’t be too extravagant. You honestly don’t want to call more attention to yourself than is necessary. Formal clothing is generally the best choice: a nice pair of trousers (not jeans!!) or a simple (and not revealing!!) dress. You don’t want to look like you’re going to a party or like you’re dressed to go walk your dog. This is an exam and the importance of the exam should be reflected in your choice of clothing.

2) what’s the weather like? You’ll be wearing something different if it’s raining or if it’s perfectly sunny and warm. This is obvious, but I thought I’d mention it just to cover all the basics. But even if it’s warm out, I always recommend layering for exams for the following reasons: you never know if the room where you’ll be taking the exam is tiny and stuffy and you’ll be too warm (and then you can simply shed some layers) or if it’s in a big auditorium and you could be freezing to death. I generally go for a dress + cardigan + scarf (+outerwear) combo.

Giving a talk in November 2009

3) how well am I prepared for the exam. Now this may seem weird but it’s definitely a factor when I get dressed. If I’m feeling particularly nervous about the exam, I want to look my best to feel the most comfortable and present myself in the most confident way possible (but not cocky, never cocky). I put in an effort with my make-up (a classical but a bit toned down cat eye plus a hint of blush, no lipstick) and I go as far as wearing “good luck” items: a favorite pair of shoes*, favorite jewelry.

I usually don’t wear new clothes that I’ve never worn before because I want to be sure that I feel good in the clothes (this also reduces possible wardrobe malfunctions) and in case the exam doesn’t go well, I don’t want the new dress to be cursed with bad mojo.  I once wore a beautiful Zara woman dress to an oral exam and it was the first time I had it on and long story short, I didn’t pass the exam (though unfairly) and since then the dress has always been “that dress that I didn’t pass my exam in”. I don’t think it would have this connotation to  it if it  hadn’t been the first time I wore the dress.

4) comfort! You want to be comfortable in your clothes because the situation in itself is rather uncomfortable. Also chances are there will be a lot of waiting involved and then sitting on those horrible wooden seats. Comfort is key. Something that won’t wrinkle too badly and you can sit in. *As for shoes I almost always wear flats. I’m on the tall side (180cm) so I don’t want to look like I’m looming over my professors. Also I generally am running late (or think I’m running late in my paranoid state of mind) so flats are really my only option.

I go for flat shoes that look nice but they don’t have to be boring. Contrary to the rest of my outfit, which I like to keep on the more simple side, I like to let my shoes have a bit more fun. I posted the following photo on my instagram and it shows some of the shoes I’m thinking of wearing…

shoe choicesI came up with 12 choices but they didn’t all fit into an instagram format collage. So here’s the slightly more detailed selection:

1- Zara glitter flats (very cute and a little bit magical), 2 – Iron Fist lace-up flats (beautiful color), 3 – Geoxx studded ballerinas (definitely a good luck shoe), 4 – Topshop slipper flats (I love the vibrant blue), 5 – Irregular Choice leopard print ballerina flats with massive flower detail (amazing shoes, if it doesn’t  rain on Friday I’ll  be taking these), 6 – Iron Fist Midnight Oxfords (they may seem a little boring at first glance but then if you look closer they have little stars all over, which I find quite sweet. Sorry you can’t see it in this photo.)

shoe selections1 – Blink mouse shoes in nude (a fun quirky shoe option), 2 – Mel for Melissa blueberry bow flats (gold shoes for luck), 3 – Melissa Milkshake flats (heart cut-outs! I really love these and can’t wait to wear them.), 4 – Dorothy Perkins pvc detail studded flats (love the color), 5 – Zara leopard print flats (fun but still a little serious), 6 – Asos leopard print shoes (these are perhaps a little too casual, but I think with the right outfit they could work even for an (written) exam, but I won’t be taking these on Friday.).

shoe options for an examI hope you enjoyed this post and wish me luck on Friday!

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