How to dress for college visits?

Visiting colleges is an exciting step to envision yourself where you will want to be in the next four years as a college student. Viewing pictures and reading blogs can’t beat the real deal.

A typical college visit consists of an informational session with an admission representative followed by a campus tour. Most campus tours are led by a current student at the college and can last between 45 minutes to one hour long.

As you begin to visit colleges, the first question many students and families ask is, “How should I dress for a college visit?”. We can assist you so you can enjoy seeing the college environment while feeling as comfortable as possible.

How to dress for college visits?

Prepare for the Weather

Colleges offer college visits all year long – summer breaks, winter breaks, spring breaks, and the rest of the semester or quarter. Regardless of when you visit the campus, college admission consultants highly recommend families pack according to the weather. If you visit a college during the snowy months, dress warmly in the appropriate winter gear, mainly if you are not used to cold temperatures. Suppose you visit during the rainy season, pack and bring an umbrella (or two) and the appropriate rain gear. If you visit during the summer, wear light-layered clothing, so you do not overheat – also, don’t forget to bring a water bottle to hydrate.

When in doubt, college admissions consultants would recommend families check the weather forecast the week before so they can pack appropriately.

Dress Attire


Ivy league consultants highly recommend students, parents, and other guests not overdress for a college visit. Admission counselors understand families and students want to make a great first impression on admission staff, but it is all about comfort and showing lots of confidence. Since college visits are more informal, be reassured that dressing casually is okay. For the student, wearing a pair of your favorite jeans with a t-shirt is encouraged. If the student has a crew neck or shirt with the university’s name and a comfortable pair of jeans, that is great. However, consultants highly discourage students from wearing any appeal with inappropriate graphic images, curse words, or offensive words or images.

For parents, you are not required to dress professionally – meaning you are not obligated to wear a suit and tie or a business suit or business dress. You do not want to stand out in the middle of the crowd and have all the attention around you. College admission consultants encourage parents to wear an outfit they feel comfortable in but also with style. The same advice follows for parents: do not wear any appeal with any inappropriate graphic images, curse words, or any word or image that may be offensive (including any political statements).


College admission consultants highly recommend not wearing heels during a college visit for females. You will walk for extended periods during the campus tour, and there will be no break to rest for the majority of the time. If you are used to wearing heels and can withstand walking for an extended period, we recommend taking an extra pair of shoes like flats or sneakers with you in case your feet get sore in the middle of the campus tour.

For males, college admissions counselors recommend wearing shoes you are most comfortable with – sneakers, loafers, and boots, to name a few. Please do not wear dress shoes as they are typically not comfortable. You will be walking for an extended period, and you do not want to feel pain or have your feet swelling the rest of the day.

Other Items to Consider

When preparing for a college visit, college admission consultants encourage students and parents to be ready for any unpredictable moment. The day of the visit is often supposed to be a high of 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.4 degrees Celsius), and suddenly, it is raining all day long. You are encouraged to bring the following for your next college visit:

  • Extra pairs of socks
  • Sunglasses
  • Bottle of water to stay hydrated
  • Sunscreen to protect against UVA/UBA rays
  • Extra pair of comfortable shoes or boots
  • An extra comfortable outfit
  • A hair tie or scrunchie for your hair
  • Extra pair of gloves/scarf/earmuffs if you are visiting when there is snow

Solomon Admissions is Here to Assist

Whether it is your first time visiting a college or your tenth time, it is an exciting and thrilling moment for your child or children as they are ready for the next chapter of their lives. Solomon Admission Consulting provides exceptional knowledge and guidance to assist families and students in navigating the college process. If you have any questions or would like to inquire more, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

All of our blog posts are written by Former College Admission Officers who serve as members of our admission consultant team.

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