For students with lectures, exams, papers and a host of other time-sucking activities, where should fashion rate on the importance scale? Should personal appearance be an issue worth worrying about?

According to LSA sophomore Stefanie Rubinstein and Business sophomore Zoe Baris, the way you present yourself may be just as essential as your other qualifications when it’s time for that all-important interview or the first day of a brand new internship. It can even be a factor in how professors consider in determining a student’s credibility — not anything to scoff over when the time comes to ask for a letter of recommendation.

“You are your personal brand,” Baris said. “So, what you wear to an interview, what you wear to class, even what you wear out to a quick lunch or something, you are seen and that is how people perceive you.”

“I don’t want to raise my hand in a class if I feel like I look like a schlup,” Rubinstein added. “You want to project yourself as a good image.”

Rubinstein and Baris teamed up this past summer to produce their own fashion blog, The Chic Classmate. Filled with clever tips — winterwear under 50 dollars, must-have accessories, the chicest backpacks — and photographic inspiration from the runways to the Diag, the blog takes an inside look at the street style here on campus.

“When average people put themselves together, it’s not like they have a stylist,” Rubinstein said. “They are going on their own to put together something amazing and they aren’t even thinking about the fact that people are looking at them.”

Recently reaching its 100th post, The Chic Classmate covers all things broadly defined as “stylish,” — including posts on haute couture designers such as Chanel or Versace — while also trimming the focus to view fashion through the lens of the average college student. In their Model Student posts, they highlight “ordinary students who are doing extraordinary things around campus.”

Another student blogger, LSA junior Nikki Williams, is the University of Michigan correspondent for the website Her Campus is tailored specifically to college-age women and has specific sites for over 100 college campuses across the United States. Each individual campus site is a primarily student-run venture, allowing the student correspondents to get an in-depth feel for what the online magazine industry is all about.

The Michigan site is structured simply — it lets the content do the talking and is chock-full of Ann Arbor-inspired goodness. Williams contributes with her own fashion blog, taking an insider look at the up-to-the-minute trends — all-white, sailor stripes, ’70s-inspired — breaking out on campus and educating the site’s visitors on how to fill their closets, rock the latest burgeoning craze or start one of their own.

“For my personal fashion blog, I just write about what I like,” Williams said. “My blog today actually ran about fur trends and how to wear fur in a classy way. So, a lot of it is just what I’m seeing as a trend.”

These blogs are a means for University students to exercise their ingenuity a bit and work outside the oft-rigid guidelines of their own particular avenues of study, which include economics, business and communications.

“This is something that — surprisingly for me, because I didn’t expect this — has become a priority,” Rubinstein said. “I love that this is a way we can still be involved with fashion and things that are creative because you don’t always get that opportunity.”

College students go through many of the same fashion struggles, a necessary evil when students are suddenly faced with the real world. Blogs like The Chic Classmate and Her Campus keep fashion and personal style from becoming another burden to add to an ever-growing list.

The goals of these ventures are to provide a place for University students — those behind the scenes and in front of the screens — to find the time to actually enjoy themselves: to share the personal with the public and to take a moment from a busy schedule to revel in the creative.

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