College Wardrobe Essentials

Hi! While this post still rings true, check out my updated 2021 version here

When you’ve never been to college before, it can be daunting to figure out what clothes you will need. While everyone has a different sense of style, here’s my recommendations on the clothing items every college girl should have in their wardrobe.

(disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links from which I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you)

1. Black Jeans

Black jeans are probably one of the most versatile clothing items you can have. You can wear them to class or you can dress them up for going out or nice dinners with friends.

2. Sneakers

Sneakers are a super important thing to bring with you to college because of the comfort they bring. When you walk to class everyday, it is important that you are comfortable. Additionally, if you ever go to the campus gym or simply on a walk with friends, sneakers will be helpful there. Personally, I am a huge fan of vans because they look good with almost everything.

3. Dressy Outfit

You really only need one dressy outfit with you at college. This is super important when it comes to internship interviews, career fairs, or any important presentations. Try to pick something that won’t easily wrinkle, and that will work in all seasons.

4. Dressy Shoes

Along with a dressy outfit you will want at least one pair of dressy shoes. While I recommend a pair of nude heels, you can also go with a nice pair of flats if they aren’t your thing. You’ll want nice shoes to go with your dressy outfit, out on dates, to certain parties/campus events.

5. Jeans

Jeans are a great item to have because you can pretty much wear them in every situation. To class, to work, to games, and going out. You will probably want to bring multiple pairs, depending on how frequently you wear jeans and ripped ones if you plan on wear jeans to go out.

6. Leggings

(if you want to see more amazon activewear recommendations click here)

Leggings are one of the best items to bring to college because not only are they incredibly comfortable, but also because they look nicer than sweatpants do. Plus you can always layer them under jeans if you go to school in a super cold climate. My all time favorites are these from lululemon but for a good quality cheaper version I like these and these.

7. Rain Coat

Regardless of where you go to college, it is going to rain at some point. And the absolute worst thing is having to walk to class in the rain, get soaked, and then have to awkwardly sit in class when you’re soaked. While an umbrella can be helpful in lighter rain, it the wind is bad or its really pouring, it just wont protect you the same way a rain coat will.

8. Collegiate Wear

When you go to campus events (particularly sporting events) you will want to have plenty of gear with your campuses mascot/team on it. If you go to a school with a big football team, it is likely that you’ll want plenty of cute items to wear as well. Many times these can be found at places like PINK or even DIYed from thrift store shirts.

Additionally, if you know you’re someone who will want to go out frequently, it can be worth it to make sure one of these items is a jersey as this is a popular party theme.

9. Costume Items

This one is only relevant if you intend to be in greek life or to go out/to parties. Many times parties and mixers will have themes to them and it can help to bring some items if you already own them. Good choices are things like windbreakers, scrunchies, headbands, jerseys and more.

10. T-Shirts

If you’re not the type to dress up for class, having some nice (probably oversized) t-shirts are an essential. You can go for something more like a fashionable graphic tee or go with something more along the lines of comfort colors/hanes style basic t-shirts. They can be worn with pretty much any bottom. You can wear them to class, to workout, and to sleep, making them super versatile.

If you are going off to school somewhere that gets cold in the winter, check out my post here about winter related essentials.

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