So. I’ve been thinking that when many people go to college, they really aren’t aware of what clothing clothing is absolutely essential. Unless you plan on wearing sweatpants to class every day (please don’t), there are some things that every college student should have in order to look put-together and professional. These are all pieces that you can buy at any price point, as well.
1. Rain Boots
I am SO GLAD I purchased a pair of Hunter rainboots before I left for school. As my friends could probably tell you, I wear mine pretty much ever day. If you get the insole socks to go with them, they can double as winter boots. You can buy rain boots for as low as twenty dollars or as high as two hundred. Plus, getting them in a fun color or pattern can really add some cheer to a gloomy day.
2. A “Fracket”
Aka, a frat jacket. Basically, a cheap jacket that you can wear out that can get lost/spilled on without any repercussions. Don’t underestimate how important this is. You can find frackets anywhere, but don’t spend more than 30 dollars on one, max. My advice would be to get one with a distinctive lining/some sort of pattern so you can discern it from the mound of cheap moto jackets piled on the stairs.
When the weather is nice, ballet flats are my favorite shoes to wear out and about. To classes, rehearsals, hanging out with friends, etc. They are effortlessly girly and timeless. I wear them with jeans, shorts, dresses, skirts, you name it. Definitely stock up on them in a few different colors!
4. Button-Down shirts.
Button downs have always been a “Preppy essential”, but they are absolutely necessary for any college girl wardrobe. Don’t know what to wear to class? Just throw on dark jeans and a button-down and you’re good to go! If you had to pick only one color, I would say go with white or light blue. However, plaid, madras, pinstriped, polka-dotted, and more can add visual interest and fun to this overwise basic piece.
5. Nice, dark-wash jeans
The days of distressed and faded jeans are OVER. In college, you should start trying to cultivate a more mature look. Dark wash jeans are inherently more dressy than light was, and I promise you they will ALWAYS look better.
6. LBD (Or any solid color dress)
I’m a huge advocate of the LBD for going out, but really any solid color for a simply-cut minidress will do. These dresses are blank canvases for accessories and jewlery, and can be worn in numerous ways. H&M is a great place to find these. As a rule, I tend to favor fit-and-flare and A-Line styles rather than bodyconcious, but if that’s what you’re into, by all means go with the tighter fit.
7. Nice tops for going out.
Forever21 and many boutiques sell tons of great little tops for going out. Lace, sequins, cutouts, and the like are all super-fun party styles. Make sure that they’re not too low-cut or revealing, because you don’t want to look indecent. However, if you can find a few fun party tops before leaving for school, I suggest getting them.
Both infinity and regular styles can really boost an outfit and add a lot of visual interest with very little thought. Infinity scarves in particular are super cozy and perfect for winter!
9. Sweaters. Lots of sweaters.
Unless you go to school in a warm climate, you’re gonna need a bunch of comfy sweaters to get you through a harsh winter. I personally prefer loose-fitting and cable-knit varieties.
At some point in your college career, you’re going to be asked to dress “business casual” for some kind of event. For example, many sororities make their members dress in this manner for chapter meetings. I’m in a music ensemble and we recently had to dress business casual for a rehearsal. Blazers are the easiest way to do this. They are also just super sleek and fashionable in general. Don’t be afraid to branch out into brighter, more fun colors as well. They add structure and polish to an outfit and are definitely the keystone of any professional wardrobe.
11. Solid skirts
I hate pants. Therefore, solid-color skirts are my bottom of choice when the temperature is above twenty degrees. They are so easy to pair with basically any top and accessory. My personal favorites are the J.Crew city mini and the Madewell Bistro skirt.
We all own black opaque tights, but why not take a note from “Queen B” Blair Waldorf and kick it up a notch with fun patterns and colors? Look for mid-priced and department store brands to ensure quality. Don’t even be scared to wear bright tights with an equally colorful dress, it will have an adorable mod, color-blocked feel, and you will definitely not go unnoticed by anyone.
13. A parka/winter wear.
I didn’t think I needed a parka going into college, and I was DEAD WRONG. Even though they may not be the most fashion-forward pieces, the truth is that if you’re in a cold climate, you have to dress for it. Therefore, a long, puffy coat is your best bet for staying warm. Even though they tend to be expensive, the investment is well worth it.
14. Cute baseball caps.
Because we are all going to have bad hair days-that goes without saying. Baseball caps have come so far from their utilitarian roots- you can find them in every pattern, color, and material. I love wearing baseball caps with dresses and skirts for a feminine-meets-sporty vibe.
15. A watch that actually tells time.
Just trust me. Taking out your phone to check the time does not look mature or professional.
Other college students, what are your must-haves?