Clothing Advice for College

Top 3 Clothing Advice for College

For students graduating high school and getting ready to start their first year of college, this occasion is such a fun and exciting time. For the ones leaving home or out of state, it’s the big moment you have been waiting for —  the chance to have your own place and be independent while you get the education you need for your dream career. As you prepare to move into your dorm or apartment, you may be having a hard time deciding on shopping for back-to-school clothes that are appropriate for college, including what to take and what to leave behind. 

If you have already toured your dorm room, you may be very aware of how small the space is. Therefore, you have to be very careful about only bringing the essentials that you’ll have room for. This may be hard for the fashionista who needs options and accessories of all sorts. Since college is a whole different ball game, and some of our team members have been through the college experience themselves, here are a few tips on some must-have items (and others you can live without) to make packing and college life easier and more organized. 

What clothes should you pack for college?

Keep it minimal. The less time you spend deciding on an outfit, the more time you have to grab some breakfast and make it to class on time walking across a large campus. Besides, unlike high school, no one is paying attention to what your outfit of the day is in a big university. Classes for the most part are held in auditorium-size rooms that have at least 150 students. You will most likely finish a whole semester with these peers and not recognize them. So, we’ve curated a list on what to pack for your first year of college.

  • Jeans. A week’s worth of good jeans is a must. Not only can you mix and match to make a new outfit between laundry days, but they also don’t take much effort to style. Straight leg jeans are the most popular style right now so we recommend packing a few pairs. Guys, you’ll want to pack a few men’s jeans too in a few washes so that you can mix and match them with crewnecks and hoodies.
  • Loungewear. Some mornings will be more rough than others. Either because you didn’t get enough sleep studying all night for your exams or you accidentally slept in by hitting snooze one too many times on your alarm. Nothing feels better than throwing on a pair of leggings or men’s sweatpants, a college sweatshirt or a comfy hoodie, and a hat so you can skip doing your hair. How many of each? You should bring at least four to five pairs of lounge pants and about five hoodies. As the semester progresses into the fall, you’ll be looking at winter and both hoodies and sweaters will come in handy if worn over a top alone or layered under a winter coat. You’ll need them especially if you’ll be doing a lot of walking on campus from class to class.
  • Outerwear. Again, keeping in mind that the beginning of the fall semester will technically still be summer, you’ll want to take one lightweight jacket as the weather turns, such as a denim jacket and a cardigan. You’ll need a heavier one especially if you're expecting snow. Down coats are perfect for keeping warm all winter long so you’ll just need one of these. If you’ll be attending school in the northeast, winters can get pretty brutal so make sure to take a few pairs of winter accessories, such as gloves, beanies and scarves. If you’ll be attending school in the northwest, you’ll be experiencing a lot of rain instead of snow, so it may be a good idea to bring a raincoat and a pair of rain boots.
  • Sleepwear. We recommend bringing five sets of flannel pajamas that you can mix and match. Guys, you should also bring a few pairs of men’s pajama pants and shirts to sleep in. When the temperature drops during the winter, having a few pairs of socks and slippers to lounge in at home makes a world of difference. 
  • Weekend clothes. Because every student gets to experience college life by attending parties, dates or hanging outside of campus with new friends, you’ll want to have a few dressier options. Depending on your taste, this can include a couple pairs of dresses and skirts for women, blazers or trendier clothes for both men and women. Bring six going-out outfits that you can also mix and match with accessories.
  • Comfy shoes. I think we can all agree that sneakers are a must on-campus, especially if you’re walking from one end to the other for class. We recommend three pairs: a white pair, a black pair and a pair in multicolor. Outside of campus, you’ll need some going-out shoes. For women, this may include a couple pairs of heels and a going-out purse. For guys, this can be a more expensive pair of trendier sneakers. Having a few options for the weekend is more than enough especially if you’ll be going home for the holidays. You can always bring more clothes or swap them out during that time if you need to. 

How should you pack clothes for college?

In movies, you’ll see parents loading up a car full of boxes. However, that’s a lot more work once you get on campus. For space-saving storage, pack your clothes in airtight, reusable bags so that you can store them when you’re done unpacking instead of having huge boxes in your way. Once you get to your dorm, you’ll want to invest in shoe and clothes racks that you can hang stuff on. Storage bags are a great way to keep your bedding and towels clean and stored wherever you need them in your room. 

How does your clothing change from semester to semester?

As previously mentioned, the fall semester will start warm and get cold, while the spring semester will start off cold and get warm. In the checklist above we have you covered for all seasons, except tops. We recommend that you bring at least ten short-sleeve tops that you can wear during the warmer months and use as an underlayer during the colder months. You should also bring eight to ten long-sleeve tops that you can put under sweaters and hoodies during the cold months. 

A common question that comes up is whether or not you should hang or fold clothes? This depends on the space you have in your dorm or apartment. If you have a dresser that will fit some clothes, then we say all foldable clothing should be stored there. If you don’t have a dresser or have limited storage space in your dresser, then you should put all intimates and sleepwear in the dresser. Everything else you can hang, and use an extra rack if you run out of space. 

Keep in mind that some dorms will provide hangers and other small items while others will prohibit you from bringing in certain storage items. Be sure to check ahead of time on items that are both allowed and not allowed. 

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