Wardrobe Essentials For Your First Year of College

So, college! You made it this far, and you’re about to embark on a whole new journey.

Okay, okay, I might sound like your parents right now. However, it’s true. College is a whole new chapter in your life where you will experience new things, meet a slew of new people, and face a whole new level of frugalness you didn’t know even existed in the first place.

Yes, you will be poor, and you will have to manage your budget carefully. Being fashionable throughout college sounds like an impossible feat, but if you spend your money wisely, you’ll probably become the most fashionable gal on campus!

The trick to pulling this off is to make sure every accessory or article of clothing you own is functional (not seasonal) and will not go out of style anytime in the next 4 years. In other words, keep it basic yet tasteful. Also, choose wisely! You don’t need that cute frilly summer dress as much as you need a winter coat.

To help you with this, I have a list of totally must-have wardrobe essentials for your first year of college. These clothes and accessories will take you through all 4 years of college while helping you look classy and adult-like (as opposed to the juvenile wardrobe you probably still have from your high school days).

Photo/credit: elfsacks.com

Photo/credit: elfsacks.com

A few nice pairs of jeans

Without jeans, you don’t have many options. Jeans are the absolute basic essentials of any girl’s wardrobe. You want to invest in a few great-quality pairs of jeans that will last you throughout college.

A pair of high heels

When you’re not studying, you should be having fun. That’s what college is all about, after all! Nothing screams “fun” more than a pair of high heels does! Whether you’re going to a fancy gathering or going out with your ladies, a pair of high heels is a must. You should invest in a black or dark brown pair.

A pair of dress pants

You never know when you’ll land a job interview or get invited to a special event on campus. You should own at least one pair of dress paints, perhaps black or dark gray ones.

Super comfy sweats

You haven’t experienced college unless you’ve donned comfortable sweats around your dorm. Grab some comfy shirts and sweatpants before heading off to college!

A hoodie

Bonus points if that hoodie is emblazoned with the name of your college on the front! A hoodie is the perfect thing to slip on when you’re cold or not feeling well.

A huge fashionable purse

With college comes many parties, weekend getaways, sleepovers, and, ahem, the need to smuggle stuff around. What better accessory to use than a huge purse that can fit your makeup, hairbrush, emergency lady products, an extra pair of shoes, a bottle of wine, and an evening cocktail dress?

Versatile pieces of jewelry

Stock up on some fashionable necklaces, earrings, rings, and bracelets that will go with pretty much any outfit. You can never go wrong with silver jewelry.

Don’t waste your money on…

Trendy articles of clothing and accessories. Know those statement sunglasses? Chevron scarves? Mustache t-shirts, hats, shorts, rings, bracelets, necklaces….? These things, along with anything else that’s trendy right now, will be so out of style in 4 years.

Expensive pieces of jewelry. Since this is your first year, it’s likely that you’re living in the dorms. You do not want to leave expensive pieces of jewelry lying around your dorm room.

Super expensive shoes. Your dorm room is the last place you should ever store your $300 Jimmy Choos. College is not the place for expensive clothes, shoes, or jewelry.

Costumes. Whether you need a costume for Halloween or a themed party, don’t splurge on one. You’ll shove it in the back of your closet and never, ever wear it again. Instead, visit the thrift store or get creative with the clothes and accessories you already have!

Is there an article of clothing or an accessory I haven’t mentioned that you think is a must-have wardrobe item to take to college? If so, sound off in the comments below!

This is an article by Anita, writer for Higher Click, writing on behalf of Macy’s.                              She is also a blogger on Anita’s life with the cats, a fashion enthusiast and a plane geek.




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