Incoming college students, with the summer excitement dying down and the back to school ads popping up, it’s time to start thinking about your college wardrobe. As an incoming college junior, I’ve been in your shoes. I had no idea what clothing items to bring, buy, or simply toss out when I was preparing for the big transition into college. Unfortunately, I didn’t have a guide like this one to point me in the right direction and a lot of my high school wardrobe traveled with me to my first year of college. A college wardrobe is much different than a high school wardrobe. You’re older now, more mature, facing the world on your own and you’ve got to have the right wardrobe to go along with it all. You’re going to need functional pieces for daily wear to class; especially depending on your college location’s climate. You’re going to need basics, and business casual pieces, night-life pieces, game day pieces, and more. To ease your anxiety on the stressful transition from high school to college, I have compiled my tips and tricks for how to update your wardrobe for college.
Tip 1: Define your personal style
Is your personal style more preppy? Laid back? Sporty? Romantic? Bohemian? What pieces in your closet do you tend to gravitate towards and which pieces do you hardly ever wear? Decide which style expresses your personality and which pieces you prefer over others. This will help you narrow down your closet and purchase more items that you love and will wear often.
Tip 2: Keep in mind WHERE you’ll be attending college
I attend college in the Midwest. If you’ve ever been to the Midwest you would know that it can rain, snow, and reach up to 70 degrees all in a matter of a few hours. I had to come to college prepared. If you’re attending a college in a warmer climate, don’t select pieces that are heavy or fabrics that don’t breath well. If you’re attending a college in a cooler or wetter climate don’t select pieces that are too light or fabrics that will hold water. That tank top may be cute now but will it still be cute in a foot of snow? Probably not.
Tip 3: Stick to the basics; trends go out of style
Graduate from fad clothing when you graduate from high school. Going to college means becoming an adult. Investing your money into pieces that will still be in style for years to come is going to save you a lot of time and money. Trends come and go. Basics will always be in. Buying only what’s trendy will leave you with an out of style wardrobe and an empty bank account.
Tip 4: Buy solid, simple pieces
Sticking to pieces that are solid colors and aren’t too busy will allow you to mix and match your wardrobe with endless possibilities. Having a general color scheme will save you time and effort when putting outfits together and you’ll find yourself saying “I have nothing to wear!” less and less.
Tip 5: Quality over quantity
It’s important to invest in clothing that you’ll wear for years to come. An item may seem a little pricey now, but after buying the same cheaper item repeatedly, you’ll wish you had saved your money and just bought the pricier item to begin with. This is especially important for items such as shoes. Invest money in your footwear. Footwear wears out fast, so spend the extra dollars and get shoes that are perfect for your lifestyle and won’t wear out so quickly. Purchasing quality items will always pay off in the long run.
Tip 6: Ditch the high school memorabilia
Trust me, nobody in college cares if you were on the varsity cheerleading team or that your basketball team won state two years ago. Those are awesome high school accomplishments; however, it’s time to let the past lay where it may. Wearing your old high school t-shirts and hoodies with logos splashed across the chest is fine when you’re just hanging out at home or having a lazy day with friends but not when you’re out and about. If you’re a t-shirt lover like many of my friends are, your school and organizations you’re a part of are going to hand out more free t-shirts than you can ever imagine. Sport your current school’s logos, not your former school’s.
I hope this article was helpful for you. Especially if you’re an incoming freshman this fall. I wish I had had a style guide when I was packing for college. It would’ve saved me a lot of time and effort while I was trying to cram my whole high school wardrobe into a small closet that I shared with three other girls. What a mess!
If you liked this blog post be sure to share it with all of your friends and comment below what you’ll be bringing with you to college this fall. I certainly know what I’ll be bringing. Also, check back next week for another weekly blog post!