Staple College Outfits You Can’t Be Without

Staple College Outfits You Can’t Be Without
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    College is the time for you to focus on hitting the books and getting good grades, of course.

    But it's also the place where you'll be networking with people who might impact the rest of your life!


Confidence is the key to a successful higher education experience and how you look impacts your self-esteem. You want to fit in but also stand out as your own unique individual.

It’s a tough balancing act, but you can do it with the right wardrobe. You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Make sure yours is on point with these college outfit essentials you must have in your closet.

1. The Right Jeans

Most of us have those tried and true comfy jeans that have seen us through the good times and the bad. They fit on your skinny days and your not-feeling-so-skinny days.

These jeans are loyal to you and you to them. But these are not the pants you wear around campus.The right jeans make the outfit. Your wardrobe should contain at least four pairs, each slightly different.

They should all fit well, using these basic tips as a guide:

  • The length ends at the heel of your shoe, no shorter, no longer.
  • You need them zipped to keep them up, but the zipper doesn’t require the Jaws of Life before they can close.
  • If you have to wiggle a lot while you’re walking to keep your jeans in place, they don’t fit right.
  • Saggy material in the rear or knees means it’s time to get rid of the jeans.
  • Watch for loosening seams, especially in the thigh area and your pockets. No pants are worth an accidental blowout in the middle of a crucial moment.

If you have plain jeans and they stay clean, you can probably get away with wearing them more than once a week. Switch up the top, and you’re good to go until laundry day!

2. The Basic Tee

Is there anything more versatile than a classic t-shirt? They match with just about anything to make a casual or sophisticated look.

You can’t lose with a black, navy, and a white tee to start your wardrobe. Find one with the cut you love and make sure it’s breathable.

A long-sleeve tee is perfect for cooler classrooms, or you can pair a cardigan over a short-sleeve top for a classy look. There’s nothing wrong with a graphic t-shirt.

It just doesn’t go with every outfit the way a basic style does. Rock your favorite band, but only for casual occasions.

3. A Variety of Shoes

No matter what people might tell you, there is no such thing as too many shoes. If you find a pair you love but already have two dozen at home —buy them anyway.

Of course, this is going to be limited by how much room you have. If you’re in a dorm, you might need to stick to the essentials. Shoes can complete the look you’re trying to make or destroy it.

If you can’t have a pair of shoes for every outfit, at least make sure you have these necessities:

  • A pair of black flats for added class (for women)
  • Athletic/running shoes for casual looks
  • Plain white sneakers or boat shoes for a simple yet elegant look
  • A pair of dress shoes, either black or tan
  • Slip-on shoes in warm climates

Casual sandals or sneakers can show off your personality. Go for bling or choose vibrant colors. But always have a pair of classy, simple dress shoes for more formal occasions.

4. A Professional Outfit

At some point, you’ll get the call for an important meeting with a professor, an interview, or an internship. That is not the time to be rushing around, trying to find a professional outfit.

What not to wear is as important as what you should include. Jeans are never appropriate attire when you’re trying to make an impression.

Instead, keep these components of a traditionally successful look hanging (neatly) in your closet:

  • A pair of khaki or black pants that fit well and are wrinkle-free
  • A white, black, or navy (or all three) button-up blouse or polo shirt
  • For men, a belt and a tie are must-haves
  • A dress jacket
  • Shoes that go with the outfit and are not scuffed or torn

Accessories are essential, too. You want to look like you care about your appearance without being too flashy. A simple watch works for everyone. Women can add small hoop earrings and a classic necklace.

5. A Night-Out Outfit

You’ve put your nose to the grindstone and aced all your tests.

Why not reward yourself with a night out? Sweatpants and a t-shirt aren’t going to fit in with your friends’ designer outfits.

But women can throw something together if they have these pieces in their closet:

  • A black or denim mini-skirt
  • A basic crop top
  • Leggings and a long top
  • The quintessential little black dress and tights
  • A simple clutch for money, phone, and lipstick

Men can throw together a casual but classic night-on-the-town outfit with nice jeans and a polo or classic tee. Mix and match your professional look with the everyday basics, and you’re ready to go.

other valuable tips:


Moving to college doesn’t mean you have to leave your entire life behind, but you might have to limit your wardrobe until you can do some more shopping. There’s a fine line between having just the right items to put yourself together and spending all your time deciding on an outfit for the occasion.

Load up your luggage with these staples, and you’ll always have the right thing to wear at your fingertips!

Author Bio:
Adam Marshall is a freelance writer who specializes in all things apartment organization, real estate, and college advice. He currently works with Grove at Ft. Collins to help them with their online marketing.

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Categories: Personal Advice