20 Wardrobe Essentials Every College Girl Must Own

This post is brought to you by eBay and Her Campus Media.

The college season is around the corner and I already started working on upgrading my college wardrobe collection. As you probably know, I rarely wear casual clothes and college is one of the places where I feel that cozy and comfy clothes are essential. Being an NYU student, I take most of my classes in the evening, after I already had a full day of bloggers events, meetings, photo shoots, and content creation. By the time I’m entering my alma mater doors, for the most of the part, I’m already exhausted so I can’t even think of wearing heels or tight dresses. Saying so, this college wardrobe essentials post created in collaboration with eBay is all about outfits that look chic and fashionable but are super comfortable at the same time.

Before we begin, a few words about why I’m partnering with eBay on this back to college post. Ever since my friend Sasha told me about all the deals that she scores on this platform all the time, I opened the account about five years ago and I’ve been finding some awesome fashion gems there too. For instance, this light pink jacket that I scored for $20 and this awesome pin-up style yellow dress that was also super affordable.

There is a stereotype that eBay is only about household goods that were previously in someone else’s possession, while in reality, 81% of all the products sold on eBay is actually new. Another one is that eBay is all about auctions where you have to play the game in order to score deals (which could be true if you decide to go that route). But statistically speaking, the majority of items (88%, to be precise) are Buy It Now suitable, which means that you can purchase them just like at any other website, i.e. no bidding necessary. In other words, if you still haven’t tried eBay I definitely recommend doing so, especially if you are looking to score some fashion deals.

From my personal experience, there are a few brands that are the best to purchase via eBay because the prices are just unreal. I recommend checking out Anthropologie dresses (that often go for up to 50% off retail price), Kate Spade bags (often times you could find bags that are sold out everywhere else except eBay), Christian Louboutin heels and Jimmy Choo sandals (I actually will be selling mine through eBay too as my feet grew and now I can’t fit my old shoes), and cashmere (particularly, Cashmere 360 and J.Crew sweaters).

Okay, now when you know all the reasons to shop for college essentials on eBay, let’s jump into 20 wardrobe essentials that in my humble opinion every college girl must own.

Black Pants // This piece is a universal wardrobe essential that you could style for both attending classes and rocking your internships and job interviews. A perfectly cut black pant is something every girl regardless the age needs in her collection as it’s a truly versatile piece that will last you forever. To find perfectly cut black trousers is not easy, so if you happen to find it I recommend purchasing a few pieces of the same model – so you always have a clean pair to wear next time you have “I have nothing to wear” dilemma.

Stripe Top // Having a good amount of nicely made neutral tops is always a great idea, but none of the solid tops could compare with stripe ones. There is something quintessentially chic and stylish about such pieces, not to mention that stripe print is one of the trendiest this season. It’s up to you which color of the stripes to pick – black, red, blue, or perhaps colorful – but you definitely could use at least one of such classic college wardrobe pieces.

Cashmere Cardigan // The temperature at college campuses is always unpredictable so layering is not only a stylish fashion move but also a necessity. My favorite fabric to style for college is cashmere. It’s soft and warm, timeless and always stylish, and also neutral enough to pair with any dress or pant outfit you pulled that day. Another important moment is that a good quality cashmere piece will last you for years – so choose wisely and take a great care of your cozy cashmere cardigan.

Sweatshirt // It’s only recently when I started wearing sweatshirts (my favorite brand is Wildfox) and I can’t get enough of this super comfy top style. Picking a college-appropriate sweatshirt I would stay away from slogan sweat-shirt options as wearing such pieces often would seem too repetitive. Stick to neutral shades and models as these will last you longer.

White Jeans // I’m the biggest fan of wearing white pants all year long as it’s such an easy and chic looking piece that works perfectly well with a cold season wardrobe too. Usually, I make sure to have at least one additional white piece in my outfit (like white stripes on my top or white flower print on my sweater) so my jeans color choice actually makes sense. Oftentimes I would style such look with contrasting shoes and bags – to add some extra edginess to my overall casual and neutral look.

Backpack // For the longest time, I used to be a spacious tote kind of girl. I would bring all the books, stationery, notebooks, and personal items and by the end of the day, my back was killing me. It was only last year when I finally learned that a stylish backpack is a way to go. A trendy backpack will fit all of your essentials while evenly distributing the weight on your shoulders so regardless how much stuff you brought with you, you will not hurt your back by carrying all of the excessive stuff.

Liquid Leggings // In case you don’t know liquid leggings is a new type of athleisure clothes that is suitable not only for the gym but also for more formal occasions. I’ve heard about these leggings first at one of my favorite podcasts and I immediately purchased a pair for myself. Liquid leggings look chic and not too casual and, what’s the most important, look great on any body type. If you haven’t already, consider picking a pair for yourself – you’ll be surprised how different these feel and look compared to many other leggings styles out there.

Casual LBD // This piece of clothing does not require much explanation: a little black dress is perfect for any figure type and any occasion. While there are various styles of LBDs that you could find on eBay, I recommend picking soft midi length dresses that you could easily style with a cardigan or a blazer throughout the year – just spice things up with different accessories and your little black dress will always look like new.

Corset T-Shirt Dress // Ever since Kylie Jenner introduced that type of dress into her wardrobe, I immediately picked one for myself as I thought it was such a great idea to upgrade your typical T-shirt dress and make it look trendier. Corset dresses work great for college as they are super casual and comfortable and still look traditional enough so you don’t show too much skin.

Sneakers // While I’m the biggest high heels proponent, for college I recommend sticking to casual shoes. Again, you are carrying so many books in your bag and walk from one college building to another – you need to stay comfortable as you go through the day. Wearing sneakers to college doesn’t always mean looking casual though – there are so many feminine and stylish options available that will match absolutely any taste in clothing.

Lace-Up Flats // That type of flat shoe looks a bit more sophisticated than your typical ballerina shoe. It’s still truly versatile and comfortable to wear option though! So definitely consider picking a pair of lace-up flats for college, especially if you love styling flats with pants – such combo looks so effortlessly stylish.

Riding Boots // Perhaps, the most comfortable and stylish cold season shoe option is mid-calf riding boots. These are a bit easier to style compared to your typical OTK boot as you don’t need to think about having the proportions right. Riding boots typically come with a comfortable low heel which makes it a perfect everyday shoe that you could wear an entire day without feeling tired.

Oversized Scarf // Not only it’s a stylish accessory that brightens up a casual outfit, but it’s also an essential. Class rooms tend to have unexpectedly cold or warm temperature so it’s always great to have a warm and cozy oversized scarf on hand. I can’t even count times when an oversized scarf saved me from freezing – oftentimes I use it as a blanket if I’m wearing a skirt and unexpectedly start getting cold. Also, my classes start in the afternoon and end late in the evening so this accessory also works as a jacket replacement.

Long Vest // Talking about layering, it’s essential to mention vests as your ultimate sweater transformers. It’s such an easy piece to pull off – just add it as an extra layer to your typical long-sleeve top and pants or jeans and a sweater combo and here comes your absolutely new and such stylish outfit.

Flannel Shirt // There is nothing cozier than a cute flannel shirt combined with an oversized scarf and your favorite skinny pants. Such outfit just screams “fall season!” and looks universally chic on everyone. Try thinking outside of the box and don’t go for just your typical red and black plaid and go for more colorful and diverse prints!

Blazer // If you like me and the majority of your wardrobe consists of cute dresses, having a few stylish blazers in your collection will help you to expand style horizons and come out with more outfit options. All you have to do is to style your favorite dress with a stylish, sleek blazer and a few accessories and you look effortlessly stylish and chic.

Long-Sleeve T-Shirts // If you are taking fall and spring semesters only, long-sleeve T-shirts will serve you better than your typical short-sleeve ones. Such style of tops looks great with all sorts of pants and skirts, it’s easy to layer with vests, cardigans, and scarves – in my humble opinion, neutral high-quality long-sleeve tops are basic pieces that you’ll get the most wear of. Color-wise, I recommend picking one black, one white, and a few muted color options like beige, light gray, and light pink – essentially, the more long-sleeve tops you own, the more college-appropriate outfits you could put together.

Duster Coat // For colder months I prefer duster coats over jackets and wool coats. Usually, duster coats are lighter which means you could easily carry them with you from one room to another. Also, they are not as bulky compared to many other outerwear pieces so if needed you could wear them at class and still feel comfortable while taking notes.

Cotton Sweater // While cashmere sweaters are always my favorites, there is nothing wrong with colorful cotton sweaters. In fact, oftentimes these are much easier to style as you could wear them with all sorts of shirts and blouses underneath to create unique and super stylish looks. My favorite way to style cotton sweaters is to wear them with simple T-shirt dresses – combined together, these pieces create a unique college-appropriate look that looks chic and feels super comfy.

Watch // I don’t know about your college, but at NYU it’s considered a bad taste to look at your phone to check the time when a professor is speaking. It’s also prohibited to use phones during the tests so if you don’t have an actual watch it’s hard to know how much time you have left until your time runs out if you don’t have an actual watch. I believe that eBay is one of the best places to shop for watches as you could find all of the Instagram famous brands for a fraction of a price. Think Daniel Wellington and Bertha Watches — you could find all of these newest models by the brands for very cheap.

That was it for my recommendation of what pieces to look for the upcoming college season. I wonder if you agree with me on any of these styling tips? If so, which one could you relate too? Please let me know in the comments! Also feel free to mention your favorite item of clothes (or, perhaps, home décor) that you ever purchased on eBay. I’d love to chat about such eBay discoveries!

  • Dressed With Soul

    Yes, this is a perfect equipment for every college girl!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • There are so many gorgeous pieces here, and I love what you’re wearing!xx

    Hannah | luxuryblush

  • These are such great essentials, thanks for sharing!

    Lotte | http://www.lottebeautybox.blogspot.co.uk

  • Michelle Gil Santini

    I pretty much agree with everything you mentioned it’s important to dress well but simple at the same time on my case I start at 8am so I usually go either blue denim, the infamous black skinny jeans or a simple black leggings always sneakers, flats or boots and usually all my shirts are either band-tee, stripes black or white. Unfortunately I rarely wear jewelry due I sometime deal with harsh chemical and safety reason in general. Ebay is a great way to shop. xo

    Michelle| http://www.brokebutflawless.com

  • Great wardrobe essentials.

    Fashion by Vaida Instagram

  • Candace

    We’re quite the opposite! Casual wear is actually my favorite to wear, haha. I wish I had style when I was in college! Believe it or not, I wore a screen print tee, jeans and flip flops every day to class. You gave some great wardrobe tips for a college student! The best thing is that it doesn’t require a lot of money to buy!


  • Christine

    I agree that college clothes should be comfy and include lots of basics but you don’t have to sacrifice style to look effortless and cool. Ebay is great to find hard to find pieces and also expensive items at a discount. I used to shop a lot on Ebay for designer things but haven’t done so in many years. But now that you bring it up, I think I will have to do some browsing again and score some shoes or bags. =). I love all your picks and I would recommend a statement jacket, some fan pair of jeans, and great pair of comfy but stylish shoes! xoxo, Christine

  • Ursula Ball

    I enjoyed reading your college fashion style guide…there are few pieces that I want still wear since I graduated college! 🙂



  • So cute! Love your BTS style! I’m a huge fan of ebay and I’ve been buying and selling there for over 20 years. I really only shop for specific items on ebay thou – I have to have already tried it on or I know the measurements because I’m so picky. But wait, your feet grew? Mine didn’t get bigger till pregnancy – then I had to rebuy my entire shoe collection. It was frustrating but I love my new shoes so much more LOL.

  • Gina Diaz

    Great picks and finds for college life. I love your selection and i think college should be a fun experience when in come to styling. It should be casual and super comfy. These pieces reminded me when I was in college myself.

    Happy Monday, beauty! xx. Gina

  • Melbourneyum

    Great picks for college girl!
    Or really for anyone as these are such important pieces for anyone’s wardrobe.
    A good backpack sneakers liquid leggings are all must have items.
    I love your outfit and you look amazing with red lips.
    eBay is fabulous I’ve bought a vintage car from there!
    Natalia k

  • Marcy Yu

    I wish I could have this guide when I was in college lol!!! Such great tips and choices babe!! You look so gorgeous in that leafs dress and pink jackets. Finally couldn’t agree more all colleges need a good backpack and white kicks.


  • These are all such must-haves for college hun! I actually used to think that Ebay was all used goods too- but I’ve found myself picking up some fab things on there that are brand new. I got the cutest Michael Kors clutch for $60!!!! This leafy dress looks amazing on you- I have actually ordered this exact one, but I dont think I’ll rock it as hot as you.

    Rachel xx

  • Jill Wright

    What a great edit of ‘must have’ wardrobe essentials. The blazer and oversized scarf are my fav go-to items. But you are so right about the back pack, tees and white jeans too. Great post! Thanks for sharing. I’m off to update my essentials!!
    J. x

  • I love that you have selected so many basics that is stylish and can be dressed up for a more elevated look. eBay is such a great place to treasure hunt if you have the time. This leafy dress is so pretty and you look so elegant in it.

    xo Sheree

  • Lana Luu

    Such a great college look you’ve created! The dress is adorable and I like the way you combine it with pink jacket and sneakers.
    I know that Ebay is a good online shop where you can buy quite everything and it really saves your money.


  • Hey Darling,
    Hows you?
    Wow what a Great College Wardrobe Essentials:)
    Your Look is Amazing, that Light pink jacket, just Gorgeous and the Cute Bag:)
    In Love with Everything Darling:)
    Perfect Look:)
    Wish you Happy Week
    Love Open Kloset By Karina

  • I totally agree with you. Ebay is such a nice place for shopping and you can really find some hidden gems there! All of the things that you’ve mentioned are already on my bucket list, haha! And I absolutely adore this look you’ve created, it’s so smart chic, I love it!

    Cheers, Eliza | http://www.fashion-confession.com

  • Sofia N

    Im such a sneaker girl and definitely thinks that sneakers, especially white ones, is something you must have. It goes with anything. A dress, jeans, skirts. Literally anything and you don’t even have to wonder if it will work out with your outfit. Bay is definitely a great place to find affordable items!


  • jacqueline

    I had no idea you were going to school and blogging. That’s so awesome girl. Love this essentials list. I feel like I could use some of these tips now. I have actually never shopped on eBay but I think I need to change that

  • Loving these recommendations! The stripy tee is definitely a go to of mine! Love the shots you’ve taken in the library.. killing the college look! With the pink jacket and white sneakers. totally agree have found some gems in the past on eBay!

  • Hey Katya,

    I hardly remember that time when I studied in college. I wish I could have this guide when I was a student. I’m totally in love with your pics hun. You are looking so stylish! I have to sign up on Ebay after reading your post. So many nice items to find over there.

  • Jessie Li (4evajessie)

    Love the wardrobe essentials you have picked girl!! They are totally essential for every single girl out there. Love that pink backpack of yours! omg, it’s so cute and I love the colour of it!!

    xx, Jessie

  • The dress is … wow. I have no words I love it