20 Wardrobe Essentials Every College Girl Must Own

college accessories

The college season is around the corner. And I already started working on upgrading my college wardrobe collection. This college wardrobe essentials checklist is all about outfits that look cozy and chic. At the same time, these are super comfortable pieces you can feel cozy wearing.

1: Black Pants

You could style black pants for both attending classes and rocking your internships. This versatile piece that will last you forever! It’s not easy to find a pair of perfectly cut black trousers though. So if you happen to find the one, I recommend purchasing a few backup pieces. That way, you always have a new pair to wear next time you have “I have nothing to wear” dilemma.

SHOP: I recommend investing in a good pair of black pants. Look for cotton with a hint of lycra for stretch. Shopbop and Nordstrom always have good options.

2: Striped Top

Having a few neutral tops is always a great idea, but none of the solid tops could compare with stripe ones. There is something chic and stylish about striped tops. Not to mention that striped print is one of the trendiest this season. It’s up to you which color of the stripes to pick. Black, red, blue, or colorful? But you definitely could use at least one of such classic college wardrobe pieces.

SHOP: My approach is not to spend too much on tops. So check out Target and Forever 21 for cute and cozy options.

3: 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. A lovely cashmere cardigan is neutral enough to pair with any dress or pant outfit you pulled that day. A good quality cashmere piece will last you for years. So choose wisely and take great care of your cozy cashmere cardigan.

SHOP: I’ve been loving Bloomingdale’s cashmere that is more affordable than many designer brands. Check out also cashmere offerings by H&M.

4: Sweatshirt

It’s only recently when I started wearing sweatshirts and I can’t get enough of this super comfy top style. Picking a college-appropriate sweatshirt, I’d stay away from slogan sweat-shirt options. Stick to neutral shades and models as these will last you longer.

SHOP: Love — love — love sweatshirts by Wildfox! Also, American Eagle has a very comfy sweatshirt style in pastel colors.

5: White Jeans

I’m the biggest fan of wearing white pants all year long. It’s such an easy and chic looking piece that works well with a cold season wardrobe too. I love styling white jeans with contrasting shoes and bags. That trick adds some extra edginess to my overall casual and neutral look.

SHOP: I’ve repurchased many times white jeans by J.Brand. I can’t recommend them enough!

6: 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 your essentials. It will also evenly distribute the weight on your shoulders. So regardless of how much stuff you brought with you, you will not hurt your back.

SHOP: Herschel backpacks are the way to go. These are affordable, fun, and come in many trendy prints.

7: Liquid Leggings

FYI, “liquid leggings” is a new type of stretchy pants suitable both for the gym and more formal occasions. Liquid leggings look chic and not too casual and, what’s the most important, they look great on any body type. Pick a pair for yourself and realize how different these feel and look compared to many other styles.

SHOP: The one and only brand of liquid leggings I recommend are Spanx. These look fantastic! All fashion bloggers are raving about them for a reason.

8: Corset T-Shirt Dress

Ever since Kylie Jenner wore that type of dress on Instagram, I immediately picked one for myself. 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. These still look traditional enough so you don’t show too much skin.

SHOP: So many good options out there! Check out Boohoo and ASOS.

9: Casual LBD

This piece of clothing doesn’t need an explanation. A little black dress is perfect for any figure type and any occasion. I recommend midi length dresses that you could style with a cardigan or a blazer throughout the year. Spice things up with different accessories – and your LBD always look like new.

SHOP: Check out And Other Stories — they always have the best dress options!

checklist college wardrobe essentials

10: 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.

SHOP: I’m the biggest fan of Puma sneakers. Especially pink ones!

11: Lace-Up Flats

That type of flat shoe looks a bit more sophisticated than your typical ballerina shoe. It’s still versatile and comfortable to wear option though! Consider picking a pair of lace-up flats for college. Especially if you love styling flats with pants. Such combo looks so effortlessly stylish.

SHOP: I love a good Kurt Geiger flat — these are the comfiest!

12: Riding Boots

The most comfortable and stylish cold season shoe option is mid-calf riding boots. 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.

SHOP: Cole Haan is the way to go! It’s on the expensive side, but you can’t beat the comfort level!

13: Oversized Scarf

Not only it’s a stylish accessory that brightens up a casual outfit, but it’s also essential. Classrooms tend to have an 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.

SHOP: I always pick my scarves at Nordstrom Rack or Saks OFF 5TH. They often have designer scarves on sale.

14: Long Vest

When it comes to layering, vests are 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. Put on pants or jeans and a sweater combo. And there you have it: new and such a stylish outfit.

SHOP: These are hard to find but COS always has a few cute options.

15: Flannel Shirt

There is nothing cozier than a cute flannel shirt combined with an oversized scarf and your favorite skinny pants. Such an 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!

SHOP: American Eagle has the softest and coziest options.

16: Blazer

If the majority of your wardrobe consists of cute dresses, having a few stylish blazers will help you to 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.

SHOP: While there are a lot of cute options at Zara, there is no better fitting brand of blazers than Veronica Beard. It’s expensive but it will last you forever.

17: 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. The more long-sleeve tops you own, the more college-appropriate outfits you could put together.

SHOP: Anywhere and everywhere! But especially, at Madewell.

18: Duster Coat

For colder months I prefer duster coats over jackets and wool coats. Usually, duster coats are lighter which means you could 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 in class and still feel comfortable while taking notes.

SHOP: For a classy style, check out the Banana Republic. For a more hip option — Everlane.

19: 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. You could wear them with all sorts of shirts and blouses underneath to create stylish looks. My favorite way to style cotton sweaters is to wear them with simple T-shirt dresses. Combined together, these pieces create a chic college-appropriate look.

SHOP: Gap and Old Navy have soft and affordable cotton sweater options.

20: Watch

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. Long story short: if you are a college student, you need an actual watch.

SHOP: Think Kate Spade. These are not very expensive but super cute!

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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!

20 Wardrobe Essentials Every College Girl Must Own