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!

* * * * *

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

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  1. Deal Man wrote:

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

    Posted 8.27.17
  2. Jessie Li (4evajessie) wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.21.17
  3. 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.

    Posted 8.17.17
  4. Zahra wrote:

    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!

    Posted 8.17.17
  5. jacqueline wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.17.17
  6. Sofia N wrote:

    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!


    Posted 8.16.17
  7. 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

    Posted 8.16.17
  8. 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

    Posted 8.16.17
  9. Lana Luu wrote:

    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.


    Posted 8.16.17
  10. Sheree wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.16.17
  11. Jill Wright wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.15.17
  12. 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

    Posted 8.15.17
  13. Marcy Yu wrote:

    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.


    Posted 8.15.17
  14. Melbourneyum wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.15.17
  15. Gina Diaz wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.14.17
  16. 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.

    Posted 8.14.17
  17. Ursula Ball wrote:

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



    Posted 8.14.17
  18. Christine wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.11.17
  19. Candace wrote:

    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!


    Posted 8.10.17
  20. Great wardrobe essentials.

    Fashion by Vaida Instagram

    Posted 8.9.17
  21. Michelle Gil Santini wrote:

    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

    Posted 8.9.17
  22. Lotte Han wrote:

    These are such great essentials, thanks for sharing!

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

    Posted 8.9.17
  23. Hannah wrote:

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

    Hannah | luxuryblush

    Posted 8.9.17
  24. Dressed With Soul wrote:

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

    Posted 8.9.17