The clothes that you wear make a statement about who you are. If you're wearing pajamas and a sweatshirt while studying at the library, the statement made is that you're an exhausted college student. If you're wearing a smart suit and some polished shoes, you're a capable young person ready to take on the professional world. There are many sides of yourself that you'll need to convey in college, and you need to have the clothes to show all of them.
1. A Button-Down Shirt
This is a piece that goes for both guys and girls. Button-downs are extremely important for any situation in which you want to make a good impression. They can be dressed down for "business casual," or worn with a suit or skirt to be more formal. It's really the shirt you wear to act like an adult. But it doesn't have to be a boring white one — having a pattern or bright color could make you stand out from all the other button-downs (though don't stray into tropical print territory).
2. A Blazer
Again, this one is for any genders. Much like the button-down, a blazer is the kind of clothing that screams "power move." It really can make you feel more confident and capable just by looking the part. And, also like the button-down, you don't have to stick to boring black or navy. Just make sure to get a color or pattern that is versatile and can be paired well with everything in your meager collection of professional attire.
Every college student's best friend. Ideal for going straight from bed to an 8 a.m. class or pulling late hours in the library, sweatpants are pretty much the closest thing to wearing pajamas in public. Sometimes, you just don't care about looking put-together. We all have those days. And no one wants to be uncomfortable when they're doing homework. It's a painful enough ordeal already. If you really aren't comfortable with looking so relaxed, go for sweats with a darker color and slimmer fit.
This may seem like an obvious thing, but bear with me. I don't just mean any pair of jeans. Think of this pair of jeans as your "family dinner" jeans. That is, a pair of jeans that won't invite an onslaught of jokes from your relatives about how they're ripped or faded. Get a pair of dark-wash, neat jeans that you can dress up or down relatively easily. Ripped jeans can't be worn to a party and work, but these can.
5. A Sweater or Sweatshirt
Even if you live in the hottest place in the world, every college has that one building or room that is always freezing. Having something warm and comfy to throw on is the perfect solution, and also pairs well with sweatpants to go for the ultimate comfy outfit for studying (or sleeping). Bonus points if the sweatshirt has your school on it.
6. Party Clothes
Yes, an extremely vague item, but also an extremely important one. You've got every other type of clothing covered: everyday, professional and comfy. Party clothes are the special few items that you whip out only after the sun has gone down. Make them fun, but most importantly, make them things that you feel confident in. Every party and social event is more fun when you're feeling good about yourself.
7. Fuzzy Socks
I think that the versatility of fuzzy socks often goes overlooked. They turn Birkenstocks into winter shoes, can be worn under boots or sneakers in the coldest weather and make any moment feel just a little bit cozier. They're a small thing that can bring a lot of cheer into your day. I would suggest choosing colorful ones to complete the effect.
For some reason, a lot of us seem to not feel the need for a raincoat in high school. College is different. You might be in a new place with wetter weather, or you might just have a campus that forces you to be exposed to the elements when going from place to place. A raincoat is a staple item because it protects every other article of clothing that has been on this list. It won't make a good impression to show up to work with your clothes sopping wet, and studying is not made easier by moisture.
You have to be a lot of different people in college. Having clothes to suit every side of your developing self is a priority, and will make a lot of things along the way easier. But don't feel like you have to fit into a mold with each of these suggestions. Get clothes that suit your personality and that you feel good in so you can go out and conquer everything that needs conquering.
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