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College Fashion in a Capsule – Closet Staples You Need for College

The ultimate guide to looking cute and trendy all school year long!

By Riya Mahtani

A girl holding up and looking at a pair of blue jeans and black jeans and holding them up
Photo By: Mia Anderson

Now that the school year is in full swing, it’s time to prepare your closet for a year of fantastic fits! Whether it’s cute going-out clothes or comfy class outfits, these are the best and most affordable pieces that will enhance your college closet!

  1. Comfy (and warm) flared joggers and sweatpants: These are a super trendy loungewear staple right now that are perfect for lazy days or running errands. So many places sell these, but my favorite and most affordable ones are from Aerie, Amazon, Brandy Melville, and Offline!

  2. Some denim: a good, stylish pair of jeans: Every college girl needs a classic and casual pair of baggy jeans or 90’s style jeans for every day and a perfect pair of flared jeans for going out! My personal favorite for a night out is the Garage low-rise black flares. Blue and black denim are the best colors to match anything in your closet, but if you’re feeling adventurous, you should definitely try out some winter white!

  3. Loungewear tops: These are perfect for those lazy and casual days! Whether it’s an off-the-shoulder top, a classy square neck long sleeve, or a cute basic crop top, these will always have you looking cute and comfy! For those extra cold days, my go-to’s are the Uniqlo heat tech long sleeves and Brandy Melville thermal sweaters!

  4. The holy grail of college fashion – going out tops: Let’s be honest, you can never have too many! There are a million places to buy these, but the stores that never disappoint are Windsor, Urban Outfitters, Garage, Edikted, and Tiger Mist! If you’re looking for something super trendy, I’ve been loving the Urban Outfitters Ruffle Top, Garage Lace Shirt, and Tiger Mist Open Front Halter. For those colder nights, the Edikted Twisted Front Long Sleeve and Motel Rocks Black Lace Cardigan are perfect!

  5. Something for every occasion – party dress and formal wear: You never know when you’ll need the perfect dress for a nice event, fancy night out, or even a date night, so it’s always good to have some on deck! A classic cowl neck dress or an elegant black mini dress are perfect for formal events. For dinners and nights out with friends, you need this purple mini dress with ruffles, black lace trim dress, or simple long-sleeve dress!

  6. Stick to the skirt: Whether it’s a going-out skirt or an adorable plaid pleated skirt for the fall, here are my skirt essentials! Everyone needs a basic denim and black mini skirt, but if you want to put a cute twist on these staples, I love the Princess Polly cargo mini skirt and the Garage black maxi skirt.

  7. Comfy and cozy — essential sweaters: These big balls of wool and yarn are critical to a college wardrobe, especially here in Boston! Basic hoodies, graphic crewnecks, or trendy v-necks are perfect options for whatever you prefer! The Brandy Melville zip-up hoodie is a teenage girl staple. And for a trendier look, I love knit sweaters and quarter-zips!

  8. Cargos, cargos, cargos: These are forever my favorite pants to step up my outfits. They’re so comfortable and look great on everyone! My personal go-to’s are the Garage straight leg cargos and the Pacsun low-rise cargos, but if you’re looking for something with a wide leg, I’d go for Pacsun’s classic black cargos and off-white cargos!

  9. A fall staple — BOOTS: Sitting at the top of the fashion industry this season, they are the perfect footwear to elevate a simple look (and to give you some extra height: these adorable platform ankle boots). Steve Madden has the best classic black boots, and they have a pointed-toe pair! Western footwear is everywhere lately, so if you’re looking for affordable cowboy boots or tall brown boots, you’re in the right place! My personal take on the boots epidemic has been with these Revolve denim boots and these Amazon white gogo boots that are perfect for Halloween!

  10. Warm for the Winter: With frigid weather quickly approaching, everyone needs a few good jackets to keep them warm and looking trendy! An oversized denim jacket is an obvious staple, but these jackets are perfect to step up a going-out fit or a cool classic look! For those snowy days, a black cropped puffer or a white puffer will definitely keep you warm and cozy!

I hope you enjoyed my guide to college fashion and loved some of these pieces just as much as I do! You’re going to rock them!


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