What Clothes To Bring To College (…And What To Leave At Home)


We’ve recently talked a bit about what you to buy for your college dorm room, cool stuff to decorate it and even a bit about ways to store your goodies.

What we haven’t talked about yet are what clothes to bring to college.

So, we figured now is as good a time as any and are ready to give you all the deets on how to fill that itty bitty closet in your dorm room.

Clothes to Bring to College

Here’s what you need, should probably bring and should probably leave at home! Make a list and check it twice.

College Clothing Essentials

There are some things you will need while you’re away at college that you just can’t live without. Take note of these things and make sure you make plenty of room in your boxes for them:

  • Underwear and socks: These two things are super important because no one likes cold toes or cold…well you know. Bring along lots of socks and underwear when you fly the nest towards your new on-campus digs. You want to have a surplus just in case the drier gnomes make off with your socks.
  • Weather appropriate jacket: You don’t need a parka if you’re going to school in Florida, and you won’t stay very warm with only a windbreaker if you are set to brave the cold weather of the Northeast. So, pack the right jacket for the climate you’re headed to and try to make it a neutral piece that you can wear with anything else in your wardrobe.
  • Lounge wear: Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of sweatpants?! Definitely pack some of your favorite lounge wear so you have something comfortable to kick back in after a long day of class, while studying or when hitting the on campus gym. Do try to leave the holey and ketchup stained items at home, though. You want to be comfortable without looking like you crawled out from under a dorm room bed!
  • Shoes for all occasions: You’re really not going to want to walk around campus in your bare feet. Goodness knows what’s been on some of the floors, especially the ones in the bathroom and showers! Keep this in mind when you’re packing up your shoes. Bring along a pair for nearly every occasion and an additional pair of flip-flops for the shower! Seriously, do not forget to bring shower shoes. You can thank us later for that tip!
  • Appropriate accessories: Go easy on the accessories. You don’t have a ton of space to play with in your dorm room and you’re likely to have a decent amount of stuff to store before you even start unpacking your box of accessories. That said, you will need a bag/purse or two and some hats and scarves.

>> Protect your feet with a pair of Showaflops <<

Guy’s Clothes to Bring to College

Guys, we have some bad news. You’re going to be responsible for your own laundry once you hit your campus dorm room. This means you’ll want to pack the right amount of clothes so you can avoid smelling like sweaty socks and so you don’t have to spend too much time in the laundry room.

Here’s an idea of what you’ll need while you’re hitting the books in order to look funky fresh and still have plenty of time to play Call of Duty:

  • Pants and shorts: As comfortable as it would be to run from class to class in your boxers, sadly, it’s just not an option at most colleges (okay… probably all colleges). You’ll need to bring along some pants and shorts in order to avoid getting chased by campus police. We’d bring along 2-4 pairs of each just to be on the safe side. That’s enough to keep you clothed without having to run to the laundry room every few days.
  • Shirts: Definitely stock up on polo shirt and crew/v-neck t-shirts. Pack 3 or more of each style in different colors and designs. These kinds of shirts are great to have on hand because they make it super easy to grab one and head out the door.
  • Lightweight long sleeved shirts: It’s always a good idea to have some long-sleeved shirts on hand that aren’t too thick. These shirts will come in handy during rainy, cold days and for those chilly classrooms.
  • Dress clothes: It’s true that every girl is crazy about a sharp dressed man. Look sharp and on point when necessary by bringing along some appropriate dress clothes. You don’t need much in this department, so leave the monocle and top hat at home for now. All you really need to bring in terms of dress clothes are a well tailored pair of slacks, a fitted button down shirt, a tie and possibly a jacket if you have room.
  • Hoodies: A good hoodie or two is a totally something you don’t want to leave home without. You can wear one while pulling an all night study session or while binge watching the latest season of Doctor Who.

>> Check out some comfortable hoodies here <<

Girl’s Clothes to Bring to College

A lot of us ladies love our clothes and likely have a lot them overflowing from our closets and drawers. This obsession with fashion can be a bit of an issue when trying to pack for college, though. Trying to decide which jeans or dresses to bring can feel as difficult as trying to decide which is your favorite Ryan… Are you a Ryan Gosling or Ryan Reynold’s kind of gal? It’s jst an impossible decision.

We’ll try to make your packing a bit easier now as we tell you what you should definitely bring with you to college. Write these clothing “must-have’s” down so you’re ready when it’s time to pack.

  • Jeans: Forget about diamonds being a girl’s best friend. We all know that a good pair of jeans is really a girl’s BFF. You can’t very well leave home without a few good pairs of your best fitting jeans. So, grab your favorite skinny, flair and/or boyfriend jeans, and you’re good to go in that department.
  • Dresses: It’s a good idea to bring along 1 or 2 casual dresses for the warmer months. These dresses don’t have to be anything fancy by any means. A good maxi dress or sundress will do nicely since each can be dressed up with accessories, shoes and a cardigan.
  • Basic tank tops and t-shirts: Definitely stock up on simple tank tops and t-shirts in different styles and colors. These tops are going to be staples of your wardrobe and can be paired effortlessly with any pair of jeans.
  • Cardigans: You can’t go wrong with a cardigan. They are great to have on hand for pretty much every occasion, outfit and weather. Bring along cardigans in different colors, styles, length and of varying thickness so you’re prepared for pretty much anything college can throw at you.
  • Dress clothes: Don’t go too crazy when it’s time to pack up your dress clothes. You really only need a nice pair of black slacks, crisp white button down shirt, well tailored jacket and some appropriate shoes. Feel free to add your favorite LBD if you have one and haven’t gone overboard with the packing thus far.

>> Need some basic t-shirts? Take a peek at these! <<

Clothes NOT to Bring to College

Unfortunately there’s isn’t room in your new living space to accommodate all of your beloved clothes. We know it’s a bummer, but there won’t be a ton of time to devote to your love of fashion once you’re in the thick of lectures, essays and exams, anyway. Here are a few of the things we found to be pretty unnecessary during our college days:

  • High school logo shirts: Leave your high school pride behind along with any t-shirts, sweatshirt, hats and jackets sporting your old stomping ground’s logos. Your high school days are over, man. Grab a shirt or sweatshirt with your new schools logo if you really want to display your school pride front and center.
  • Off-season wardrobe: Closet space is limited and already requires quite a bit of creativity when it comes to cramming your wardrobe into a small space. Make things easy on yourself by leaving most (if not all) of your off-season clothing at home. You can pack it up in a box so it’s ready to be shipped by your parents when it’s time to switch up your clothes. It’s so much easier to rotate your wardrobe this way rather than try to make space when there isn’t any to be had.
  • Old and well worn clothes: We all love a well broken in t-shirt or pair of comfy sweat pants, but a whole heap of these well worn babies taking up closet space is another story all together. It’s okay to bring one or two well-loved articles of clothing with you to college, but make sure they aren’t going to take up too much space and will actually get worn. Leave the really old, really worn out clothing at home in your dresser. You’ll be reunited with them during school breaks.
  • Too much: We know it’s really hard to rein yourself in when packing your clothes in those last few days before you make your way to college. It’s so easy to think “Oh, I will totally wear these prom dress” or “Who doesn’t need a five piece suit during freshman year?” We get it, really we do!

    However, really and truly try to fight the urge to bring more clothes than you can store. It’s going to be a hard battle to win, but try for the sake of your own sanity (if not for the sake of your roommate). You’ll thank yourself later as you rest comfortably after unpacking as you watch your roommate sweat, swear and try unsuccessfully to cram his/her entire wardrobe into the diminutive closet provided in your dorm room. Enjoy the laugh and pat yourself on the back for dodging that bullet!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

css.php