Before I went to college, I spent hours poring over must-have packing lists on the internet. Unfortunately, I discovered the hard way that some of those lists are outdated, or have forgotten some basic necessities.
That’s why we’re covering all the bases with our guide to clothes for college, and this week is all about accessories. Not just any accessories, though. We’re talking about useful, practical things that you’ll use all the time.
Read on to learn about the 10 accessories you absolutely need to bring with you to college.
1. Water Bottle
As I always like to say, hydrate or die-drate! While you won’t actually be dying of dehydration on a college campus, it’s important to drink water as you’re running to classes, running errands, and actually running as you workout. It’s also an excellent way to save time and money; you won’t be tempted to buy drinks at the library cafe if you become thirsty, and you won’t have to go searching for the nearest (sanitary) water fountain.
You don’t have to use one solely for water, either. Like every stereotypical college student, I am a caffeine addict, so I brought an additional tumbler cup to carry the cold brew I buy ready-made at grocery stores.
This is the water bottle I have and it’s a great dupe for a S’well; it keeps liquids cold for 24 hours and hot for 12 hours. I also find that the shape of the bottle makes it a lot easier to fill up and clean my water bottle. At $25, this 24 ounce bottle is definitely worth it.
We all know plastic bottles and straws are dreadful for the environment; help the Earth and you’ll be helping yourself too!
2. Planner (or Google Calendars)
Staying organized is the key to success in college, because you don’t want to mistakenly miss class, an important appointment with your professor, or a club meeting.
I prefer Google Calendars since it’s free, and syncs automatically across my laptop and phone. But if you’re more old school, physical planners are super cute! It’s also an easy way to stop yourself from checking your phone during homework time.
This planner from Amazon was a great find because it’s an academic year planner starting from August and going through July of the following year. The marble and millennial pattern is a classic, and the rose gold accents match perfectly. Bonus: these planners were designed by a team of women!
3. Hair Ties
If you think you have enough, you’re wrong. Pack more! If you’re a freshman heading off to college, wait till you’re living in a dorm. You thought you lost these a lot at home, but you’re in for an adventure once you’re moving between communal bathrooms and your room.
I’ve been dying to try out these hair ties, since they’re supposed to be just as good as your classic black elastic. My hair stylist has assured me these work well even on long and thick hair, so I’m definitely making this purchase soon. Plus, thanks to the unique shape, I’ll probably be less likely to lose them.
For rainy days. Trust me, you’ll be glad you packed one, especially if you don’t have a waterproof backpack. After all, a rain jacket can only do so much in a torrential downpour.
Lately I’ve been eyeing this cool bubble umbrella from Target; how cool is this minimalistic design? It looks sturdy and pretty wind-proof which is a huge must for me; I had several collapsible umbrellas that would always flip up in a storm, which is a nightmare.
Don’t freeze your fingers off as you go to class. You’ll want to keep your hands warm during the winter! Bonus points if the gloves are touch screen compatible, because no one wants to take off cozy gloves to text.
These gloves are inexpensive, touch screen compatible, and come in black, which goes with everything. They’re also fairly compact, so they’re easy to stick in a jacket pocket.
Walking to class means lots of sunlight. If you have sensitive eyes, dislike squinting, want to avoid eye contact with people when you’ve had 2 hours of sleep, or just want to look more put together, sunglasses are your best friend. Aside from the obvious “it” factor that a pair of sunglasses adds to your outfit, it’s also a practical investment.
This pair of sunglasses from Amazon is my personal favorite; I bought them at the beginning of summer and absolutely love them. You do have to wipe them often to keep the mirrored lenses clean, but they’re definitely still worth the low price tag. The quality is actually pretty great!
If you have pants that are too loose in the waist, you need this accessory. It’s not a good look if you’re constantly adjusting your pants during a presentation.
This classic belt from Urban Outfitters will help you look, and feel, put together. The silver details on this belt will also bring out silver jewelry in an outfit.
If you like decorative silk scarves, that is great and you’d fit right in with the French, but the kind of scarf I’m referring to is made for cold weather. If you don’t have a jacket or sweater that covers up your neck, you will be freezing once fall or winter comes.
Scarves are cute and functional, so don’t forget one! Bonus: your school might sell super cute scarves in your school colors – perfect for game day, if that’s your scene.
This scarf from ModCloth is an eye-catching interest piece for any outfit. Its large size and fun print also makes it a blanket that’s socially acceptable to wear in public.
9. Winter Hat
Winter weather hats are such an underrated accessory; staying warm is important, and you can rock that hat hair by just tousling it a little and calling it a relaxed model-off duty look! They also come in such a huge variety of styles, you’re bound to find one you love.
This hat from Amazon has an adorable knit pattern and pom pom; bonus: the neutral color means it will work with any outfit.
10. School Spirit Gear
Even if it’s just a sweatshirt or long sleeve tee, make sure you pack it in your bags. If you’re stumped on dorm decor, you can always hang up a school spirit tapestry, too!
Which accessories do you absolutely need to bring to college?
What did you think about our must-haves? Are these accessories key in your closet? Let us know in the comments below!