15 Clothing Items You Need for College

Everything you won’t be able to live without.

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15 clothing items you need for college, girl standing in a field wearing a mustard hoodie

The fall semester will be upon us before we know it. If you are an incoming freshman, you may be starting to think about what wardrobe items you will need to pack when you make the leap.

Today, we’re tackling the 15 most essential clothing items for college. These are the must-have basics. If you’re looking for trendy items or formal looks, we’ve got that covered elsewhere.

{Editor’s Note: Be sure to check out The Best College Packing List for Girls for a more detailed rundown of things you’ll need if you’re about to start your Freshman year.}

So, let’s get to it!

1. Sports Bra

black sports bra with pink elastic band from Macy's

You may be thinking, what!? A sports bra is the first thing on this list? Well, rest assured: you’ll be wearing this item way more than you think!

Aside from working out, going to college means a lot of walking, especially to your classes and around campus. You’ll want to be as comfortable as possible throughout your day.

2. Hoodie

grey hoodie from Amazon

If you don’t have a basic hoodie, you should definitely purchase one before you head to college. You can throw it on with just about any outfit to keep you warm or as an additional layer.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but regardless of the season, college classrooms tend to be very, very cold.

3. No Show Socks

no show socks from Amazon

We recommend investing in some high quality, no show socks. You’ll spend a lot of time in sneakers and sometimes socks can really throw off your whole look.

These basic white ones are just what you need!

4. Raincoat

blush raincoat from Amazon

A rain jacket is an easily overlooked essential, but you’ll be reminded that you need it very quickly when it starts pouring and you’re without one. It is extremely important, especially if you’ll be living in a particularly rainy city.

This lightweight, waterproof rain jacket will be the perfect piece for an inclement weather day. It has a carrying case, too!

5. Joggers

grey jogger sweatpants from Forever 21

While sweats have always been a staple of our dorm-wear wardrobe, right now they’re also super trendy!

Looking for a super easy and comfy outfit to wear while in college? Just purchase some basic joggers, pair them with some cute sneaks and a crop top, and you will be good to go!

6. Robe

pink robe from Amazon

You will most likely be living in a dorm while in college, so you should think about what kind of nighttime clothing you will need.

A robe like this lightweight, mid-length robe is ideal, especially if you are sharing a bathroom. A robe will be so easy to throw on whenever you need it.

7. Winter Boots

black winter boots from Amazon

If you are going to college where the weather gets very cold or snowy, you will definitely need some warm and utilitarian clothing items.

These snow boots will be your best friend when the weather turns. Wear them with all your winter outfits to keep your feet warm and dry while running around campus.

8. Leggings

black camouflage leggings from Lululemon

Leggings are a go-to college clothing item because they are just so comfortable and easy to pair with… anything, really!

My absolute favorite leggings are the align super high-rise pant which you can get in a basic black or other fun colors. They’re on the expensive side, but a high-quality pair of leggings will last a very long time and won’t pill.

9. Puffer Jacket

burgundy puffer jacket from Amazon

For those of us going to college in a chilly climate, we would recommend having a puffer coat to keep you warm.

This burgundy hooded puffer will stand out amongst a sea of black winter wear, and this shade will go with anything. It also isn’t heavy or bulky, so it won’t take up too much space in your tiny dorm room closet.

10. Sneakers

white Air Force 1 sneakers from Nike

A good pair of kicks is a staple for any wardrobe, but especially a college one. You will be wearing sneakers all. the. time.

Nike Air Force 1s are comfortable, but also incredibly trendy.

11. College Merch

Cut off tank from Hype and Vice

You are going to want to rock your school’s colors, and these days, there are so many super cute college merch options. Long gone are the days of the oversized mens tee.

As an example, this cut off tank is so adorable! It would be great to rock on game days, around campus, or running errands.

12. Black Dress

Black dress from Princess Polly

You will also need some outfits for going out with your friends. Therefore, you should consider getting a LBD that you can wear for nights out!

This black mini dress can be thrown on with a variety of things so you can wear it multiple times and keep switching the style up.

13. Crop Top

Crop top from PacSun

Another clothing essential for college is a basic crop top. This will make your life so much easier if you are in a rush to get ready and need to throw something simple together.

If you’re not sure how to wear it, the options are endless. Joggers, baggy jeans, high-waisted trousers, or midi skirts would all work!

14. Slippers

pink fuzzy slippers from Amazon

Will you just look at how delightful these slippers are!? These are great for nighttime because you can easily put them on if you need to run to the bathroom.

Pro tip: do not go to a shared bathroom without footwear.

15. Jeans

Distressed denim jeans from Princess Polly

You will likely be living in a well-loved pair of distressed denim. Jeans are such a personal preference, but a good go-to is always a slightly loose, boyfriend style.

These are clearly on the more casual side, but can be dressed up with heels or a blazer.

What clothes are you bringing to college?

Which items do you think you will wear the most? What do you want to wear while in college? Comment below and share your thoughts with us!

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