Sunday, August 28, 2016

College Closet: The Essentials

This year I figured I would create a list of some of my college closet essentials. I like to think that my junior year standing gives me a bit of insight on pieces you should keep (and toss). College is especially difficult to shop for when you have three different kinds of occasions to dress for (school, internships, and parties) which could all potentially fall on the same day. When you add the restrictions of a budget into the equation,'s not always easy. 

My school is already back in session, but I figured this could help those on the quarter system or those who lack some flair in their wardrobe. Keep on reading to see some of my key pieces in my wardrobe and how I would style them for any event. 

Tops and Dresses

Bodysuits: Bodysuits are one of the more versatile pieces on this list, depending on how low the cut is of your suit. They're better than crop tops or regular shirts because you don't need to worry about accidentally showing skin or the weird scrunching that happens when you tuck in a top. For internships, wear them with a high-waisted pencil skirt and a blazer. I would also suggest getting your hands on a mesh bodysuit! They're a great layering piece over bralettes or underneath graphic tees for nights out or even class.

Tees: There are three kinds of t-shirts in rotation in my closet: the linen one, the striped one, and the graphic tee. These are all pretty self-explanatory. I would suggest finding your favorite brand/style of basic tees and never let go because you'll be living in them...or at the very least you just won't have time for laundry.

Cropped and Tank Tops: I used to think that because I didn't have the most slender figure I could not (or should not?) wear crop tops. I didn't let that borderline destructive thinking get me down, but instead I just became picky with the kind of tops I bought. Draped tops flatter any figure and can be worn for any occasion depending on how you style them. The middle school trend of tanks over tees is making a comeback, but we've just upgraded from cotton to the satin-sheen look.

Dresses: There are three kinds of dresses you need for college. The first is the slip dress: it can be dressed up for a night out or tucked into jeans and layered for class. The second would be a linen dress because LBR it doesn't really cool down until October. Until then, linen dresses can help you channel your inner Jane Birkin. The third would be any kind of chiffon dress, appropriate for any party or brunch outing. The last kind of dress you would need, but not pictured, is a white dress for anyone thinking about sorority rush.

Shorts and Pants
Skirts: My two personal favorite skirts are the denim and the leather ones. I have far too many outfit posts on this blog with the two. Not pictured but still as cute and versatile: a suede mini and a tennis skirt, especially for those game days.

Non-skinny denim: Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Mom. Straight. Relaxed. Flared. Denim should be a building block in your closet by now. Add more washes and cuts to your closet. High waisted pairs are the most versatile because of the crop top situations and let's be real, they hug everyone in the right places.

Black slacks: An internship interview and "How to Dress Like You Know What Business Formal Is 101" staple. To make these pants more casual, I suggest pairing it with a skater or athletic brand tee along with some sneakers.

Shorts: Again, another give-in. In my last post, I talked about how much I loved embroidered shorts. More and more places are carrying shorts like these but you could always grab some patches and DIY.

JacketsMost of these are pretty obvious, especially because I've mentioned every one of them in previous outfit posts. Cargo and denim jackets will never go out of style. If anything, find an inexpensive one to pin and patch to your heart's content! Satin-look bombers are on-trend right now and are perfect for the transition between summer and fall. Suede outerwear will always be associated with fall and can also work as a workwear piece. Varsity jackets are a great vintage find and can be a great jacket when you need extra warmth during football games or late night study sessions at the library.


Booties: Whether they are leather, velvet or suede you always need a good go-to pair of booties in your closet. I can't bear to part with my ankle ones, especially since I have yet to find a pair to replace them, but the newest trend has become booties that extend past the ankle to elongate the legs. These boots will be worn to death and parties or at the office, so choose the fabric wisely.

Sneakers: The easiest way to spot a freshman is to see who's wearing Adidas Superstars. (No shade, just facts.) To differentiate yourself from the pack, or to associate yourself with a different pack, get yourself a pair of canvas sneakers like the Vans Sk8-his. If you're still hooked on the leather sneaker trend, check out Nike Air Force 1's or any non-branded sneaker. (Not pictured: athletic sneakers, but those are a given even if you really only visit your gym once a semester.)

Loafers: Loafers, or more broadly sip-on shoes, are staples you need for those who need sensible shoes in their life. Loafers have a bad reputation as "grandma-wear" but Gucci is bringing them back in style and making the case to invest in them. Miu Miu is also making a case for the ballerina flat to make a mainstream comeback. For school, I'd pair leather loafers with distressed denim and a graphic tee. If you're looking for even more casual slip-ons, checkerboard Vans are coming back too.

Slides: Thank Rihanna for elevating sports wear, specifically slides. I'm so happy these are considered "stylish" now because I can't stop wearing my pair, even if they give me flashbacks to my short-lived high school basketball career.

Strappy sandals: A give in. They can be worn from your class straight to your internship on casual Friday. I would suggest to slip out on open-toed shoes at college parties unless you want to ruin a pair of shoes and a pedicure in one-go.

I hope you found this list to be helpful. You don't need to have every single thing on this list, but after moving in and out multiple times for college I find it best to try and create a closet full of pieces to be used for nearly every occasion.

Let me know if you have anything else to add or any other kind of feedback by tweeting me @torixcat. I will possibly be doing another post more catered to dressing for internships in the near future, so keep an eye out. 

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