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10 Wardrobe Staples Every College Girl Needs

While shivering on my way to class and reluctantly putting on a jacket because of this unusually cold spring, I’ve been wishing I could pull out summer sundresses, denim skirts, and tank tops. Yet, I have realized that while many wardrobe items are seasonal, such as sweaters or shorts, I have definitely have a few tried-and-true items I can wear year-round, no matter the weather, my mood, or style.  And, whatever your style is, I can assure you that these staple pieces (tried and tested by yours truly) will seamlessly fit right into your wardrobe and help you maximize your comfort, style, and practicality, no matter if it’s summer-spring or winter-spring weather outside! 

1. Leggings (duh) 

Are you really a college girl if you don’t have a bunch of black leggings? These high-rise leggings have proven to be my most versatile wardrobe piece.  They are functional for wearing to class with a sweater, for the gym, and just about anything else you can imagine. The high-rise is extremely comfortable and the extra coverage prevents them from falling down when you’re exercising. Overall, these leggings are the year-round piece that everyone needs; plus their extra features, super soft material, versatility, and durability justify the higher price tag. 

2. Lightweight Jacket 

This mid-weight jacket is the one jacket that I can take with me through all the seasons.  The neutral colors it is sold in go with just about anything. It can be worn with jeans, leggings, skirts, and dresses, and it the perfect jacket to toss on when you need a little extra shelter from the wind.  Personally, I have had this jacket for over six years now, and it hasn’t gone out of style, lost its color, and is in great shape. It’s durability and versatility along with the fact that it can be dressed up or down add to its value.  

3. Running shorts

These are my all-time favorite shorts to wear! Simple and clean, I wear them for lounging, errands, and to work out in.  The cut is really flattering and works great with a tee or sweatshirt or your favorite workout tank. Plus, the zippered pocket in the back can store keys of a phone for when you don’t want to hold things in your hands if you go for a run.  I find myself always reaching for these for hot and sweaty workouts because they are the lightest and most sweat wicking shorts I have, they never fail me! 

4. All the Jeans 

Everyone needs jeans. Period.  You will need a bunch of jeans, in a wide range of styles and colors to satisfy your style needs.  The best thing about all the jeans on the market right now is that so many things are in-style and there are so many available cuts that you can always find multiple things that work for your body and style. My new personal favorite jeans are from Rag & Bone because they are so comfortable and soft, but for a more budget-friendly jean, Gap Jeans are a tried-and-true favorite.  Right now, as we transition to summer, I recommend white jeans because you can pair anything with them and they are so fun and summery when worn with a tunic and sandals! 

5. Black Skirt

The ever-important black skirt has become an icon of business casual style as of late.  The best thing about a black skirt is that it can be worn with any color top, tights or no tights, and with boots or flats.  Pair with a simple sweater, tights, boots, and a fun scarf for a great winter look. Or, pick out a fun blouse and pair with a pair of black flats for a seasonal-transition look. 

6. Plain sweatshirt 

Cold winter night? Cool summer thunderstorm? Both occasions warrant a sweatshirt of some sort.  Having a versatile, neutral, and plain sweatshirt will serve you well when you need to throw something on in a rush. Make sure to pick out something super soft and cozy, of course! 

7. Basic Black Dress

Having a black dress on hand will serve you well, whether it is for school, work, or just to throw on because pants seem uncomfortable. A black swing dress is the best option I have and recommended because it can be a base piece for fun scarves, jackets, or shoes.  Dress it up! 

8. White Long Sleeve Shirt

This is an item you’ve probably had in your wardrobe for a looooong time- yet I still can’t stress its versatility and importance enough.  With patterned and fun-colored pants making a comeback, having a white long-sleeve shirt to wear with fun pants, skirts, and shorts makes buying a striped skirt or printed pants much more justifiable (because you already have something to wear it with!) My current favorite outfit is a denim white skirt with blue stripes and my long-sleeve white shirt! 

9. Flats 

While flats may get a bit of a bad reputation for giving blisters and being uncomfortable, I’ve found that if you find the right pair, in the right color, with a little bit of give, you’ve got yourself a timeless shoe that can dress up any outfit! My favorite flats can be folded up for easy storage and have a stretchy back as to avoid blisters.  Cuffed jeans and flats make the most adorable combination, and if you throw on a cute shirt and blazer, you’ve made a business-casual look that is sure to help you slay that internship! 

10. Fun Patterned Shirt (I vote stripes!) 

If I go a week without wearing stripes, someone should check on me to make sure I’m ok… (just kidding, not really though!) I adore stripes and find that throwing on jeans and a striped top or sweater instantly makes any day more fun! My new favorite shirt that I find myself pulling on and on again is this striped top from Madewell with flouncy and laced sleeves that add a little bit of extra fun! 

Now that you have a few new suggestions and ideas for some staple outfits, happy spring shopping!

I'm a Junior at Babson College who is an outgoing, energetic, organized, coffee-obsessed person with a passion for running, fitness, travel, culture, cuisine, and fashion. 
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