Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo

Whether you’re a fashion student about to graduate from college or about to begin your new semester in the Fall, you’ve probably experienced the challenges that come with choosing your daily outfit or maintaining your personal style. I have definitely experienced the difficulty to find the time and the money to shop the latest trends especially while trying to balance my social and academic life. Let’s not even mention the limited closet space that accompanies a college dorm room and the tragic realization that you may have to leave some of your favorite items behind. I am not ashamed to admit that I am a chronic over-packer, I have made every attempt to bring my entire wardrobe to college. I am an international student from South Africa so trying to fit my entire wardrobe into a small suitcase to America was hard enough. 

I now realize that one of my biggest challenges is learning how to prioritize what items of clothing that I truly need and what items I would probably never get the chance to wear. After reflecting upon my past Spring semester, I decided to share with you some of the creative ways to develop your own personal style during your busy college life on a budget.  

The Basic Tee 

No matter your style, all college girls know how important it is to have basic tops that are super reliable. From a classic white tee to the perfect plain black crop top—basic tops are necessary to include into your college essentials. I definitely realized this past semester that I need to include more basic tops into my style, whether its a cute yellow color or a blue, basic tops have definitely saved me many times.  

White Sneakers 

Without a doubt, any white sneaker is probably one of the most popular fashion items worldwide. Pairing white Superga’s or the Classic Slip-On Vans Sneakers with your outfit, will enable you to look trendy and feel comfortable on campus. Here are my top 2 favorite trendy white sneakers:

Superga 2750 COTU Classic White Sneaker  

Vans White Slip On  

Simple Dresses 

I’ve learned that having a few simple dresses in your closet is a lifesaver for those events you can’t just seem to create an entire look for. Combine a simple dress with outgoing accessories for a formal event instead of choosing your favorite cocktail dress that you may not even get the chance to wear, this just creates less space in your closet! Here are some of my favorite college simple dresses: 

Forever 21 Knotted Fit & Flare Dress 

Forever 21 Spotted Print Mini Dress 

Forever 21 Floral Print Mini Dress 

Target Women’s Short Sleeve Babydoll Sweatshirt Dress - Wild Fable  

The Carryall Bag 

This is probably one of the most important accessories to have. Carryall Bags hold everything you need—from your textbooks, laptop, water bottle and everything else a college student needs for the day. Whether you prefer a tote bag or a backpack style, choosing a really cute bag will be life changing. In my opinion, it’s important to choose one that can go with any outfit you wear, something kind of simple in a way to not be annoying one day while pairing it with your outfit for class. Some of my favorite trendy tote bag must haves are:

SHEIN Pom Pom Decor Tote Bag  

SHEIN Abstract Figure Print Tote Bag 

Urband Outfitters Lacey Mini Printed Tote Bag 

Urban Outfitters BAGGU Giant Tote Bag 

Urban Outfitters Tie-Dye Tote Bag 


We all know the feeling of not wanting to put on pants for your 8am class… well, the solution is leggings! From working out or just wanting to feel comfy, basic leggings can go a long way. Brands like Lululemon has extremely good quality leggings but if you’re looking to buy multiple affordable pairs, Target has great ones too! I never realized how many leggings I would need until I came to college. I wear leggings most days paired with white sneakers and it not only makes me feel comfortable, but super cute too. Here are my top 3 legging must haves: 

Target Women’s High-Waisted Leggings - A New Day  

Lululemon Wunder Train High-Rise Crop 23”  

Old Navy High-Waisted Balance Yoga Leggings For Women  

Having these five items will boost your confidence going into any situation during college. Pair these essentials with any trendy accessories to elevate your looks and it will definitely help you avoid spending more money to replace your entire closet. From having basic tops to the perfect pair of sunglasses, my essential items will help any college girl to maintain her personal style. These five items definitely helped me this past semester so I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!  

Kelly Webb is the Vice President and Content Creator Director of Her Campus at Lynn. Kelly is an international student from South Africa studying Fashion and Retail Management at Lynn University. She holds other leadership positions such as the Recruitment and Social Media Chair of Theta Phi Alpha sorority. Kelly is extremely creative and she loves sharing her passion and interests with others.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️