Wardrobe Essentials for College in the Big Apple!

The kind of wardrobe you decide to bring with you to college is very dependent upon where you are going to school. If you are going to school in Florida, you are most likely not going to need a heavy winter coat like you would if you were going to school up north. When it came to New York specifically, I quickly learned that I needed to be prepared for all kinds of weather, no matter what the season. One day classes may be cancelled because of a snow storm, but the next you may feel like you are in the middle of spring (yes, it really can be that dramatic of a difference). This is not a packing list of the exact number of articles and different tops and pajamas you need, rather, it is a list of clothing essentials I think every college freshman should have. Packing for anything can be quite overwhelming, therefore, I hope these tips will help best prepare you for college in New York.


1. Tops

It is difficult enough not to overpack when going on vacation, let alone when packing to go to college. Soon enough, every top you own turns into your favorite and you feel like you absolutely must bring it with you. If you are unsure of whether or not you are packing what you really do or do not need, then you have come to the right place. I am the kind of person who is cold even in 80-degree weather, therefore, I made sure to bring several light tops and sweaters I knew I could layer when needed. Such tops are great to wear on their own during the early days of fall and perfect for layering up when in the midst of winter. Make sure to also pack versatile pieces you know you will not get bored of or will go out of style anytime soon. As college students, we do not have the means to go on shopping sprees every weekend, and if we did, I think we would rather spend our money on more important things (aka boxed mac ‘n’ cheese or coffee).


2. Bottoms

School is not in session for the latter part of the warmer months, therefore, make sure to stock up on fall/winter pieces like long jeans and leggings more than several pairs of shorts or skirts. When it comes to jeans, one pair of black skinny jeans are a must! You can dress these up or down and they go with absolutely anything. When packing, it is important to think about what articles you tend to wear more than others. If you know you are going to roll right out of bed and just throw on a pair of sweats, then I would suggest you bring more comfy pants than jeans, or vice versa. Personally, I try to put myself together every day, therefore, I only have two pairs of sweatpants and a few pairs of leggings.


3. Shoes

When it comes to shoes, I would recommend you invest in a good pair of durable rain

and snow boots because you will most likely find yourself wearing those most often. Even if you need to splurge, at least you are spending your money on good quality shoes that you know will last you a while. Another essential I highly recommend is a pair of black heels that you can wear when going out or pair easily with a business outfit. If you are planning to live in one of the communal residence halls, you NEED to make sure you bring a pair of shower shoes. Trust me, no one wants to be walking on any communal bathroom floor barefoot.  


4. Special Occasions (Going out/Business)

Unless you are planning on joining a sorority which may require you to have several formal outfits, at most, you will only need such an outfit once or twice a year. I suggest skip the ballgowns and instead, stock your closet with a few business casual outfits. I suggest packing one or two fitting blazers, some dress pants, and a few versatile tops that are easy to dress up when needed. Even as a freshman, you never know when you will be going on a site-visit, attending a professional panel, or a networking event. Lastly, for those weekend nights you decide to go out to the city or to a party, every girl needs to have a little black dress. With a statement necklace or a bold pair of earrings to go with it, a LBD is a girl’s best friend when she wants to look both sophisticated and sexy.


5. Out with the Old

When it came time to pack my wardrobe for college, I heavily relied on my older sisters for guidance. I had just graduated and, as I still clung to my high school memories, I wanted to take all those theater and club shirts with me. However, you are probably underestimating the number of free t-shirts that you will get in college, which will soon become your new wardrobe. Take one shirt or sweater with you just for the memory, otherwise, I say leave the rest behind.


If you are to take any piece of advice from reading this article, you should keep in mind that you do not need to pack as much as you think. The space you have to store your clothes in a dorm room will most likely be significantly smaller than the space you have back home. When deciding between what pieces you should pack or leave behind, try to ask yourself when the last time you wore that piece was. If you are sitting there thinking about it for too long, then it is probably a sign that you should leave it at home; you are most likely not going to miss it. No one knows you better than you know yourself, therefore, pack according to your style and what you know you are most comfortable in. Leaving home for college is stressful in itself and having to pack does not help relieve any of that stress. For this reason, I hope that by reading this article, I am able to help you tackle packing head on. Good luck!