What Every Collegiette Needs for College

So you’ve just gotten to Princeton to start your freshman year. You’re super excited to meet people and start your classes. Of course, you’ve already purchased cute new clothes before coming to school and are ready to show them off to everyone, but there are a few key items that every collegiette should own for college. Some are for practicality and some for fun. Of course, you’re probably already aware of necessary things like winter jackets, so here are a few Princeton-specific necessities:
 
Rain boots – When I was a freshman, I was convinced that I would not need rain boots. Having lived in New Jersey my entire life, I was obviously an expert on its weather. What I didn’t factor in, though, was that I drove everywhere when I was in high school, so the decent amount of rain that falls in the great Garden State didn’t really affect me. After a few weeks of wet socks and shoes, I bit the bullet and bought a pair of boots.

Hunter Boots: A Princeton favorite. While expensive, they’re known for being durable and come in a fun range of colors.

Cheap Alternative: If you’re not planning on wearing rain boots all the time or can’t justify spending upwards of $100 on rubber, check out these super cute Target rain boots with whales on them!
 
Neon clothing – This is less obvious than the practical and durable rain boots, but you’d be surprised at the amount of times that neon clothing is both acceptable and desirable at Princeton.  Whether you’re going to 80’s Night, Tower Underground (a rave-themed party that happens every spring), or even a neon-themed party, you’ll never be in the wrong if you own something brightly colored. Of course, no one will judge if you also wear your bright green leggings to class. It’s been done.
 
Colorful Leggings: A classic choice. They’re not cheap, but American Apparel (despite its soft-core porn ads) has the best leggings around and the widest variety of colors. They’re perfect for any theme parties that you’ll attend throughout the year.
 
Orange and black clothing – Pretty standard. Prior to coming to Princeton, I did not own anything orange, let alone in this color combination (it’s only acceptable when in a Princeton or Halloween context).  However, it’s always handy to own something orange, because of events like the P-Rade at Reunions, tailgates for football games, or just to support Princeton in general. However, don’t go crazy. Throughout your four years at Princeton, you will accumulate so many free t-shirts that your drawer will overflow, and you will never want for something that says Princeton on it.
 
Dressing Up Orange and Black: You can’t go wrong with a cute orange dress. This one from ASOS is perfect for when you feel like wearing Princeton orange, but not necessarily the cheesy bright shade that is omnipresent on this campus.
 
A sundress – If you plan on attending Lawnparties, this is an essential item.  For those of you who don’t know, Lawnparties takes place twice a year, on the first and last Sunday of the academic year.  Tons of people come out to see smaller bands at each of the eating clubs, and one large act at Quad sponsored by USG. The best part is that everyone feeds into the stereotype of preppiness at Princeton – expect to see lots of pastel, pearls, madras, and of course, sundresses. For girls, it’s almost a uniform (though some people wear less preppy items), and it doesn’t necessarily have to be Lilly Pulitzer for you to blend in with the crowd.

Floral Dress: It’s hard to go wrong with this dress: cute, bright, and under $20! Pair it with some cute sandals or flats and you’re good to go. Just don’t forget sunglasses!
 
Street shoes – For those of you who choose to visit Prospect Avenue on the weekends, you will quickly learn that wearing your favorite shoes is not a good idea. Some clubs are worse than others, but for the most part, there’s a lot of beer on the floor, and some of it might get spilled on you. It happens. So instead of lamenting the death of your favorite flats, buy a reasonably priced pair of shoes that match most things and that you don’t care about that much. You’ll thank me later.
 
Ballet Flats: My personal go to: made of rubber, so they wipe clean. They’re perfect for day or night, and even in the rain.
 
Good walking shoes – There’s really no point to taking mass transit in Princeton, in my opinion. Despite the complaints of people who live in Forbes, nothing is really that far on campus. I don’t own a bike, so therefore I walk everywhere. Going along with my first item, I didn’t realize that walking shoes were so important on campus, but then I figured out that even in a small place like Princeton, you’re constantly moving. Invest in a pair of somewhat comfy (but still cute!) shoes. Unless you’re one of those people who values fashion over comfort and wears heels, in which case props to you.
 
Courderoy Toms: I’m totally coveting a green pair of corduroy TOMS. Their texture is perfect for fall, and the color is unique. Only downside? TOMS are not good in the rain – but that’s where boots come in!
 
Now that you’re dressed to the nines, go out and enjoy your first couple of weeks at Princeton! It’s looking like it’ll be a great semester so far.

Image credit to Cape Cod Collegiate.