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Let’s face it, picking out a going-out outfit can be such a pain. If you’re anything like me, you take forever to get ready. You have no clue what to wear, you’re running around like a fool rounding up various pieces of clothing from your roommates and you’re already twenty minutes late.

Over the past two years, I’ve learned a few tips and tricks to cut down my getting ready time. Here are 10 essentials from my closet so you can be prepared all the time.

Leather Pants
Photo via Nasty Gal

I don’t know about you, but I am sick of jeans.

Over the summer, I spent a good chunk of my time trying to find going-out pants that aren’t jeans. I didn’t have much luck, but I did invest in a pair of leather pants. I noticed so many girls wearing them out and about, and I wanted to give them a try.

If you play your cards right, you can find a comfy pair. Comfort-wise, I actually prefer them to jeans!

Animal Print
Photo via Nasty Gal

Animal print is an absolute essential for me.

I love to pair a good cheetah print top with black jeans and booties for a regular night out. Animal print also comes in handy for last-minute costume parties and themed parties.

I have zebra print pants, a snakeskin top and the cheetah print top on rotation. I think it’s an adorable way to spice up an outfit!

White Sneakers

Well… they won’t be white for long.

My freshman year, everyone was wearing Air Force 1s. I really wasn’t in the mood to invest $120 in a pair of shoes that I was going to trash, so I did some digging.

I found a dupe, also from Nike, that look nearly the same for half the price. I got the Nike Court Boroughs for $60 in the kid’s size 4.5. They have been with me for the entirety of my college career, I’ve worn holes through the heels and they’re more of a shade of beige than white.

I feel like these shoes are now a part of me and I refuse to get rid of them before I graduate. I definitely recommend investing in a pair of white shoes that you don’t mind trashing. You can find pretty similar styles at Walmart for super cheap too!

Little Black Tops
Arianna Tucker / Her Campus

I’ve also found that little black crop and tank tops are a necessity for going out. I’ve been to quite a few blackout-themed parties and I just love the way that a black top pairs with anything.

You can wear them with jeans, patterned pants or leather skirts. You can always layer with a cute jacket, too.

My black tops get worn often, so they were definitely worth the investment. If you find a cute one at the store, be sure to pick it up.

Something Sparkly

I’m not going if I’m not glowing.

Whenever I get bored of the same old outfit, I throw in something sparkly. Sparkly tops, sparkly earrings, sparkly pants, sparkly shoes. Seriously, the options are endless.

A comfy pair of heels

I’ve always loved a good pair of high heels, and over the years I’ve learned to walk in them well. They don’t bother me much at all, I could 100% walk for miles in heels.

If you aren’t the biggest fan of heels but love the way they look, do some research! Find a comfy pair of heels or heeled booties that fit you well and are comfy. Heels are such an easy accessory to spice up an outfit, so I definitely recommend adding them to your going-out wardrobe.

A Good strapless bra

When it comes to strapless bras, there are countless options. I’ve tried them all.

Adhesive bras fall off with sweat. Strapless bras slide off as the night goes on. The corset style backless/strapless bras make me feel like I’m suffocating.

I was at Target one day and decided to pick up the adhesive silicone nipple petals. Whenever I have a backless or strapless top, I’m definitely using the petals.

Dainty Gold Jewelry
Anna Schultz-Ripped Jeans
Anna Schultz / Her Campus

I grew up thinking I was a silver girly.


In college, I started to change up my jewelry. Now, I like to finish off an outfit with a pair of gold hoops, minimalist gold rings and my staple gold necklace.

Silk Scrunchies

In high school, I had a whole collection of scrunchies. I still use them to this day — I’ll never go back to hair ties. My hair is so thick, the regular hair ties would only wrap around my ponytail twice.

Silk scrunchies are now my go-to. They look so pretty in your hair or on your wrist (just in case you have to tie your hair up in an emergency).

If you want to dress up your hair even more, buy a scrunchie with a tail. These scrunchies flow down into a beautiful ribbon and compliment nearly any outfit.

A Cute Belt

I love a cute belt moment.

Growing up, I hated belts. I thought they were ugly and would single handedly ruin any outfit.

As I got older, I realized how cute belts can be. I definitely recommend keeping a fashionable black one handy, but be sure to explore fun patterns and prints, too!

Styling an outfit for a night out can be difficult. By creating a basic capsule wardrobe, you can mix and match all of your pieces to create hundreds of trendy looks. What are you wearing for your next GNO?

Macy is a Pittsburgh, PA native with a passion for reading, writing, tree-hugging and music. She is pursuing a major in Biobehavioral Health, while double minoring in English and Sustainability Leadership on the Humanities Track. Outside of Her Campus, Macy spends her time with her golden retrievers and her camera.