From classes and late-night study sessions to football tailgates and nights on the town, college can require quite the extensive wardrobe. Between the sequin tops and heavy sweaters hanging in the closet, there are some pieces a college girl just can’t live without. But believe it or not, when it comes down to it, there are really only six must-haves that should be in every collegiette’s wardrobe—get ready to stock up!
That Little Black Dress (LBD) — Forever 21, $18
An entire outfit all in one piece? Who could resist something that requires so little effort, yet guarantees a perfect look?
“It’s your go-to dress for those days you just can’t find anything to wear or aren’t feeling yourself,” style expert at stylesource.me Colin McDonald says.
Not only are LBDs chic, classic, and screaming Audrey Hepburn’s name, but they can also be dressed up or down. Going to a cocktail party? Pair it with a statement necklace and heels, and you’re ready to go. Just going out for casual drinks? No problem. Throw on some sandals, a denim vest, and your look is complete.
“I LIVE in my LBD!” Rebeca, a junior at George Washington University, says. “No matter what I’m doing or where I’m going, a little black dress can always be worn.” True that.
A Chic Blazer — Urban Outfitters, $78
Like your LBD, there’s always an excuse to wear a blazer. If you’re running from class, to a meeting with your advisor, to dinner, and then out for the night a blazer is another versatile piece in your closet. As a grab-and-go kind of item (with no added sugars), you can strut down the street in it or toss it in your bag for later.
“[It] works as a light jacket for going out and is critical for class presentations. [It’s] definitely my most worn item,” Mackenzie, a sophomore at Suffolk University, says.
When in comes to blazers, the cut and style is completely up to you! From boyfriend cut and fitted jackets to bright and exciting colors, you can make your blazer as formal or casual as you like depending on the where you’re headed.
“A blazer dresses up any look and adds structure where needed. The key to its versatility is its ability be worn with just about any look easily for just about any body type,” McDonald says.
Stylish School Spirit Apparel — VS Pink, $30
Whether you go to a Big 10 university or a small liberal arts college, in the course of four years, you’re eventually bound to go to some sort of sporting event. And what better way to show off your school spirit than with a rocking tee that’s not only chic but also completely comfortable?
McDonald recommends finding something in “a bold print, like plaid or stripes.” Stand out while “keeping it classy and chic at the same time!”
Just how do you achieve this look? Easy, “throw on a blazer over it or throw it over a classic patterned button-down like plaid. Accessorizing with some fun statement jewelry will really make you shine with school spirit,” McDonald says.
While school spirit apparel is your best bet when it comes to any tailgate, it can also be worn while lounging around, at the gym, or even double as a sleep shirt.
Cute Waterproof Boots — Hunter, $175
It’s almost impossible to crawl out of bed when it’s a stormy day. But with adorable shoes calling your name from the closet, getting up for class gets a little bit easier. From rain boots to combats, you can choose your own style—just make sure they’re water resistant (a.k.a no leather, sorry girls).
For a little more jazz, “try and stay away from your basic flat-footed rain boot and choose a sexy wedge or heel,” McDonald says.
But the key to perfect rain apparel is comfort! While you’re walking through campus, the very last thing you want is to stop and adjust your shoe or massage your foot as the rain pours down on you.
Black Pumps You Can Run a Marathon In — Steve Madden, $130
When it comes to heels, you should be able to run a marathon (or if you’re athletically challenged, a 50 meter dash) in them. That’s barely an exaggeration. If you’re going out at night, the absolute worst is uncomfortable shoes. So do yourself a favor and do a little shoe investigating—don’t settle for anything that’s less than cozy. Don’t settle for having to break them in.
Just remember, platforms are a must! The higher the platform, the more padding your toes have, and that means the less pain.
“Platforms are more comfortable…[and] they are also perfect for adding height and length for shorter girls,” McDondald says.
They’re classic, always in style, and don’t take too much attention away from your killer outfit. On top of everything else, they won’t get too dirty—unless you’re getting down and dirty in some intense mud pits.
As McDonald notes, black pumps are by far “your most versatile shoe that you can wear with just about any look.”
Black Jeans That Can Go From Day to Night and Everywhere Else — The Stilt Cigarette, $159
Everyone should have a pair of favorite jeans that they cannot live without—it’s an absolute must. Once you’ve found your denim soul mate, you just have to buy another pair (or five) in black.
“[They’re] a great transitional piece that works well for those day-to-evening looks,” McDonald says.
Because they’re black, they can be dressed down or up; they can be comfy-casual during the day or chic and formal by night—the choice is up to you.
“Pairing [black jeans] with heels, a cute top and bright accessories, you an easily wear the outfit to class, to a meeting or going out. Black pants are versatile,” Elizabeth, a sophomore at Mount Holyoke College, says.
The greatest part about black jeans? The black makes them instantly slimming. But on top of that, they come in all different cuts and styles, so that you can find that perfect pair that shows off your body in the best way possible. From skinny to flared or high-waisted, there’s a style for every collegiette.
“I cannot live without my black skinnies. I literally wear my black skinnies to class, to E-Board meetings, to parties, and even to my favorite cafe on campus,” Kelsey, a junior at Boston University, says. “They’re so versatile and add oomph to any outfit. Just make sure you get a super comfortable pair.”
Looking for your favorite pieces from Her Campus? Check out Style Owner for all your college closet essentials. And if we missed your wardrobe must, let us know what you can’t live without in the comment box below!