A Beginners Crash Course to College Style and Fashion

Packing for college can be almost as stressful as applying for college. If you are a beginner, this guide is your comprehensive course to the style and fashion on most college campuses. For a lot of freshmen, apart from worrying about course registrations and classes, fashion and style is always an issue of main concern. Everything from an outfit, to footwear, backpack, etc. tells a lot about who you really are or how people will see you. So the question is, how do you want to be seen on your college campus? A nerd? Slut? Bookworm? Smart? Stylish? Or a Loser?

Your fashion and preferred style is as important as the courses you will be taking and it will also affect the kind of people you attract as friends. So if you do not want to have a boring year of study, you should get your fashion sense right. You may have heard of the many fashion do’s and don’ts on campus and some rules too, depending on your college. Well, let me tell you the ultimate college fashion rule, “keeping it simple”. Now, do not get me wrong here, I’m in no way referring to boring clothes, backpacks or jackets, Hell No! You can be at the top of your fashion game in college without being too complicated or outrageous in your style, especially for freshmen.

Now let us begin with the ladies (or skip to the guys here). Our next segment will cover the top ten essentials you should not leave behind for your freshmen year.

Ten Essentials for Every College Girl

#1 Pajamas: Now, this is a very important item, so make sure you have it handy. Whether you like to sleep in your lingerie, or your favorite tee or even butt naked, you’ll need cute pajamas if you will be staying in the college dorm. You may be wondering why, but get it stuffed in your travel bag and thank me later. Here’s the thing about college dorms, fire alarms can go off at any time and this happens pretty often. When this happens, whether it is 12am or 5am and you were fast asleep, everyone will have to exit the building. Now, this is where having a cute pajama will come in handy. It happens all the time.

#2 Flip Flops: Remember we are talking about the essentials, and a flip-flop is absolutely necessary. Most college dorms use communal showers so you must go with a waterproof pair so that you can protect your feet from the slimy floors anytime you use the shower.

#3 Bathrobe: A lot of freshmen girls often overlook this item. Depending on the layout of your college dorm, the shower may be a little distant. So, instead of walking all the way down in a towel, I suggest you invest in a bathrobe. Not only will it provide more coverage, but will also leave your hands free to carry your shampoo and conditioner.

#4 A pretty dress: We all know that college life is quite casual almost all the time. But, it is essential that you have at least one pretty dress in your closet. This will come in handy for formal occasions or events. You do not want to attend such functions looking like a waitress, so stash that beautiful dress in there.

#5 A Backpack: Don’t go to college without a backpack. You’ll just keep bumping into people and trying to carry your stuff around and end up looking like the hall clown. Look for a backpack that can carry all your essentials, which will include your laptop, books, charger and all other accessories. For more details on backpacks, you can read our post on the best backpacks for college here.

#6 Stylish sweats: Now, there will be days when you will be woken up by the sound of your dorm mate slamming the door out, when putting on actual clothes may be a big deal. You can put on your sweatpants with a nice tee and your favorite sneakers and you can just hit the hallway. It can serve as an instant outfit any day, anytime.

#7 Rain boots: I bet you didn’t even think of this, well maybe you did. But if you didn’t, you need to get a nice pair of rain boots ASAP. They may take up a ton of your closet space, but they are essential and definitely worth packing. Now, you can avoid trekking across your campus during a heavy downpour and having to sit through a two hours lecture in your soaked sneakers. Rain boots are a necessity; make sure you get stylish ones.

#8 Underwear: I shouldn’t be telling you to pack your underwear, but Yes! I actually am. And I mean all of it or a whole lot of it. With the busy college routine, you can easily forget to do your laundry and what happens when you come with only a few? For starters, you should come well prepared with underwear that should last you at least a couple of weeks. That is just about how much time you can delay your laundry.

#9 A classic dark-wash jean: You will agree that dark jeans are not as picky as lighter or distressed jeans. I mean, you can easily pair them with sneakers, flats, heels or tees and nice tops for whatever purpose, be it classes or parties. College dorm closets are usually small, so it is important you pack fashion items that can do double or triple. So make sure you go with a dark-wash jean, it will come quite convenient and useful.

#10 Halloween Costumes: Now, this was my favorite college moment. One of the fun parts about college is that there is always an event or theme party that will require you to dress up at least once a week and Halloween is a week-long celebration. So come prepared for all the theme parties and stash some old costumes in your bag. You do not want to miss out on the superheroes night, 80’s night or other fun themed events.

Now those are the essential items every freshman college girl should pack, leave one out and you’ll be paying for it. So college life is pretty casual, like I mentioned earlier, keep it simple and smart too.

Let’s now look at a few wardrobe essentials to be on top of your fashion game.

  • A couple of cute tees
  • Pair of jeans and leggings
  • Denim jacket and a leather jacket
  • A full button down collar shirt
  • Stylish sweatshirts
  • A well-fitted blazer and a cardigan
  • Skirts and shorts for summers
  • Sneakers, high heels, belle flat, riding boots and wedges
  • Stud earrings and small pendants
  • Backpack, handbag and cross body bag

On to the Guys

Now let us quickly look at the essentials for college boys. Before we get into details, you may be wondering why even bother about your fashion? The answer is simple, if you believe education is important, why not dress to match your belief? Dressing well contributes to your frame of mind, as a matter of fact, if you dress sharp, you are going to think sharp. Also, it shows respect for your professor and attracts respect in return. You never know who you are going to meet during the day, so you have to look presentable at all times. And finally, when you dress like a man, you feel like a man. I could go on and on about why you need to take your fashion and style seriously but I think you have heard enough for now. So if you happen to be among the guys that think fashion and style is a ladies thing, then think again.

Now, we will be discussing how you can upgrade your style as you go to college. Apart from getting a degree, college is a time when boys transform into grown men, and for this, you need an upgrade. Also, changing your wardrobe allows you to feel like you are beginning a new phase of your life.

8 Easy Ways for College Guys to Upgrade Their Style

#1 Tees to Polo: Rather than be seen around college constantly wearing tees, upgrade to a polo instead. Anytime you reach for a tee, tell yourself that a polo will work better. Polo shirts are always dressier than tees because they have a closer fit and collared neck. Also, when you wear a polo shirt, wear the collar down and do not lift it up.

#2 Sweatshirt to Sweater: This is one of the most interesting upgrades you will have to make. You should use your sweatshirt for Saturday games and gym time. For other activities, you should consider upgrading from a sweatshirt to sweaters. There are many styles to pick from. You can wear a polo-style sweater, a cardigan, or even a turtleneck. Always remember to stick with the dark colored and body fitted types.

#3 Faded distressed jean to dark and clean denim: Light colored jeans with holes are nice for a high school kid and should be replaced with a dark and clean jean. You should ensure that your jean is less conspicuous and dressier. This way, you can rock them with your polo shirts or corporate shirts.

#4 Skinny jeans to straight or relaxed fit: You should also replace your skinny jeans with a more relaxed fit. Skinny jeans are great but if you are looking to upgrade your style, earn respect and influence your circle of friends; you will want to ditch them. On this note, you should invest in real style denims that are classic and masculine.

#5 Running shoes to casual leather shoes: Unless you want to go running, you should refrain from wearing running shoes. For your daily routine, you should replace your running shoes with a pair of comfortable casual leather shoes. Also, you should stay away from any shoe that is bright or attracts too much attention. So your ideal color should range from a dark medium to dark brown.

#6 Sneakers to chukkas: Now, this is what separates the men from the boys. A nice pair of sneakers is a great piece of footwear. But if you are willing to upgrade, consider replacing them with a nice pair of chukkas or bucks. They are as comfortable as sneakers and are also the ideal line between casual and formal and are of better quality than sneakers. You can wear them with your dark denim or chinos.

#7 Flip-flops to moccasins:Flip-flops are ideal for those summer days you spend at the beach or pool or in the shower. They are not appropriate for attending class or even meeting your study group. Instead, you can put on a pair of moccasins. They are more stylish, over your toes and are more comfortable that flip-flops. If you are worried about sweating and wearing shoes without socks, learn to use shoe powder instead.

#8 White athletic socks to dark colored dress socks: This is something you have to change in college. Rather than wear white athletic socks you probably had back in high school, use dark colored socks instead, except when you are going for sports or to the gym. Dark socks are not just easier to match, they are also easier on the laundry and are much more comfortable.

Below are some key accessories you must never leave behind;

Final words on College Style and Fashion

Just like I mentioned earlier, whether you are male or female, keep it simple and smart. College fashion is more or less casual, except for events or special occasions where you will have to dress up. On this note, you must ensure that you pack at least one formal outfit. Remember the saying, you are addressed the way you are dressed so take your fashion and style.