Sunday, June 15, 2014

What Clothes You REALLY Need To Pack For College: A Guide

A picture I took during a much need wardrobe edit! 

There are a lot of misconceptions about dorm closets. I have never, in all my days, seen a walk in closet in a dorm room. Do not expect a large space for your clothes.

The dorm I lived in during the fall, I had a wardrobe, with two drawers and a small four-drawer dresser. Those drawers filled up so quickly, I often kept clothes folded up in my hamper to save on space. A real lifesaver, but not necessarily a space saver was a large rolling footlocker I kept under my bed. My spring semester dorm had a small walk-in (probably best described as a “step in”) and a dresser with 6 drawers.  I had an easier time finding the space for my clothes but at this point, I had also HEAVILY thinned the wardrobe I had started with. This guide is based off of what I ACTUALLY wore as opposed to what I foolishly brought. My uni is only a two-hour drive away, so I had the luxury of racing home on the weekend to grab bigger coats and more socks as well as take back some pieces.
            There are a few things I packed on a whim that I ended up patting myself on the back when they came in handy. I often throw on outfits; so I prefer to buy and pack pieces that can easily be paired, with that being said, please do not be discouraged to take risks. Once again, this guide is based off of what I ACTUALLY wore as opposed to what I foolishly brought.
  •      Dresses: I brought two LBD’s, a two fun prints (one sheath, on skater) and a simple sundress. I lean more to skirts than to dresses due to the versatility, but with that aside I HIGHLY SUGGEST you bring at least 3 dresses that you can wear to events. (There are dances in college, believe it or not!) There will be opportunities. I brought dresses without and I ended up wearing three of them. I had a chance to see Maya Angelou speak (one LBD) in the fall. My roommate was baptized in the spring (I wore the other LBD and lent the skater dress to a friend who attended as well).
  • ·      Skirts: I am addicted to skater skirts so I brought every single one I own. Skirts are my sweatpants, but they are not a necessity. You have to answer two yes or no questions.
  • oDo you wear skirts often?
  • o   Is it of season? (If you move in to your dorm in the fall, is it necessary to pack a chiffon mini skirt? The spring may not be the time for long velvet.)
  • ·      Pants and Jeans: I went through and tried on my pants before I packed them. I packed all of my perfectly fitting jeans a printed pair, all of my flattering solid color leggings (I justified this by telling myself “I can pack them tight in my drawers!” Every single pair was utilized), and a variety of jeggings. I had almost 20 pairs of pants. I know seems excessive but you have to keep in mind, LAUNDRY IS NOT THE SAME. Now, not only do you have to pay for it but you also have to share the machines with an entire building.  I suggest you pack at least 7 pairs, one for every day of the week!
  • ·      Tops: “Tops” covers such a wide category. I suggest roughly about 10 t-shirts, 5 button downs, and 5 long sleeve shirts.
  • ·      Sweaters: Sweatshirts, sweaters and cardigans are very very important. I suggest 2 or 3 of each to start you off, all in varying weights. In North Carolina, the weather can tend to be unpredictable and having options was a lifesaver.
  • ·      Outerwear: I brought at least one of everything. I brought a pea coat, an over coat, a windbreaker, and a lightweight parka. Once again, the weather here demands variety. 
  • ·      Active Wear: I never once stepped in our gym so I cannot be much help with this. I will suggest that you pack enough so that you will not have to wash your gym clothes for a week. What I mean is, if you work out 3 days a week, bring at least 3 outfits. You can wash it all at the end of the week! 
  • ·      Bring one swimsuit. You never know!
  • ·      Underwear and bras: All of it that fits. Buy more. You will not regret it.
  • ·      Pajamas: Most likely, you will have to use a community bathroom. Keep that in mind when you pack your pajamas. I slept in old shirts and athletic shirts. I also suggest 7 sets, just to throw a figure up.
  • ·      Shoes: You have to cover your bases! A pair of comfy sneakers, a pair of cute flats or loafers, and a pair of boots!

I really hope this little guide really helps you out! Please feel free to leave questions in the comments or suggestions for future posts!

Happy Packing!


  1. Thank you for this list. I will not be going to university or even college, but this looks like a pretty sound list for a standard wardrobe. Thanks for your very honest insight. Cheers.

    1. Thank you for taking notice of my honesty!

  2. This is such a helpful guide! Can't express how thankful I am for this :)

    1. :) I tried! I just wanted to post what I WISH someone had told me before I went off to college.