All products and services featured are independently chosen by editors. However, StyleCaster may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.
I wore t-shirts and athletic shorts every day to class for the first couple months of college and had zero complaints. Yes, you can still dress casually come your freshman year, but it’s definitely wise to keep some appropriate, nicer clothing for when you need them on hand. For instance, if you’re in business classes or have a class presentation, it doesn’t hurt to look more put together.
That said, you probably won’t have an excess of space (especially if you’re sharing a room with multiple roommates) or a massive fashion budget, therefore maximizing your clothing is of the utmost importance—think a capsule wardrobe, where you can rely on basics and staples that can be mixed and matched interchangeably to carry you through.
Here are my biggest recommendations of the types of clothing you should consider buying in order to look well dressed and prepared for your courses and beyond (because we love to go out, too!).
Best of all, Amazon’s fashion department keeps things highly affordable (all the more so if you’re subscribed to the retailers student Amazon Prime program, which offers a 6-month free trial.) Shop my top picks down below.
A basic button up is good for layering. These are not see through and will be super versatile in your closet.
A lot of classrooms have the AC super high so this type of top with a sweater is what I wore a bunch, especially when it was hot outside. Plus, you get a pack of three for just $18.
Wear t-shirts, workout tops, or whatever you are comfortable in on a regular basis. If you have a presentation or want to dress nicer, this is a cute and appropriate warm weather top, paired with a skirt or nice slacks. I always found it difficult to find something appropriate to wear while it is sweltering hot outside but these shirts are super light and also class appropriate in my opinion.
There are a lot of business casual attire events on campus such as networking events for specific industries, career fairs, and interviews. I would really recommend getting a dark and light pair of trousers to add versatility to your wardrobe. I would heavily recommend AGAINST wearing leather pants to business casual events.
While a blazer is optional, it will always make you look more put together at business casual events. I ended up borrowing my suitemate’s blazer for a couple events last year. Also, black looks very professional and is more versatile than a light blazer.
I cannot recommend having at least one good pair of linen pants enough. I wore my linen pants for all the hot months at school since they are awesome for warm weather; they are super light and comfy. You can totally dress these up with a nice shirt or a sweater but they can also be super casual with a tank top or tee.
I would recommend getting a lot of sweaters; they are something I borrowed a ton from a suitemate because I used them way more than I thought I would. Like I said earlier, classes have crazy high AC so you definitely want to carry around a sweater for class. I would also recommend bringing a cardigan because it can go over any outfit but not cover it completely. I love my cardigans oversized so I usually size up but it is also good to have a well fitting one in your repertoire.