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College Advice

What Clothes To Pack for College

DormEssentials July 13, 2018

The question of what clothes to pack for college is one that burns on the mind of those packing to move into the dorms. As a freshman, I always over-packed my clothing. I basically moved my entire high school wardrobe down to school, and on winter break, instead of just packing a few outfits for a few weeks, I panicked and thought I needed half of my closet to come back with me. This actually ranks as one of the Top 3 Dumbest Things I Did In College. So heed my warning, Fashionistas: pack light. While there will be so many different types of activities in college, you’ll have plenty of time to expand your wardrobe once you’re there. Focus on the essentials: from the gym or lounging around the dorm floor to going to a party or concert out.

Where Will You Be Living?

When you’re first getting your clothes together to leave for the dorms, you’re going to want everything. It’ll be easy to justify why you need that winter coat even though you’re moving to Southern California, or when you’ll be able to break out your crop tops in the fall semester of your first year in New York. But deny that voice in your head that creates a whole narrative behind these horrible weather choices, and hear your back and arms say “Thank you!” for not making them lift unnecessary weight. Realize that if you have a number of dorm mates, you may also consider sharing what’s in your closets as well.

Just Your Best Accessories

You really don’t need every costume piece of jewelry you’ve ever bought from Forever 21 to come with you. Chances are if you only wore it once in high school, you won’t be reaching for it on a day-to-day basis in college either. Pack the rings and necklaces you already wear daily, and leave the rest of fake—yet still heavy—metal at home. Any sentimental send off pieces you get from family & friends can slide under the radar of this rule! But all the jewelry your high school boy friend got you? First of all: the relationship won’t last—oops sorry here’s me with the truth again. But more importantly, you can still love the guy and pick just your favorite pieces to come with you to the dorms.


You’d be surprised how much suitcase or moving box space these awkward cups fill up. My rule, take your staples, and just two push-ups that have had your back (and front) since day one. Bralettes and sports bras can get a free pass on these as they’re easier to fold up and throw into the mix of clothing, underwear, and socks. This rule—as much as it pains me to say—also applies to bikinis. Just take your faves, trust me you don’t need the whole Victoria Secret catalog to be wasting away in your dorm because you realize you live in the same bra until your first round of finals.

It’ll be hard to not to wrap your arms around your entire closet and then dump it all into a suitcase. Just remember, you’re going to have so many shopping trips and thrift store finds while you’re in college for a million different reasons! College is about finding out who you are outside of your home, and sometimes that brings a new style—or maybe one you’ve always wanted to try! You won’t be able to predict every frat theme party, or know who will want to do a group Halloween costume, so might as well leave all that kitschy stuff behind, ready to have some fun trips to Goodwill with the girls. Either way, if you decide to ignore this advice, at least bookmark the page. I guarantee by spring semester you’ll be coming back to admit your neon yellow body suit never got to see the day—or night.

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  1. Gizelle Cunningham August 26, 2020

    I like these tips because they helped !e so much


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