Going to college can both be an exciting and a daunting thing. With all the responsibilities, courses to take, and semesters to pass, the last thing on your mind might be getting dolled up. Most likely, you’re looking for cute and comfortable outfits that you can actually wear around campus.
Fitting a large wardrobe in a small closet can be a challenge – especially if you live in a dorm-type room while studying. In this article, we’ll parade you to a collection of basics and essentials. Then we’ll show you outfit ideas that you can bring to campus that will actually work for your campus vibe.
College Outfit Ideas:
In college, your goal is to keep your outfit stylish but laidback and comfortable. Casual is definitely the way to go in college.
Comfy Knit Sweater and Black Leggings
How else to define comfort better than with a comfy knit sweater and a pair of black pants? This ensemble is easy to put on and is very repeatable. For shoes, I would wear a pair of white canvas shoes or booties. This outfit is best for autumn and early spring.
Oversized Pull-Over and Biker Shorts
Athleisure wear is a good style to consider in college. Surprisingly, this ensemble is one of the trendiest outfits out there. You can see this on off-duty model outfits and street style. Pair with chunky sneakers and you’re good to go! Personally, I’d pick Jordans or Nike Air Force 1s with this combo.
Rock Band Tees and Distressed Jeans
Rock band tees are super popular right now. They’re hip, comfy, and stylish – perfect for hanging around campus and going out with friends. I would pair this ensemble with combat boots or black canvas shoes.
My favorite go-to shop for DIY style rock band graphic tees is H&M. For my shoes, I would shop them at Doc Martens or Vans.
Hoodie and Coat
If you live in a part of the world where it’s mostly cold than warm, it can be quite daunting to find new ways to layer clothes in a stylish way. Layering is the art of putting different elements together in a harmonious manner. And for some reason, a hoodie and a wool coat or puffer go well and is a trendy combo right now.
Dark Academia Style Vest Over Shirt
Classic, literary style is one of the fashionable ways to romanticize your college years. Plus, it’s study-friendly and comfy! I would pair this ensemble with plaid pants or a bottom that has a similar color palette to my vest. For my shoes, I would wear booties or combat boots.
Dark Academia style is a great way to encourage yourself in studying, reading, and visiting the library often. It also gives a smart, well-kept, and wise impression among others.
School Color Crop Top (For Game Days)
A tie top, crop top, sports bra, or an oversized tee – the choices are limitless for game day! Pair it with distressed shorts/pants and white sneakers.
Dainty Camisole Top and Chunky Knit Cardigan
If you want to look a little more put together than the typical leggings/t-shirt combos you see around campus, a dainty camisole top paired with a chunky knit cardigan is the way to go right now. It’s feminine, flirty, and soft but not as flashy as a full-on dress. Pair with high-waist jeans and sandals or boots for an effortless effect.
Plaid Buttondown and Denim
Plaid is a classic college hipster style print that I could consider a “basic” or essential item for a college wardrobe. There are just so many ways you can style them – with denim, as a waist accent, as a jacket buffer for cold days, like a blazer, or just as it is.
White Shirt, Denim, and Converse
This ensemble gives a neutral and relaxed feel, making it a great outfit for first days and internships. If you need to put up a professional look, you can add a blazer. You can switch up your shoes depending on the context/appropriateness.
Sundress and Booties
Who says you can’t wear dresses to school? While I would not recommend tight-fitting dresses, I would give my full appreciation to sundresses. They are flowy, fresh, and laid-back. Perfect for laying down the grass or hanging around the campus benches in sunny afternoons. You can also wear this ensemble during the cold months by putting on a leather jacket or a knit cardigan. This is definitely a great look if you’re heading somewhere in the afternoon but probably won’t fit in well for class.
Denim on Denim
Denim is a classic — a fabric that goes well with every occasion. When you put them together in a two-piece, it looks even more iconic. This trend was popularized by Levi’s, upon creating the first Canadian tuxedo. Plus, denim is a great temperature regulator, especially in cold months. Edgy, chic, and stylish, a denim ensemble can truly elevate your fit.
Sweater Crop Top and Fit Black Pants/Leggings
By recreating a sweater to a crop top, you heighten the length of your legs and make you appear taller than you are. Laid back, preppy, and cool is how I would define this ensemble. I would pair it with high-cut canvas sneakers or chunky sneakers with long-cut socks!
If you want something a little different, pick something with prints! Whether it is knitted, denim, or cotton, anything with a fun twist looks well-thought. You can start with a simple base, like a neutral-colored top and a pair of leggings, and go from there.
Beanies are stylish, comfortable, and practical. They keep you warm on the cold days and keep your head snug while hanging out on campus or studying in the library (the library can sometimes be too cold!). They look great with just about any style — plaid, denim, or athleisure wear.
When picking a beanie to invest in, choose something that matches the palette of your wardrobe.
White sneakers are one of the most versatile pieces that you can own. If you ask me, you are more likely to wear a pair of these than other shoes (heels, booties, etc) to school. It’s comfortable, relaxed, and chic. Investing in a pair of white sneakers is a great deal, especially if it goes with everything. Try it out with a dress and you’ll be surprised how it can seamlessly come in harmony with any style.
Black Canvas Sneakers
Next to white sneakers, the next best shoes to invest in is a pair of black canvas sneakers. Black sneakers are as versatile as white shoes and it goes well with anything as well! The only thing you don’t get with white is the fact that a black pair is less high-maintenance. It can hide dirt pretty easily, and you don’t have to bother cleaning it up for a long while.
Although the rise of this trend is evident among models and influencers, it is no doubt that wearing blazers is still an underrated statement. Blazers can easily make laid-back outfits smart and well-thought. They can be put on over a basic ensemble without a fuss and easily dress up a super casual outfit. If you’re feeling experimental, you can try finding a reworked two-piece blazer.
Canvas Tote Bag
A canvas tote bag is a chic alternative to a backpack. Plus, the unbleached canvas looks seamless with most outfits than backpacks. I don’t recommend replacing your backpack with a tote if you carry a lot in your bag – but if you’re just bringing a couple of notebooks, a book, and some essentials, go ahead and try out a tote.
You can get the cutest totes on Etsy, H&M, and indie libraries around town!
Vest and Plaid Pants
Another Dark Academia ensemble! I love how vests go well with plaid. This college outfit combo looks so literary, smart, and chic. If you’re up for a recitation or if you’re dressing up for an internship, this is one of the best options to consider. Alternatively, you can replace plaid pants with a pleated short skirt. Put on tights and a pair of knee-high boots for a showstopper fit!
Body Suit and Jeans
As I’ve said a couple of times earlier, I would not recommend wearing tight-fitting clothes to class with most college outfits. But if you’re comfortable with a bodysuit, then go ahead! I recommend choosing a super casual bodysuit. This is also a great day-night look if you’re heading out right after class.
More College Outfits For Inspo:
Here are some of my favorite college outfits and college outfit ideas for inspiration.
Note: I tried my best to link the source of these photos, but some are from really obscure places/I couldn’t find the original photographer. Please contact me to add more specific credit or for immediate photo removal.