A Zeta's Guide to Packing the Essentials For Your College Closet

Despite the heat waves and beach days, summer is wrapping up and it’s that time again to start the dreaded college packing. With countless lists, boxes and bags, it all becomes a blur on what you really need to bring to school. We all wish that college dorm rooms meant elaborate walk-in closets and large armories, but unfortunately that is not the case. Being guilty of over-packing my wardrobe my first two years of college, I have finally set a go to guide of essential outfit pieces.

A Zeta’s Guide to Packing the Essentials For Your College Closet
Packing essentials: always remember your letters!

Consider weather and time

For starters, although it really depends on distance from home and how often you go back home, I only pack clothes for the Fall semester. Once you think in terms of the fall semester and your upcoming events during those few months, you can plan out what types of outfits you’ll need. Going to school in Virginia, I know that I’ll need a pretty good variety of clothes for the weather based on how unpredictable it can sometimes be. For the warmer weather, my go to bottoms are J.Crew Chino Shorts, I go for the 3″ and they make for a cute, comfy, yet modest fit. They mix easily with different tops, so bring some chinos and pair them with v-necks, three-quarter sleeve shirts and chambrays.

Once it starts getting colder, bring a few pair of jeans... which does not mean seven. Bring two or three and vary between washes and fit to mix it up for different looks. One of my biggest mistakes was my obsession with cardigans for the colder weather, I am a cardigan junkie. Take it from me and don’t overdo it, it’s easy to just pair a cardigan with a different shell and create a new look as opposed to bringing twenty different cardigans. Riding boots are always perfect for the windy fall days and heading into winter and they make an outfit look sleek and stylish. Once the rain and snow begins to fall, Hunter rainboots are my absolute favorite. To go along with that, bring a few comfier options for those days for example, my sisters and I love our spirit jerseys and leggings once the temperature starts to drop.

A Zeta’s Guide to Packing the Essentials For Your College Closet
Riding boots: a must have!

Shoes: we love them… but 8 pairs is more than enough

While we’re on the topic of shoes, remember to not bring your entire shoe collection. It might be tempting, but you’ll regret it later while you’re trying to find room for it all. Instead think of what you’ll definitely need, and don’t duplicate. I keep it to an easy eight; running sneakers, Sperrys, Tory Burch Reva flats, nude pumps, black heels, riding boots, Hunter rainboots and a pair of Jack Rogers.

Dresses and outerwear: less is more

For the nights out, it’s easy to mix and match already worn pieces to create entirely different looks. A LBD is a must of course, but as long as you bring a few dress tops, jeans and two or three skirts you’ll be set. Save the super dressy outfits for Spring Formal season when you can go home and redo the clothing collection. But don’t forget about formal chapter outfits, so make sure you can use some of those pieces to make a little more business casual. For outerwear, bring a good warm jacket and something a little lighter for when it’s in between weather. Leave the hundreds of hoodies at home.

Beware of the t-shirts!

My biggest warning is do not bring a million t-shirts. It seems like a good idea every time, but then as many of us collegiate and sorority ladies know, we get so many t-shirts throughout the semester from our chapters and school events.

I may not have the shortest list ever, but realistically I’m a style obsessed girl like a lot of us. So I would never be hypocritical and say pack a bare minimum. However, if you really don’t think that you’ll need it during the semester… then don’t. It turns into a big mess when you can’t squeeze your entire wardrobe into your room. Bring your favorites, but do not forget your letters! They go well with everything!

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