While starting college or university is exciting, it can also be stressful, particularly when it comes to packing. While it's important to have everything you need, you also don't want to overpack and end up carrying cumbersome, large suitcases or duffle bags. It's crucial to think about things like the laundry facilities, climate, dress code, and storage space while packing clothes so you can choose how many outfits to bring.
Moving to university is one of the most exciting milestones in a school leaver's life!
With so much to remember, it can seem like you have a mountain to climb when writing your ‘must-have’ list!
As an ex-student, I know only too well that one of the most important things you need to nail are taking the right clothes!
The last thing you want is to be stuck at university with only a few ill-fitting t-shirts and jeans.
So, how many clothes should I take to college? In my newest blog post I will guide you through what types of clothing items are essential for your new student wardrobe and I’ll give you some great hacks on how to pack like a pro!
This post is all about answering the question: how much clothes should I bring to college or university?
How much Clothes should I bring to College or University?
So let’s get the mini answer first so you can get started packing for college right away!
There’s no one definitive answer to how many clothes you need to bring to university. A combination of casual styles for studying, a few occasion outfits, a warm/waterproof coat, underwear for two weeks, and your comfiest sneakers are a good start! Bring versatile items that can be dressed up and down.
Ok, so with the mini answer covered, let’s start exploring in a little more detail how many clothes you need to bring to university.
Factors to consider when deciding on how many clothes to take:
- Laundry facilities - Are laundry facilities easily accessible and affordable? How often will you be able to do laundry?
- Climate - Will you be in a warmer climate or colder climate? What is the average temperature during the time you'll be there?
- Dress code - Is there a dress code for classes or events you'll be attending?
- Storage space - How much storage space do you have in your dorm room or apartment, or college dorms in general?
Based on these factors, you'll be able to determine how many clothes you need to take with you to college.
How to create a college packing list for clothes:
- Make a list of basic essentials - This should include items such as underwear, socks, t-shirts, pants, etc.
- Consider seasonal clothing - Make sure you pack appropriate clothing for the season, such as a heavy coat for winter or lightweight clothing for summer.
- Plan for special events or activities - Will you be attending a formal event or participating in a specific activity that requires specific clothing?
Having a packing list will help you keep track of what you need and prevent you from overpacking.
How Many Clothes Should I Bring To College?
So although an exact answer here might be what you are looking for, it can be tricky to define this in a single number as we are all so different!
For some, a daily new outfit is almost a necessity along with your water bottle! But for others, a couple of pairs of favorite jeans, comfortable shoes and your old faithful hoodies is enough!
It is essentially all down to your own personal style. But also a good rule of thumb I try to use is to think about how many clothes you would need on a two-week vacation.
This way you will have enough to keep you going until you find the washing machine, go to the local laundry facilities or get around to buying laundry wash! With so much going on in the first couple of weeks, you will be surprised how quickly the time goes!
So as an example, try packing seven tops, five bottoms, and 4 pairs of shoes/trainers/indoor shoes that match different outfits. Also, don’t forget enough underwear!
It’s a balance between taking too much that you don’t have room for, but you also want to make sure you have everything you need.
College closets are notoriously less than spacious! The majority of halls will have limited storage, so it pays to think wisely and not literally cram in everything you own!
This is a great start, and you can always add to your collection in your new city.
For low cost additions, don’t forget to head out to thrift shops and second hand shops to find good quality basics and possibly stumble on a designer belt if you are lucky!
“A good rule of thumb is to think about how many
clothes you would need on a two week holiday.”
What is the climate like in your university city?
It's also important to consider the climate of where you're attending college and make sure you pack with that in mind.
It stands to reason that If you're going somewhere cold, make sure to bring plenty of warm layers! And the reverse if you are lucky enough to be studying in a country with a tropical climate!
Anyone studying in the U.K. has most probably been caught out in the rain a few times! So investing in a good waterproof jacket and umbrella is a must!
While we are on the subject of the British weather, a waterproof backpack is a must too!
Canvas bags can mean soggy lunch along with waterlogged tech! So invest in a vegan leather/leather type or one that’s got waterproofing.
“Consider the climate of where you're attending
college and make sure you pack with that in mind.”
Bring versatile items
College is a wonderful time to express your style and hit the top fashion trends!
But when choosing which clothes to take, its useful to focus on wardrobe items which can be incredibly versatile.
This is where the ‘neutral’ can be your best friend!
To get the most out of a limited wardrobe, think about investing in some neutral-coloured basics like chinos or khakis, black pumps, and comfy slip-on sneakers. Crop tops are also space-saving and can be layered with sweaters in cooler weather.
Other items which hit style stakes and have a wealth of wearability, try items such as blazers, cardigans, blue-black and grey jeans, plain tees and knit sweaters.
Also think of items that will work well alone or layered, like camisoles and cardigans. These can work casually or for more formal events.
Another great option are simple classically styled black chino style trousers (ankle length is perfect) paired with a plain long-sleeved t-shirt for wearing at lectures is easy yet chic; then when heading out for the night, you simply add some statement jewelry and a cute top!
These pieces are practical and can transition from day to night! So whether you are talking books in the library, local coffee shop or meeting up with friends in the evening for drinks.
To get the most out of a limited wardrobe think
about investing in some neutral coloured basics
Packing list for Female college students:
- Knickers/ Panties
- Tank tops
- Sweatshirt or hoodie
- Light jacket or cardigan
- Boots/ Rain boots/ Ankle boots
- Swimsuit (if applicable)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
Packing list for Male college students:
- Tank tops
- Sweatshirt or hoodie
- Light jacket or sweater
- Boots/ Rain boots
- Swim trunks (if applicable)
- Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, etc.)
Here is a more in-depth look at the list of clothes and accessories that you can take with you. Talking a lot of clothes that you don't need is literally a waste of space but at the same time, the worst thing you can do is not take much clothing to college or university and end up having to buy college sweatshirts to wear around campus.
The Essential Items You'll Need for Your Closet
- T-Shirts: The Versatile Wardrobe Essential
T-Shirts are the building blocks of any stylish wardrobe, and it's imperative to stock up on a diverse range of colours and designs. A long sleeve T-shirt serves as the perfect foundation for layering or as a standalone statement piece.
- Jeans: The Chameleon of Fashion
Jeans are the epitome of versatility, adaptable to any occasion, whether it be a lecture hall, a casual hangout with friends or a vibrant party scene. A wardrobe that boasts pairs of jeans in varying washes and cuts opens up a world of style opportunities, ready to be paired with your favorite tops and accessories.
- Shorts: A Summertime Necessity
When the sun shines bright and the temperature rises, shorts become a staple for every wardrobe. Perfect for any summer activity, be it a lecture, a gym session, or a beach day.
- Skirts: A Versatile Addition
A skirt can be a chic touch to any outfit, elevating your style game. Look for knee-length styles that can be dressed up or down, offering versatility for any occasion.
- Dresses: The Feminine Touch
A dress has the power to elevate any outfit and add a touch of femininity to your wardrobe. Ideal for special events, a night out, or even a dressed-down daytime look, dresses offer versatility and ease in styling.
Winter weather can be harsh, but with a collection of jackets and sweaters, you'll be well-equipped to tackle it head-on. Look for styles that can be dressed up or down, so you can wear them to class or to a party with equal ease. Also, consider getting at least one rain jacket, just in case.
- Dressy Outfits: Special Occasions Require Special Attire
For those special events or dates, always have a dress or a dressier outfit at the ready. Make a lasting impression with a well-put-together look.
- Pajamas: Your smooth Bed Buddy
You want to bring at leas x2 pajamas to college or university. Never sleep in your clothes, its very uncomfortable.
- Mix and Match Pieces: Maximize Your Options
Pieces that can be easily mixed and matched, such as a basic tank top or a versatile cardigan, are key to maximizing your wardrobe options. Create new looks with a few key pieces. You'll want to be prepared just in case you need to attend a special event. Bring nice jeans,
How many pairs of Shoes do I need to bring?
Sneakers are not just a fashionable choice for your feet, but a necessary one for the daily routine. Whether you're navigating the bustling city streets, treading through campus, or pumping up the adrenaline with a workout, sneakers have got you covered.
Sandals embody the essence of summer, the perfect partner for your feet during those warm weather escapades. Be it strolling along the sandy shore or sprucing up for a festive occasion, sandals provide the necessary style and comfort.
- Boots: The Winter Staple
College life can take you to some pretty chilly destinations, and to ensure your feet stay warm and dry during the winter months, having a sturdy pair of boots is a must-have.
- Dress Shoes: The Elegant Touch
Special moments call for special attire, and that extends to your footwear too. Dress shoes are the quintessential choice for adding an elegant touch to formal events and those more sophisticated gatherings.
So like anything you do, preparation is the key to smashing your university packing goals!
I always say the first thing to do is to make a list of the essentials you will need, such as tees, jeans, pyjamas, socks and pairs of underwear.
You may also want to add in statement items like an off-the-shoulder dress or distressed denim shorts that you can wear on nights out with friends too.
Remember to add in casual items like t-shirts and hoodies or shorts as they are seasonless so you can wear them any time of year.
One of my top best tips for packing is to roll your clothes rather than folding them! This can help to save a lot of room and stops them from needing ironing too.
Colour coding is another fab hack to allow you to pack more efficiently too. Pack similar colours together where possible so it’s easy to see which clothes will work together or if you have too much of one colour!
I’d also suggest popping smaller items nestled into larger ones, so for instance, a couple of pairs of socks in your sneakers is space-saving.
This keeps everything neat and organized while also making maximum use of the available space in your dorm room closets.
Related Article: How to Dress For a University Interview: Tips For Success
Packing Tips to Save Space
When packing for college, it's important to think about space. You'll be living in a small dorm room, and you don't want to waste valuable space with clothes you don't need.
Here are some tips to help you save space when packing:
- Roll Your Clothes: As mentioned earlier, rolling your clothes instead of folding them can help save space in your luggage.
- Use Packing Cubes: Packing cubes are a great way to organize your clothes and save space in your luggage.
- Limit Your Shoes: Shoes can take up a lot of space, so it's important to limit the number of shoes you bring with you. Stick to the essentials, and leave your collection of high heels at home.
- Use vacuum-sealed bags: Vacuum bags are also a real lifesaver! You can compress more clothing into a smaller area and I’d 100% recommend investing! Also, make sure you make the best use of any zipped compartments in your suitcase and also consider using packing cubes too.
- Pack Multi-Purpose Clothing: Look for clothing items that can be dressed up or down, so you can wear them to class, to a party, or to the gym. This will help you save space and make your wardrobe more versatile.
Related Article: What To Wear To A University Interview: Dress to Impress
“One of my top best tips for packing is to
roll your clothes rather than folding them!”
Don't forget, depending on the climate of where you are going to college or university, its a good idea to bring lots of winter clothes for those colder months or buy space heaters.
How Many Clothes Should I Bring To University? – Wrapping up
So there you have it – a foolproof way to make sure you pack enough clothes for college without overpacking or under packing!
By considering factors such as laundry room, climate, dress code, and storage space, and following tips for efficient packing, you can make the process much smoother.
Just remember to do your laundry regularly so you can make sure you don’t run out of any essentials!
This post was all about how much clothes to bring to collge/ university.