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Sunday, July 20, 2014

What To Pack For College - Clothing Edition

Recently I received an email asking if I had suggestions on what to pack for going to school in Alabama. If you don't live in the South, you might not know that it's very very VERY humid here, and that the weather is bipolar. Like, seriously, I've worn nike shorts with a tank top AND a boots & scarf outfit IN THE SAME WEEK! It's crazy here, y'all! If you're from the South, you know what I'm talking about! So, here is my ultimate clothing packing list if you're going to college in the South (Most things on this list will apply for every college) :

  • Game Day dresses - We wear game day dresses every Saturday in the South for two reasons: 1. We look cute and classy 2. It's too hot and humid to wear pants! Seriously! I made that mistake once and I won't make it again! Sheer maxi skirts that have a slit (like the one I'm wearing below from Forever 21) work great, too! If you're not a big dress person, a pair of shorts and a cute top is comfortable!

What we wore to an unusually chilly/rainy away game in Oxford, MS.
  • Nike Shorts- You'll wear these around your dorm/apartment, hanging with friends, to class…pretty much everywhere! (And occasionally while working out, if you're in to that sort of thing)

Nike shorts and tshirts 4eva
  • Leggings (that are NOT see through)/ yoga pants- For when it's too cold for nike shorts
  • A FEW tshirts- One of the best tips I read before I went to college was to not bring a ton of tshirts from home. I brought more than I needed, but as soon a I started getting more tshirts at school, I took my other ones home. (I'm planning on making a tshirt quilt out of all my old high school tshirts) You'll get a lot of tshirts when you go to college, especially if you join a sorority! P.S. Don't forget tank tops!
  • Dresses- I took WAY too many dresses when I went to school (like 30…oops!), but they definitely are needed! You'll need sun dresses, game day dresses, going out dresses, etc. You really don't need that many, but sometimes it just feels good to dress up! And if you run out of clean shorts or leggings, wearing a dress means you don't have to wear pants ;)
  • Tops- Most of my night outfits consisted of a cute top and shorts/jeans. Bring plenty of cute tops, but also some that are versatile and can be worn during the day as well!
  • Bottoms- Like I mentioned, I wore cute shorts out all the time! Bring plenty of cute shorts, and jeans as well! Don't forget regular jeans to wear when it gets WAYYY too cold to wear leggings!

  • Shoes- Rule of thumb is to bring a pair of shoes to go with any outfit. I had sandals, wedges, pumps, tennis shoes, Chacos, rain boots, riding boots, etc! I probably brought too many, but I wanted to be sure I had a pair of shoes for every outfit!
  • Business- Always keep at least one "professional" outfit on hand. This could be a pair of slacks or a pencil skirt paired with a nice shirt or blazer. You'll never know if you have an interview or event pop up!
  • Jackets- I always keep a light jacket in my closet for the days where it's kind of chilly outside. I also keep a Patagonia for those times when the weather gets really bipolar! For the colder months, bring a heavy-ish jacket (I had a super cute peacoat) to wear to class since you'll be walking outside. Luckily, I didn't have to keep all this with me since I only lived an hour away from home, but if you can't change out your seasonal clothes, pack it all out of the way until you need it! P.S. Once it got cold enough, I wore a sweatshirt and scarf with everything!

Snow Day attire in South Alabama
  • Swimsuit- Yes! Bring at least one swimsuit (but not too many)! Most apartment complexes have pools that allow their residents to bring guests. Here in the South we can go to the pool for quite a long time! Don't forget your sunscreen!
  • Jewelry- I'm a simple kind of gal when it comes to jewelry. My go-to look is a pair of pearl studs, my birthstone and monogram ring, and a monogram or pearl necklace. For when I have the time, I bring other jewelry, like different necklaces, earrings, and bracelets, to go with my outfit. Scarves are another way to change up an outfit in any season!
  • Rainy days- Don't forget a rain jacket, rain boots, and umbrella! If you live in the South you're used to hurricane season, and they're not going to cancel classes unless severe weather is coming. So, yes, that means even if it's flooding outside, your teachers still expect you to walk through it to come to class. (Sometimes the school is crazy. I had to walk about 1/4 of a mile to my class in flooding rain and bad lightning…)
I probably took way too many clothes my first year of college, but I've always had a tendency to overpack! I'd rather have too many clothes than not enough! For tips on how to fit all of this in your tiny room, check out my How To Survive Your Dorm Room posts!

Considering these two pictures are nothing but clothes, I'd say I had enough ;)


  1. Thanks for this post, it was pretty helpful. The comment comment that you'd worn "nike shorts with a tank top AND a boots & scarf outfit in the same week" did make me laugh though. I'm from Colorado (and will be attending university here as well) and there have been many times when I have worn a tank top with shorts and 2 pairs of thick sweats with a hoodie in the same DAY. So I have to admit, your comment did make me chuckle a little. Anyway, thank you so much for this series, it has really been helpful in getting all my stuff together before I go to college.

    1. Emily,
      Thanks so much for reading! It means so much when people like you comment! I'm not sure why the weather is so bipolar, but it makes me feel a little less crazy when it's happening in other places, too! Good luck with college! You'll absolutely LOVE it!

  2. This is really helping me. I'm going into the Navy on December 2nd and after I've been in for a year I'm going to a school in New York. All of these tips and things are really helping me prepare myself for when the time comes!

    1. I'm so glad my tips have helped for when the time comes! Congrats on going into the Navy, and thank you for serving our great country!


  3. Thank Jesus, I definitely needed to see something like this... I leave in 2 weeks and I haven't packed a thing! Your comment about wearing Nike shorts with a tank top/shirt 90% of the time made me happy because that's like all I have! I definitely liked the rain boots/boots suggestion because the weather is definitely bipolar where I'm going (Yay for Minnesnowta)! You're awesome and this definitely helped A LOT! :) Thank you!

  4. I'm going to college soon and therefore reading up tips on what to bring, how to decorate your dorm etc and your blog has been especially helpful. Thank you! :)

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  6. Your blog is helping me in so many ways! I'g going to college this fall in Pennsylvania. I'm quite nervous about the weather since I am from VA but this helped me in a way. It's pretty cold up there especially compared to the south. I can't wait to read more on here!

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