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How To Hack Your Way To The Perfect 15-Piece College Wardrobe

You got into college, so you’re probably smart. That means you care about setting up your dorm room for sartorial success. Ebay can help.

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Dorms = tiny. Your bed will be small, your desk will be small, and *gasp* your CLOSET will be small.


This doesn’t mean you won’t still have to dress for a thousand different occasions though: You’ll need classroom looks, interview outfits, all-nighter getups, and night-out ensembles.

By limiting your wardrobe to these 15 essentials, you can look great wherever you go...even with way less space.

The items:

1. The Perfect White V-Neck

When has this ever not been cool? Keep it casual by pairing the shirt with cutoffs or jeans, or dress it up with a pencil skirt and blazer. So, SO versatile.

2. A Blazer That Fits You Perfectly

The right blazer can be a major confidence booster. Wear it to class with jeans for a hint of polish or wear it with skirts or slacks for the inevitable internship interview. Sharp.

3. Classic Sneakers

There’s a very good chance your campus will be big, which means you’ll prooooobably be doing a lot of walking. Not only will sneakers make trekking to Bio a mile away more comfortable, but the right pair will go with basically any outfit: gym clothes, jeans, and even blazers or dresses. Crucial.

4. Dark-Wash Jeans

Dark-wash jeans work with almost anything. You can wear them with sneakers and a sweatshirt, a chambray and blazer, or a nice shirt and brogues/pumps. They’re good for class, they’re good for going out, and they’re even great for some types of interviews. But best of all, you can probably get away with not washing them too often. (We won’t tell.)

5. A Chambray Button-Down

Laid-back but never sloppy, chambray says you’ve got a sense of what’s stylish without being fussy about it. Pair it with jeans (or even a pencil skirt), and you’re good to go.

6. A Decent Pair of Leather Shoes

Sure, you’ll probably be wearing your sneakers 95% of the time you’re at school, but sometimes you’ll have to trick people into thinking you can look like an actual adult. And you’ll need respectable shoes (like brogues or pumps) during interviews, dates, and other general-good-impression occasions.

7. Casual Shorts

A total summer essential. You will be so happy you have these when you’re studying outside or when the AC goes out in your dorm. Wear them with a chambray or white tee, and you are good to go. (Pro tip: The jury is in, and cargo = cargNO.)

8. An Upscale Button-Down or Luxe-Looking Tank

Wear it under a blazer for something a bit more professional, or without when you’re going out at night or have something ceremonial. Super transitional, it goes perfectly with jeans (or a skirt) at any time of year.

9. A Giant Flannel (for Throwing On or Tying Around)

Not only does it feel great to throw on something big and cozy when it’s cold out, but a flannel will also look good tied around your waist. How can something this easy be so stylish? It’s not even fair, really.

10. A School-Spirit Crew Neck

OK, even if you’re not a giant *school spirit* type, you NEED to own at least one piece of pride clothing. A crew neck is perfect because you can pair it with sweatpants during finals week when you just can’t be bothered with normal human clothes, or you could make it look preppy and wear it over your chambray with some jeans.

11. Comfy Sweatpants

When you’re in hardcore study mode, when you just want to hang out with friends, or when you’re simply just not emotionally equipped to dress like a proper adult, you will thank the gods for this emotional safety blanket of a clothing item. You will. Sweatpants will be there for you when you’re at your worst; buying them is you at your best.

12. A Next-Level Backpack

Backpacks are BACK. You’ll have your bag with you almost every single day, so if you care at all about how you look around campus, getting the right backpack is key. The structure, material, size, and design options are virtually limitless, so you can find something that fits your personal style perfectly. Whether you want something restrained in neutral canvas, something expressively bright and patterned, or something functional and outdoorsy, it’s out there.

13. A Special-Occasion Outfit

Sure, you won’t need this every day, but there will be times you’re SO glad you tucked a nice dress or suit in the back of your closet. Whether it’s for your cousin’s wedding, a formal, or a super-posh date, you’ll need this in your arsenal.

14. A Leather Jacket

This jacket is great for adding a hint of edge to your look. It’s perfection with your T-shirt and jeans (T-shirt + jeans + leather jacket = straight-up iconic) or even your pencil skirt and pumps. Plus, it’ll keep you warm in cool weather. Win-win.

15. Yoga Pants or Athletic Shorts

K, these might not always make you look like a street-style icon, but nothing this comfy, easy, and useful should ever be overlooked. You’ll want these not only for workouts but also for class when you don’t feel like putting in extra effort and for study weekends when you’re trying to look better than a sweatpants beast (read: when you’re studying with your crush). They’re great with a white tee or your comfortable crew neck.

All illustrations by Kirun Kunju / © BuzzFeed

You’ve got this. Ebay is here to help you hack your way to your best college wardrobe with a great selection of these pieces.