Ace Back-to-College Style With These Ready-for-Everything First Semester Outfit Ideas

If you’re reading this, you’ve already resigned yourself to the fact that while summer’s not quite over, it’s time to start looking ahead. Whether you’re a fresh-faced frosh leaving the nest for the first time or a seasoned senior savoring every moment between now and when reality hits, you’ve got at least one thing in common: You need to wear clothing, preferably nice-looking clothing, while on campus.

Between finalizing your class schedule, stocking your dorm room with every necessity and luxury imaginable and willing your beach brain back to full capacity, for the next few weeks, college outfits are bound to be the last thing on your mind. That said, there are new dorm mates to be mingled with, professors to impress, first dates to be had and for all of these encounters, sweatpants — while ubiquitous in the library — are best left untouched. 

In some ways, the mythical cool college coed wardrobe is just that — a myth. On many, if not most, mornings you will roll out of bed exhausted, your reading still chapters from done and what you wear that day will be determined solely by what’s within arm’s reach and smells relatively clean. For this reason, we recommend coming up with your own Karl Lagerfeld-esque uniform (we’re speaking of his method, not suggesting you attempt to take notes in black leather gloves). When it comes to day-to-day dressing, find a few college outfits that suit you and (loosely) duplicate them throughout the week. Your snooze-button-indulged undereye area will thank you, we promise.

Need a little sartorial orientation? We thought you might. Click through the slideshow above for 20 ready-for-everything college outfits (and wardrobe necessities) and get ready to ace Style 101 (or 201…or 301…or 401…).