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10 College Wardrobe Essentials For Freshmen

jiffy travel steamer in backpack

Deciding what to bring to college is hard. Do you really need that vest? Will that fancy pair of shoes you wore to graduation come in handy, or will they just take up room in your tiny dorm closet? Is there anything you’re forgetting that will make the transition unnecessarily challenging? 

And as a parent of an incoming college freshman, you can stress just as much if not more than your child does over what they should bring. It’s likely their first time living away from home, so of course you want to make sure they have everything they need!  We’ve already put together your ultimate dorm room checklist and talked about the best ways to set up the perfect dorm room, and now we’ve compiled a helpful list of items that will help any new student determine how to stock their closet. 

Good Jeans (just a few)

They look good with any outfit and when taken care of properly, a good pair of jeans can last through your entire undergrad. If you want to boost the life expectancy of your favorite denim, try washing only after 4-5 wears and steaming in between washes using your Jiffy ESTEAM handheld clothes steamer.   

Simple Tops

It's a good idea to bring tops that aren’t too abstract in design or pattern. Due to the limited space in your dorm for clothes, the clothes you DO bring should be adaptable to any outfit. Royal Apparel offers a wide selection of USA-made, organic, and eco-friendly casual options for both men and women.    


Often, the temperature of your dorm room isn’t up to you. So when it gets too chilly for your liking, it is always handy to have a warm, cozy sweater or sweatshirt on hand. 

Formal Attire (a couple of sets)

When it comes to internships, interviews and presentations, it’s always nice to look as confident as you feel. This is another situation where your clothing steamer will really come in handy, as traditional washing machines are often not suitable for formal wear. Nice slacks (or a skirt), a collared shirt and a blazer are all good essentials to have on hand. 

Neutral Sneakers 

The shoes you bring to college need to be adaptable to any outfit and situation. Bring your most reliable, adaptable pairs and avoid any expensive or outfit-defining footwear. You’ll be surprised by the wear and tear your shoes will endure during your first year on campus! It’s always a good idea to have one pair of shoes that are reserved for physical activities as well. 

Sweat Pants

In college, a comfortable pair of sweats that are suitable for public wear are worth their weight in gold. A couple of pairs of these will make those 8:00 am classes and late library nights that much more bearable.

Shower Shoes

Chances are that in college, “your” shower isn’t actually yours. Sometimes being shared by an entire floor’s worth of people, it’s a good idea to bring a cheap pair of slide-on sandals or flip flops to protect your feet from germs and grime. 

One Light and One Heavy Jacket

Does walking to class in freezing temperatures sound like your idea of a good morning? To mitigate your misery, be sure to bring a reliable winter jacket or coat to keep you warm. Even if you’re attending a school in warmer climates, having both a heavy and a light jacket is smart. After all, you never know whether a new friend from a different part of the country will invite you home with them for winter break!

Athletic Clothing

Athletic clothing is one thing many college students forget about their first semester. Even if you don’t foresee yourself doing any serious physical activity, it’s best to bring a few sets just in case. Did someone say intramural softball?

With these basic wardrobe essentials, you can head to college with the confidence that your closet is properly prepped for the year! When you’re doing your shopping, be sure to add one of our Jiffy ESTEAM travel steamers to the list if you don’t have one already. High-quality clothes steamers are an investment that will last through college and beyond. If you’re not sure yet that you need one, check out these reasons why every college student needs a steamer

Find out where to buy a steamer or order online today!