It’s that time of year! Back to school. But today, we are talking to our local ladies who are going off to college and those who are coming to town as incoming freshmen. We know that every girl heading to college wants to maintain her unique sense of style, but there are some basics that everyone needs during this first year.
The packing list can be rather daunting when you prepare to go to college. There is so much to bring and think about and plan for. You’ve got to remember school supplies and all electronic accoutrements. You have to have appropriate clothing for going out, attending class, presentations, sorority recruitment and, not to mention, basics for the weather. And, of course, it’s crucial to think about how you will decorate your dorm room to show off your personal flair. Well, lucky for you, we’ve rounded up a starting list of back-to-school essentials you’ll need. It hardly scratches the surface, but in terms of musts, these are the things you cannot go to college without. (You can thank us later!)
And if you’re not a college freshman nor do you have a college freshman, bear in mind that these are all great gift ideas to send your favorite girl who’s on her way to campus this fall.
Little Black Dress
Everyone needs a LBD for college. Whether you’re going out on the weekends or you are rushing for recruitment, your LBD will be as important as your room key! Here’s a great example of a LBD that always works; this black lace cocktail dress at Blu Boutique is a great option for every season, and it retails for $189.
The Perfect Pair of Jeans
The perfect pair of jeans can be very hard to find, which is why when we find them, we’re willing to splurge a little. Honing in on a good pair that fits you well is important and ensures you will have them that much longer. Where to find the perfect pair? Modern Elegance carries a great selection of jeans in all different styles and colors.
Cute pajamas are a must for college! Skip the oversize T-shirt and boxer shorts for a sassy set to pair well with your beauty sleep. Circe/Swag has a fantastic selection of pajama sets, as well as pajama shorts and pants. This set of Vineyard Vines jammies retails for $128.
If you take anything away from this back-to-school list, this is it: Not buying a rain jacket is almost as silly as not buying your textbooks. Trust us, you’ll need this item at some point this year, so make it count! This monogrammed windbreaker from Cordial Lee in Mt. Washington retails for $58.95, monogram included.
Just like the rain jacket, you’ll need some rain boots, too. Hunter boots are perfect for rain and are very stylish. If you’re going to school where snow will be in the forecast, slip these on with some thick socks and you’re good to go. Pick up a pair at Monkee’s for $148 to $158. Be sure to pack the tools to help keep your Hunter boots looking fresh all year long: boot shine is $5, and the rubber buffer is $12.
Bringing your big purse everywhere is simply unpractical. Opt for smaller clutches that hold everything you need: money, keys, school ID and lip gloss. We suggest stocking up with a black one and a colorful one so you always have plenty of options. Modern Elegance has both for $38 to $58.
You’ll definitely need a key chain to carry your dorm room keys! We love the Lilly Pulitzer ones at Celebrations that retail for $18. There are plenty of patterns to pick from; we love the pink and navy shell pattern.
You can never have enough colorful notebooks in your backpack. These cute, lined notebooks from cale & cole are $11 each. We recommend using the colorful felt tip Paper Mate pens to write all of your daily musings.
Don’t be that girl, you know the one … who is ALWAYS asking to borrow a pencil but who never gives it back? Make this the year you’re really prepared; stop by Cartwheels and pick up a pack like these for $9. And, of course, you’ll need an adorable place to store them, like this canvas elephant pencil holder, $20.
One of the best parts of going back to school is stocking up on cute desk accessories. Celebrations has a huge selection, so definitely add this stop to your errand list. Kate Spade makes even the most mundane paper clip a work of art.
Another thing you won’t be able to live without at school? An agenda to keep you on task. And it has to be cute. You’ll already be at Celebrations grabbing your desk accessories, so add one of these to the basket. Their selection of Lilly Pulitzer and Kate Spade options, sold for $22 to $34, are totally on point!
We’ll include this in school supplies because without it, you won’t get anywhere. Coffee mugs are a dime a dozen, but something about this one really resonates. This to-go coffee mug can be found at Something Blue for $24, and it allows you to bring your own coffee from dorm to class, saving precious funds each day. And the message will let everyone know, in a cute, nonaggressive way, that it’s best not to engage with you until after you’ve had your coffee.
DORM ROOM ESSENTIALS
Pillows are an easy way to add some color to your dorm room and show off your singular personality. We suggest at least a few to make your bed extra comfortable. And it’s always good to keep your roots firmly grounded and show your hometown pride. Here are a few cute options from Work the Metal and the Urban Farmhouse Market.
We know you won’t forget your hometown spirit, but just in case, these fleur de lis signs have all of the Louisville neighborhoods written on them. You can find them at Urban Farmhouse Market for $26.
Here’s the last essential, and this one is from the heart. It’s not necessarily something to bring to school, but rather a piece of advice we hope you’ll hold near and dear: Cherish every moment of your college experience. The friends and memories you make there will stick with you forever, and by the time your four years are over, well, you’ll be crying at your college graduation wondering how in the world you’ll be able to survive the real world.
Okay, now go make good grades, meet new friends, socialize and most importantly, have fun! (And please be careful!)
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