Here’s the great thing about fashion: It’s all about opinions. There’s really no wrong answer to the question “What do I wear?” If you’re comfortable wearing sweatpants or pajama pants to class, totally go for it! But, as I’m entering my junior year, I’ve discovered that I function better wearing actual clothes. My brain just doesn’t seem to function correctly if I’m wearing my clearance-bin Gap pajama set while trying to answer questions on Christian feminist theory. Thus, I’m here to give you my suggestions on what to bring for clothes your first year as a bit of a guide. Enjoy!

1) Jeans:

This is such a simple clothing option, but I think jeans are often overlooked on back-to-school clothing lists. I personally always forget to buy jeans as I just assume I have to already have some. It’s jeans! You know!? But, then the time comes to actually pack and I realize all of my jeans are too big or too worn, and then I’m just stuck with all these patterned dress pants and a lack of this staple item. There is literally not an easier outfit to throw on for class than a pair of jeans and a sweater. I really do love an Old Navy pair of jeans. They fit just right around many of my luscious curves. I also think they carry a really lovely assortment of sizes. The one thing to be wary of though is that sometimes Old Navy jeans are surprisingly expensive! For just $10 more you can get a very nice pair of Madewell jeans from Nordstrom Rack that will last longer and age better than what you’ll get at Old Navy, so that’s something to take a look at. 

2) Shoes:

Many of the lists on back-to-school shopping must-haves will always recommend a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers. This is really because for some students, you’ve got to literally HIKE to get from class to class. Luckily, students at Fairfield don’t have that problem! If I was just a bit more hench, I could throw a stone from one side of campus to the other. This is coming from a girl who’s walked around campus and made it to all her classes in a pair of stilettos. Of course, if you want to be comfortable, don’t listen to me and instead wear sneakers or boots. But, I’m just telling you that if you’re reading this as a first-year student, it’s not completely necessary to leave all of your more difficult to walk in shoes at home. You can do it!

3) Business Wear:

I had an internship my first year at Fairfield and thus I was often pulling off the business casual look of a blouse and jeans. I get that this isn’t the typical first-year experience, but I still think everyone should have a couple of interview-appropriate outfits stored in your closet in case you need it. There’s always an opportunity at Fairfield to throw on a suit jacket and network your way into a new job. I personally shop at Modcloth for my cute, quirky blouses. Then, for pants, I usually stick towards the sale rack at Loft and J.Crew. Though now that J.Crew’s in the bin, who knows where I’ll go!

Business wear can be really expensive, so if you do end up having a big interview and just can’t find something in your closet, the Career Center will help! They have a closet of donated business clothes all washed and ready for you to borrow for your next interview. So don’t worry if you can’t find anything to wear, they’ll find something!

4) Outwear:

So… I’m from upstate New York. We make it a competition of who can wear the least in nearly zero degree weather. The boys who wore basketball shorts to school when it was snowing were seen with a kind of coolness that the kids in hats and gloves just could never reach. Coming from this, I wasn’t really worried about the Connecticut winters, but I do have a lot of friends at school that are from places where snow is just as magical as Santa. Thus, they bring out all the goods for their first year. We’re talking thermal boots and the Canada Goose coat (a staple for any student wanting to show off). Honestly, you just don’t need that. Fairfield is such a small campus and so close to the ocean, that I’ve never been in danger of freezing. Of course, a warmer jacket and a hat and gloves are always good to have. However, don’t feel like you need to buy something expensive and thermal to spend the winter in. Some of us will decide to be off campus by Thanksgiving this year anyways! So even more reasons not to need anything major!

I know packing away your closet to move somewhere else for a few months can feel incredibly daunting. Plus, it’s hard on the brain when everyone else has different suggestions for what you should wear to class or what you should bring. But, if you just bring what you feel most comfortable in, the pieces that make you feel ready to dominate the world, then you simply can’t go wrong.

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