What Every College Student Should Have in Her Closet for Winter

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Winter sucks. One of the few things I don’t dislike about winter is layering. I’m all about layering: my go-to outfit is a crew neck sweater on top of a button down, usually a flannel one, topped with a statement necklace. If it isn’t too cold outside, I’ll throw on a vest instead of a coat.

Walking across campus means you have to be prepared for nearly every kind of weather, especially when you go to school and live in the Midwest, like I do. It could rain, snow and be sunny, all in one day (shout out to Midwest weather).

L.L. Bean Boots: One of the best purchases I’ve ever made, Bean boots are at the top of my list for winter essentials. They’re usually sold out in the winter because they take a while to make. It’s best to buy them in the spring or summer, when demand is low and they have plenty in stock. I love my pair, and they’re the warmest boots I’ve ever owned. I bought mine with the GoreTex inside. They’re pricey but definitely worth it.


Thick Socks: Thick socks are a necessity in the winter, and I’m not saying that because I love socks. You can find pairs almost anywhere. Some of my favorite warm socks come from J.Crew, American Eagle and DSW.

Winter Coat: Invest in a nice winter coat if you haven’t already. They last a long time and keep you warm, so it’s a win-win. I usually get coats from Macy’s because they have good deals, especially after Christmas or when winter is about to be over. If you don’t have a decent winter coat, chances are you’ll freeze to death on the way to class. Don’t be that person.

Coat from Macy’s

Knit Hat: This one, like having a winter coat, is pretty obvious. Especially if you don’t like to blow dry your hair, like me, and your hair tends to freeze when you step outside, also like me, then you’re going to want a hat. My favorites are the ones from American Eagle. If there’s a pom pom on top, even better.

Hat from Aerie

Sweaters: Also pretty obvious. Sweaters are perfect because you can basically dress them however you want. Dress it up by adding a statement necklace or scarf, or dress it down by wearing it with leggings, or don’t wear it with anything, whatever. They’re great for layering because a.) they’re warm; and b.) they go with practically anything. Check out American Eagle (are you catching on to this trend yet?), J. Crew Factory, H&M and Target for decently priced sweaters.

Sweater from Target, Scarf from Maurice’s, bag from Kate Spade, jeans from American Eagle

Flannels: Or, really, anything with a collar. They look great under a sweater, with a vest, by themselves or with a cardigan thrown on. Also, you can wear button-downs almost all year so that’s a plus.

Vest and necklace from J. Crew Factory, flannel from American Eagle

Long Sleeve Dress: Do yourself a favor and get a long sleeve dress because chances are you will have to dress up at least once this winter, and why give up warmth for fashion? LuLu’s is my absolute favorite place to go for dresses, and they’re not super expensive either. They even have a whole section for long sleeve dresses.

Dress from LuLu’s, socks from American Eagle, boots from Nordstrom Rack

Some other things that aren’t actually essential for surviving winter but I just like are vests, statement necklaces and long sleeves (Vineyard Vines are my favorite, but I would wait until there’s a sale). Vests are also a great layering piece, and you can wear them under a coat if you really hate being cold. They also tend to be on the pricey side, but it’ll pay off when you’re walking to class and realize that you’re wearing it for the third day in a row. Check out J. Crew Factory for some reasonably priced vests that are still great quality.

Vest from J. Crew Factory, necklace from Dry Goods, sweater from Target

Statement necklaces are good for killing the layering game because they’re versatile. My favorite place to get them from is Dry Goods’ clearance section, because they look nice but are discounted to a good price. I got a necklace from there for $7 once and I wear it all the time. I recommend shopping in store because tbh their website is not good.

Good luck staying warm this winter, especially if you’re in the Midwest because you’re going to need it.


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