By Erin Foley
HottyToddy Fashion Contributor
Every year I hope to improve my wardrobe, and every year it’s stayed the same. That was until I realized the power of “basics” in my wardrobe.
So let’s talk about fashion essentials that not only allow you to build your personal style on but also make packing for Ole Miss a breeze.
I prefer the base of my wardrobe to be either black or white. Most of these items can be bought in any color, though; that’s the beauty of their being basics. If it fits your budget, look to start your 2022 wardrobe with sustainably made basics. Unfortunately for me, it doesn’t fit with my current budget, but that doesn’t mean I won’t be shopping sustainably when I can.
We’re students at Ole Miss, so we all know the weather is unpredictable. So, to deal with the uncertainty, I recommend getting as many cropped tank tops as you can. I absolutely love the Zara ribbed round neck tank top; however, they are currently out of stock for most colors. So my next go-to is either Amazon or Cotton-On. It really doesn’t matter where you find this item, just get one of at least black and white.
Next, let’s talk about yoga pants. Lululemon is crazy popular at Ole Miss, but those prices? I could never. So, look at Aerie or Amazon for more affordable options. I love CRZ yoga leggings on Amazon. Whatever brand you get, just make sure you get at least two solid black leggings and one flare legging.
If you’re going to shop sustainable and spend more money on anything, make it be your classic black leggings. You’re going to get the most use out of a good pair of black leggings, especially in college—and I speak from experience. The Girlfriend Collective is a great ethically made source with prices comparable to Lululemon.
Ever experience the weather feeling like it’s freezing for your 8 a.m. class but then turning humid and hot after class? Yep, me too. Get a basic black and white zip up to throw over your tank top and leggings. You’ll realize how easy it is to style this weather-appropriate outfit if you just add the right accessories, whether it be cute jewelry or a baseball hat.
For the subject of men’s fashion, swap expensive name brand joggers for Amazon joggers, and I promise you no one will notice the difference. A classic flannel is perfect for this semester; whether fleece-lined or regular, they’re the perfect item for between classes in Mississippi weather. I recently visited my local thrift store and I was amazed at the amount of high quality—or even brand new—men’s button down shirts. Before you go buy any online, check the Oxford Goodwill or your hometown thrift store for these.
When it comes to packing for Ole Miss, I’m a complete mess. I always seem to bring either way too much or way too little. With a solid collection of basics, you’ll be able to create perfect outfits when you need to pack lightly and can’t bring your whole wardrobe home with you.
I start by packing all my basics and essentials, things I know I will need at Ole Miss. In this upcoming semester, make note of what you didn’t use that much for the next time you travel.
Here are my top three tips for packing:
- Try not to pack all of your statements or unique pieces. Leave those till the end when you know whether you have enough room or not.
- Roll. Your. Clothing. It saves so much space when packing and easily allows you to bring back those statement pieces you really want.
- Look into packing cubes or vacuum storage bags. Coming from Massachusetts, I found vacuum storage bags to be my life savers when it came to packing with limited bags able to fly with me. Packing cubes have made my life 10x easier coming home for Thanksgiving and Christmas since it really organized my clothing while also saving space in my suitcase.
Packing can be easy when you have a good collection of basics. When it comes to the spring semester at Ole Miss, I promise you you don’t need as much as you think you do. Unfortunately, when I found out it snowed in Mississippi before it snowed in Massachusetts this year, I realized I may not be able to leave behind my snow pants.