How Many Shirts Should I Bring To College

How Many Shirts Should I Bring To College

Packing for college is an exciting and daunting task. With a sea of decisions, figuring out how many shirts to bring can feel overwhelming. Fear not, fellow freshman! This comprehensive guide will equip you with all the knowledge you need to pack the perfect shirt collection for your college adventure.

How Many Shirts Should I Bring To College

There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the “how many shirts?” question. The ideal number depends on several factors unique to your college experience:

  • Climate: The climate of your college location will significantly impact your wardrobe needs. Pack more warm clothes for colder climates and lighter options for warmer ones. Consider seasonal variations and potential weather fluctuations.
  • Laundry Frequency: How often you plan to do laundry will influence how many shirts you need. Packing for weekly laundry cycles requires more shirts than if you plan to wash clothes daily—factor in your schedule and access to laundry facilities.
  • Activity Level: Do you anticipate a busy schedule with frequent gym sessions and outdoor activities? Then, pack clothes that are durable and moisture-wicking. You might need fewer athletic wear options if you prefer a more relaxed pace. Consider your hobbies and extracurricular activities.
  • Formal Events: Consider the number of formal occasions you might attend, like presentations, dinners, or Greek life events. Pack accordingly with dressier shirts and blouses. Factor in any clubs or organizations you might join.
  • Personal Style: Don’t forget your individuality! Pack shirts that express your personality and make you feel confident. Reflect on your usual clothing choices and what makes you feel comfortable and stylish.

How Many Shirts To Pack?

While the exact number will vary based on the factors mentioned above, a good starting point is 7–10 shirts. This allows for a week’s worth of outfits with some buffer for laundry and unforeseen events.

Here’s a breakdown based on different laundry frequencies:

  • Daily laundry: 5–7 shirts
  • Every 2-3 days: 7-9 shirts
  • Weekly laundry: 10–12 shirts

Remember, these numbers are just estimates. Adjust them based on your unique needs and preferences.

Essential Shirt Categories to Include

To ensure your wardrobe is versatile and practical, consider packing a mix of the following types of shirts:

1. Tops for Every Occasion

  • T-shirts are the ultimate casual staple, perfect for everyday wear and layering. Pack a variety of plain and printed options.
  • Long-sleeved shirts: Long sleeves are essential for cooler weather and can be dressed up or down. Choose from t-shirts, sweaters, hoodies, and button-downs.
  • Tank tops are ideal for hot weather and layering under other shirts.
  • Formal shirts: If you anticipate formal occasions, pack dress shirts, blouses, or polos.
  • Athletic wear: pack moisture-wicking shirts for workouts and activewear.

2. Building a Versatile Wardrobe

  • Mix and match: Choose versatile pieces that can be easily paired with different bottoms and accessories.
  • Invest in quality over quantity. Opt for durable and long-lasting shirts that will withstand regular wear and tear.
  • Leave room for new additions. College is a time for self-discovery and evolving style. Pack with space for new clothes you might acquire throughout the year.

3. Saving Money on College Clothes

  • Shop at thrift stores and consignment shops. You can find unique and affordable clothing that reflects your style.
  • Swap clothes with friends: Host clothing swap parties with your fellow students to exchange unwanted items.
  • Take advantage of student discounts. Many retailers offer special discounts for students.
  • Look for deals: Check online stores and clearance sections for discounted clothes.

4. Additional Packing Tips

  • Optimize space: Use space-saving packing techniques like rolling clothes instead of folding.
  • Learn about the laundry facilities: Familiarize yourself with the washing machines, dryers, and detergent options available on campus.
  • Do laundry with friends: Sharing the load can make laundry more enjoyable and efficient.
  • Utilize laundry delivery services: Many campuses offer convenient laundry delivery services for a fee.

Beyond the Shirts

While shirts are a crucial part of any college wardrobe, they are just one piece of the puzzle. To ensure you’re fully prepared for the diverse demands of college life, consider these additional essential items:


  • Jeans: A timeless and versatile staple, perfect for casual wear and dressed-up looks. Pack a dark wash and a light wash pair for maximum adaptability.
  • Shorts: Ideal for warm weather and casual outings. Choose a mix of denim, chino, and athletic shorts for different occasions.
  • Leggings: A comfortable and stylish option for lounging, exercising, and layering. Pack black and neutral-coloured leggings for optimal wearability.
  • Skirts: A feminine and versatile option for both casual and dressy occasions. Opt for a denim skirt for a laid-back look and a flowy skirt for dressier events.


  • A versatile dress can be a lifesaver for various events, from presentations and dinners to sorority formals and date nights. Pack one or two dresses in neutral colours and classic styles that can be easily accessorized.

Jackets and Coats

  • Pack outerwear suitable for the climate and your activities. A raincoat is essential for rainy days, while a winter coat will keep you warm during colder months. Consider a lightweight jacket or denim jacket for transitional weather.


  • Don’t underestimate the power of accessories! Scarves, belts, hats, and jewellery can add personality and polish to any outfit. Pack a few versatile pieces that can be paired with different outfits.

Other Essentials

  • Pyjamas: Comfortable pyjamas are essential for relaxation and sleep. Pack two sets for laundry cycles.
  • Undergarments: Pack enough undergarments for at least a week’s wear.
  • Socks: Pack an assortment of socks for different activities, including athletic socks, ankle socks, and dress socks.
  • Swimwear: If you plan on using the campus pool or spending time at the beach, pack a swimsuit or two.
  • Active wear: Pack comfortable athletic wear for workouts and gym sessions.
  • Formal wear: If you anticipate attending formal events or presentations, pack a suit or dressy outfit.

Additional Tips

  • Plan your outfits: Before packing, take some time to plan outfits for different occasions. This will help you avoid over-packing and ensure you have everything you need.
  • Utilize packing cubes: These handy organizers help keep your clothes compressed and organized in your luggage.
  • Roll your clothes: Rolling clothes instead of folding saves space and minimizes wrinkles.
  • Invest in quality basics: Opt for well-made, versatile basics that you can mix and match to create different outfits.
  • Leave room for growth: College is a time of discovering your style. Pack with space for new pieces you might acquire throughout the year.
  • Consider weather fluctuations: Pack clothes suitable for different weather conditions, as the weather can be unpredictable.
  • Don’t forget toiletries and other essentials: Pack all the necessary toiletries, medications, and other personal items you need for daily living.


Packing for college may seem like a complex puzzle, but by considering your personal needs and preferences, you can curate a fantastic wardrobe that serves you well throughout your academic journey. Remember, it’s not just about numbers but about creating a collection of clothes that make you feel confident and comfortable while reflecting your unique style.

Start by packing essential shirt categories like t-shirts, long-sleeved shirts, tank tops, formal shirts, and athletic wear. Adjust the quantity based on your laundry frequency and activity level. Don’t forget to pack stylish and comfortable bottoms like jeans, shorts, leggings, and skirts.

Add a few versatile dresses for both casual and formal occasions. Complete your wardrobe with essential outerwear like jackets and coats, along with accessories like scarves, belts, hats, and jewelry to personalize your looks.

Remember, building your college wardrobe is a continuous process. Start with the essentials and gradually add new pieces that reflect your evolving style and needs. Be resourceful by shopping at thrift stores, swapping with friends, and taking advantage of student discounts. Most importantly, have fun and embrace the opportunity to express your individuality through fashion!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How can I make laundry less daunting in college?

  • Utilize in-dorm laundry facilities: Wash clothes in your dorm if you have access to a washer and dryer. This option is convenient and saves you time.
  • Schedule regular laundry days: Dedicate specific days for laundry to avoid last-minute scrambling. This will help you stay organized and prevent pile-ups.
  • Air-dry clothes whenever possible: This saves energy and is gentler on delicate fabrics. Invest in a drying rack or utilize the laundry lines available on campus.
  • Utilize campus laundry services: Many campuses offer laundry pickup and delivery services for an additional fee. This can be a convenient option if you have a busy schedule or don’t have access to in-dorm laundry facilities.

2. What additional garments should I pack besides shirts?

  • Underwear and socks: Pack enough pairs to last you between laundry cycles.
  • Sleepwear: Choose comfortable pyjamas or loungewear for relaxing in your dorm.
  • Swimsuits: Pack a swimsuit if you plan to use campus pools, participate in water sports, or enjoy trips to the beach.
  • Formal attire: Pack formal clothing for special occasions, including dress pants, skirts, suits, and formal dresses.
  • Activewear: Pack comfortable and functional clothes for workouts, gym sessions, and outdoor activities.

3. What are some ways to save money on college clothes?

  • Shop during sales and clearance events: Many retailers offer significant discounts on clothing during seasonal sales and clearance events. Take advantage of these opportunities to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank.
  • Shop online for deals: Online retailers often offer lower prices and wider selections than traditional brick-and-mortar stores. Compare prices and look for discount codes before making purchases.
  • Seek hand-me-downs: Ask family and friends for any unwanted clothes that you might like. This is a great way to score free or low-cost clothing.
  • Organize clothing swaps with friends: Host clothing swap parties with your fellow students to exchange unwanted items and discover new fashion finds.
  • Learn basic sewing and repair skills: This allows you to fix minor clothing issues and extend the lifespan of your garments, saving you money on replacements.
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