3 Items from Your College Wardrobe to Keep After Graduation

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Looking back over the year since I graduated, I see that a lot has changed. I don't sport a messy bun and athletic shorts on the daily, for one, nor do I have the luxury of waking up whenever I please.

But by the same token, a lot of things have stayed the same. I still love the field I majored in, I still survive on semi-healthy snacks and caffeine. And I'm still a casual girl at heart.

Don't get me wrong — I like dressing nice for work. But like I've written before, I strive to find a balance between quality, cost and comfort in all things. That also means I've learned how to "upcycle" my most-loved wardrobe items from college, giving them new life as I've started my own.

Today, I'll tell you exactly what those items are and why to keep them around.

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1. Your backpack or weekender bag

Any item high-quality enough to tote around textbooks all year is one worth keeping. Your favorite carry-all bag — whether it's a backpack, messenger or weekender — will retain its usefulness long after you walk the graduation stage.

And to be frank, the things you keep in it won't change much. Water bottles, pencils, snacks, a planner — Your work bag will hold them, too. What's more, you'll want a bag that's extra roomy so that you can easily transition to a different activity after work.

Related: Life-Changing Gifts for Busy Working Women

Maybe you plan to hit the gym or grab drinks with coworkers. In any case, prepping your bag for the day's entirety will ensure you're never left in a bind.

2. Your classic jewelry

Maybe it's a graduation gift from Mom and Dad or just a splurge-worthy piece to commemorate finals. But if there's one thing that isn't absent from a college girl's wardrobe, it's quality accessories.

Chances are high that you've accumulated a nice collection of necklaces, bracelets and rings from your favorite trendy designer — like James Avery or Kendra Scott. These versatile pieces will serve you well once you start your full-time job.

If your jewelry box is overflowing, choose 5-10 classic pieces and donate or sell the rest. As a rule of thumb, your professional wardrobe should include at least one sleek watch, simple studs and a bracelet that won't drive you nuts after eight hours of typing (Easier said than found, of course).

3. Your coziest tee

T-shirts and college apparel are basically synonymous. Wearable swag is free PR for orgs around campus, which means you're bound to have scooped up a half dozen or more through the semesters. And while these tees were a staple during college, they won't get much love post-graduation.

Related: What No One Tells You About Life After College

That said, you don't need to bid farewell to all your college tees. Pick your most-loved, most comfortable shirt and pack it up with the rest of your wardrobe faves. Whether or not your future workplace embraces casual wear, you'll still find comfort in your cozy college tee on weekends — and after long days on the job.

For the rest of your t-shirt collection, check if your college hosts a "shirt swap" during the year — when students donate or exchange old campus tees for new ones — or box 'em up and drop them off at your local charity.

I love this baseball-style sorority tee from GreekU. It's the perfect item to throw on for a casual Saturday out or a cozy Friday night in. Snag this shirt for yourself here.


I received compensation in exchange for writing this review. As always, all opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links, which means I may receive commission if you click on one of the product links. For more information, please see my Terms of Use.