The School Spirit Starter Pack: College Apparel and Accessories You MUST Buy

By: Alex Cole

Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, William and Mary University

Once November rolls around, relatives and family friends all inevitably begin asking the same question: what do you want for Christmas/Hanukkah/other winter holidays? Luckily, for those who get in early decision or early action, or just have a good feeling that you’re going to be accepted by your dream school, the holidays are the perfect time to start amassing college apparel. But what items will you actually use? Here, I’ve outlined the spirit paraphernalia every college student needs. If you haven’t decided on a school yet, be sure to save this list to guide you on a celebratory shopping spree when your final decision is reached.

A Baseball Cap

Baseball caps are perfect for throwing on for your Friday morning 8 am class once you get to school; before then, though, a baseball cap is a great way to casually rep your school while running errands, going for hikes, or sightseeing on summer trips. Bonus points for picking out a classy embroidered hat that features the school crest!


Tervis tumbler or water bottle

If you’re a coffee drinker, a Tervis Tumblers are a great invest because they can be used to keep your hot cappuccino or iced latte the perfect temperature. Most colleges have licensed products in partnership with Tervis that can be ordered online or bought in your school’s bookstore. However, if you’re not big into coffee or tea, a standard water bottle with your school’s name or logo will get a lot more use.


Classic T-Shirt

Yes, you’re going to get a million free t-shirts once you arrive at school. However, they might not be a style that you like and until then, you need at least one shirt to show off your college pride while you’re still in high school—many schools have a “college day” when everyone wears apparel from the school they’ve chosen, and you don’t want to be left out! Once you get to your new institution, the t-shirt will be offer a good option for a gameday outfit if your school doesn’t buy into the Southern tradition of dressing up for sports events.university_of_illinois_t_shirt_1024x1024

One “choice item”

It’s that item you see in your bookstore or online that you just MUST have. Maybe it’s a spirit jersey, fuzzy hat, cozy sweatpants, or a festive scarf. You probably don’t need it, per say, but everyone deserves one fun, unique spirit item in their closet.


It’s a short list, but purposefully so. As I mentioned before, there will be ample opportunity to snag free t-shirts and maybe even other apparel once you arrive at school. Additionally, once you begin joining organizations such as fraternities/sororities or sports clubs, you’re inevitably going to want spirit wear to display those affiliations as well. Do yourself a favor and don’t buy too many college spirit items so you have the money (and space in your new dorm-sized closet!) for other items that you might want to buy later!

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