FASHION | What to Take to University Checklist

Laurina Machite Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blogger What to Take to University Checklist

Please Note! Since changing from Brightly Black to Laurina Machite I have lost a whole bunch of my images, for that reason this post will only contain the product names and links to their website. If you would like pictures I do have some, just request below! 🙂 

If I had a What to Take to University Checklist when I first started university then my first couple of months or so wouldn’t have been so confusing (fashion wise). So because I don’t want neither you nor your loved ones being as confused as I was, I have put together a comprehensive list on what fashion, beauty and lifestyle things you will need to get your hands on in order to make your transition into university just a little easier.


When I first started creating this list I didn’t realize just how long and detailed I was going to make it. As I was writing I found myself adding more and more things to make this list as comprehensive, detailed and helpful as possible, which ended up making it a bit too long. So I have now decided to split the fashion, beauty and lifestyle lists into three to make them easier to absorb and take in. In order to keep up to date with all the lists and get notifications on the new ones be sure to like the Brightly Black Facebook Page to stay in the know.


This post was requested by someone from the Brightly Black family who is going to be starting her first year in university this year and I am so excited for her. If you are starting university also this year, well done!  Your hard work has surely paid off and I hope your first year is full of nothing but joy, discovery, enlightenment, and most of all, fun! You deserve it (don’t forget to work hard though, don’t say Laurina didn’t tell you).


One thing I do have to mention before I start this list is that you don’t have to get everything on this list. This list is intended on being a guideline on what I believe you will need for your first year and where the ideal places to get them are.



Everyday is casual day at university and I absolutely love that. Though there are some mornings I wake up wishing I just had a uniform already set out and ironed to just put on without a single thought, I do utterly adore the idea of being able to wear whatever, whenever. Remember, you are not at university to impress anybody, so if you are like me and leggings paired with a simple t-shirt are your thing then go on girl. But that’s not to say that if you want to strut around looking like Kim Kardashian on campus everyday you can’t.

I’m all for people living in their truth and being true to themselves so no matter your style, your university years are your years to experiment, change up your looks and go all out.


When it comes to the wardrobe basics I would recommend you buy them at the most inexpensive prices. There is absolutely no need to ball out when it comes to wardrobe essentials and some of the stores below offer the essential wardrobe basics at the best prices.


Wardrobe Basics:

  • T-shirts – ideally five in neutral colours to last you the entire week. If you are a fan of doing laundry once a week (which you most likely will be) then five is ideal. And neutral colours match with absolutely every other colour pallet so you never have to worry about mis-matching.
  • Shorts – with this summer heat you are welcome to buy as many pairs of shorts as you please depending on how big a fan you are of shorts.
  • Socks and underwear – underwear is a no brainer, and the number of underwear you choose to pack is also at your discretion. When it comes to socks however, I would recommend a minimum of three good pairs and at least four secret socks. With the way African heat fluctuates, honey, you do not want smelly feet to ruin your day.
  • Lightweight cardigans – the weather can be extremely unpredictable no matter where on this planet you live, and first year lecture schedules can sometimes cause you to end up being on campus from early morning to late in the evening. Having a good, high quality lightweight cardigan as a “just-in-case” can be an extremely excellent investment.
  • Comfy pajamas – after a long day of hard work, sometimes the comfiest pajamas are all you need to feel relaxed.
  • Hats and sunglasses – if you are going to be walking to and from university a lot then yo u will have to be super careful about sun exposure and skin damage. One of the ways to prevent extreme sun damage investing in a couple of hats is essential.
  • Flip flops – flip flops are a huge essential. Especially if you’re living in a house with a lot of people. You will hardly ever catch me walking around in communal areas without flip flops or at least even socks on. They are also good for those hot days when you just want to let your feet breath a little.
  • Jeans – jeans are something that I definitely believe should be splurged on. Rather than having to buy a new pair of jeans every month, rather just invest in one or two super high quality jeans you know you will have for a lifetime.
  • Shoes/trainers – another wardrobe essential I would suggest you splurge as much money into as you can. You will most likely spend a lot of time running around getting lost on campus quite a few times in your first year and will need a steady pair of strong, high quality, long lasting pair/s of shoes
  • Pumps – pumps are a girl’s best friend. Get yourself as many pairs as possible.

Formal/Smart-Casual Wear:

Depending on what degree you are trying to obtain, you may be required to make quite a few formal presentations in front of your class. Even though you haven’t entered the working world yet, you will be required to look well presented and put together. You may not be required to go all out and include heels as well but it is always safe to go with looking too formal rather than way too casual for a formal class presentation.

Also, depending on how well you do in your first year, it is not uncommon to be required to attend interviews by future employers and there you will absolutely be required to dress formally. Below are a couple of ideas on what you may need to buy in order to dress yourself up and look presentable.


  • Formal pin stripe shirt – I enormously adore the look of pin stripe shirts. There is something extremely chic yet laid back about them. Pair them with a simple pair of jeans and a pair of high heels and you are good to go. You look formal and presentable. If you are buying a pin stripe shirt in anticipation for a formal event or interview it is safe to go for a dark colour so as not to look too laid back and “chilled”.
  • Pencil skirt – pencil skirts are yet another fashion staple that are easy to dress up and make formal. Make sure your pencil skirt sits either right by your knees or under. Nothing over the knees.
  • Mid-heels – when dressing up for an interview or presentation it is always best to stick to the “low heel” side of heels. Wearing extremely high heels may make you a bit too “trendy” which has been said to sometimes work against you when people are trying to take you seriously in the work place.
  • Blazer – I have written about my love for blazers countless times here on Brightly Black and for good reason. A simple, well constructed blazer has the ability to turn your outfit from smart-casual to formal in a split second.

Lets’s Party!


Work hard, play hard. In university I feel like everyone needs a healthy balance of work and play or else they will go crazy. For whenever it is you feel like letting your hair down and getting down, I have listed just some of the fashion clothing you may need to take into consideration when doing university shopping.

  • High heels – in my first year I had just one pair of high quality, steady pair of high heels that I literally used to wear everywhere. I wasn’t much of a high heels girl in my first year (I still don’t even feel like I am) and so I had spent quite a bit of money on these heels and they managed to last me a good two solid years. When it comes to high heels, whether you are a major fan of high heels or not I would say this is something you definitely need to splurge on. Investing in a good quality pair of heels can be a tremendous investment.
  • Mini dress – If you have been reading the blog for a while then you may have noticed that I don’t wear mini dresses; I have nothing against them I just feel like they have never quite fit my “going out lifestyle”. When I go out I like to get down, and mini dresses just won’t allow for such things. If you are more chilled than I am though, I would suggest you get yourself some sexy mini dresses and paint the town red.
  • Miniskirts and crop tops – now these are unquestionably not for everyone. I have friends who absolutely cannot stand crop tops, but I am quite fond of a good crop top depending on the occasion. Crop tops and miniskirts are also something I would not recommend you splurge on. At. All.
  • All purpose clutch bag – clutch bags are absolute heaven when it comes to nights out. They are big enough to carry the bare essentials but small enough not to be a major burden throughout the night.


It’s all good and well knowing what to buy, but sometimes it’s harder trying to figure out where on earth to get this stuff from. Below are a couple of ideas of stores in which you can find some of the items mentioned above.



Mr Price loogo - what to take to university checklist

Mr Price is one of my absolute favorite stores. It offers the latest fashion at the most inexpensive prices. All images below are from I would suggest you get about five basic t-shirt or tank tops just to start off with. I say this because I usually do laundry once a week so five is enough to get me through the week, lol guilty. Neutral colours like black, white, grey and tan would be your best bet because they match with absolutely everything. There are a few examples below, to see more, visit their website here.


Mr Price also offers a wide variety of basic essentials such as secret socks (NB! Secret socks are a must-have for everyone), normal socks (because, obviously), cute dresses, rompers, and sleepware. Below are a couple of essentials I saw and loved. I will surely be getting a couple of these things for myself when I head back to university for yet another year.


Slops are the go-to footware for hot days and yet another fashion essential I do not believe in splurging a huge amount of money on. For just R19.99 a pair, these are bomb. Also from Mr Price.

I could literally go on and on and on about Mr Price, trust me. But I think you get the jist. For all inexpensive essentials, head on over there. Visit their website here.



Laurina Machite Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blogger What to Take to University Checklist LEGiT


LEGit is yet another store to get inexpensive basic essentials from. It offers all-you-need essentials at a fraction of the price compared to other retail stores. Right now legit has they Boity x LEGit range in stores and I adore it! I bought one of the items from the range and I cannot wait to style it and show it to you guys, check out some of the clothing I am loving down below that are not from the range. To visit their website click here.


Now unfortunately LEGiT does not have as wide a variety of clothes online as Mr Price does so in order to see what they have you actually have to go in stores. To see what else they have on their online stores however, you can visit their website here.



Laurina Machite Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blogger What to Take to University Checklist Edgars


Who doesn’t love Edgars right? Now I haven’t been to Edgars in a young minute (I haven’t been to any store in a while now that I think about it). But last I was there they had a wide variety of clothing to choose from at super affordable prices. I would head on over there in person because it seems as though their online store has zero to offer. I do guarantee you that you will not be disappointed though. Below are a couple of items I found on their website that I absolutely love! To visit their website click here.



Laurina Machite Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blogger What to Take to University Checklist Rage


Rage is the store in which I got those high heels I was talking about earlier that I literally wore all the time. They don’t seem to have a wide variety of shoes to offer right now on their online store but it is still worth checking out. It also offers clothing too so be sure to check it out. To visit their website click here.




Woolworths, along with Edgars and Zara are the three stores I would recommend you get your jeans, blazers, and any other major fashion investments from. Know the timing of the Zara sales so you can get value for your money and expect to pay roughly R350 for a pair of high quality long lasting jeans at either Woolworths or Edgars. To visit their website go here.



Laurina Machite Fashion Beauty Lifestyle Blogger What to Take to University Checklist Truworths

Truworths is yet another store to get extremely high quality clothing from. To visit their website click here.

There are a multitude of other stores I could list here but that would just make this list ridiculously long and tedious but I am pretty sure you get the idea. Like I said above there is really no reason to purchase everything I listed above, and no reason at all to buy from the stores I suggested.


If you would like me to complete and post the beauty and lifestyle list don’t be afraid to give me a shout, or comment below.

What are some of your favourite stores?

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