It’s finally fall: leaves are changing, a chill is in the air and everything is flavored like pumpkin whether it should be or not. The PSL’s mean fall semester is in full force. Days filled with club meetings, bio and lunches with friends make getting dressed appropriately each morning no easy feat. When you leave in the morning, you have to be prepared for all activities and random temperature drops. A change in season means a change in wardrobe, and there are a few essentials all college students should own to get through the season in one piece.
10. Sweats/Yoga Pants
Ladies and gents alike, I will guarantee that you can’t make it through a semester without these glorious things. I always think I’m going to be a good adult and not wear sweats, and so far every winter my one pair ends up being washed a hundred times because I’m wearing sweats more often than mascara. When it gets cold at night, regular pajamas won’t cut it anymore. Post-shower dinner runs or club meetings are also a lot toastier when you embrace the comfort of the sweats life. And sometimes after a long day, you just need to rock the sweats; high school logos, coffee stains and all.
9. “Nice” Jeans
The bandage-skirt-and-wedges uniform will only last you so long before you’ll be flaunting goose-bumps, purple extremities and pneumonia when you go out. The easiest way to get away with staying warm is to have one pair of decent looking jeans that go with everything, and can easily be dressed up to go out. Or you can just look awesome in a regular Tuesday morning class.
8. Casual Sneakers
I used to be all about boots all the time, but when I got to college I became really attached to my Nike’s and Adidas. Mostly because being in college means one thing: walking. While my waistline thanked me for it, my feet were screaming. Before the winter snow or spring mud sets in, one pair of universally cool sneakers will work wonders to keep your feet casual and warm. Plus, rocking kicks is a pretty easy way to live out your “Party in the U.S.A.” fantasy.
7. Long Blanket Sweater
Rock this classic as a robe over PJs, all day when you’re feeling gross or even on a date (yes, my own sweater has been known to make appearances in all of these circumstances). It’s less committal than a coat, so you won’t be that sweaty kid in lecture or have to carry a giant coat that can’t fit in your backpack and threatens to rip its seams. When you’re cold in class, it’s a blanket that’s a lot more socially acceptable than a Snuggie. Respect to anyone who brings their Snuggie to lecture, though. You do you.
6. Decent Pajamas
If you’re a freshman living in a communal bathroom-style dorm, invest in one nice pair of matching PJs. One decent pajama set is enough to convince everyone you’re so together you even sleep like a queen, and they’ll keep you just the right amount of warm and cool when you’re hanging out in your room. My own even made for a pretty decent Rocky Horror Halloween costume that was insanely comfortable, so it’s a potential win-win.
5. Workout gear
If you ever need an incentive to squeeze in a run at the gym, then I suggest beginning with some workout clothes. Are you heading to the gym for a quick Zumba sesh, or on your way to your dorm for the second nap of the day? No one has to know. The made-for-exercise fabric is perfect for a long day of running all over campus when the morning starts out cool and ends with sweltering heat. And you’re ahead of the “lose the holiday weight” thing by using the prevention method.
4. Leather Jacket
Adding a leather jacket to anything makes it cooler (ask Danny Zuko). My leather jacket is a beat up F21 monstrosity that I can’t bear to part with because it makes me feel like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. It’s the perfect morning pick-me-up, and a great transition season jacket for those days when you know you’ll sweat through a winter coat, but will freeze in just a shirt. Grab the RayBans like the bad-ass you are and go find your Sandy.
AKA the greatest things since sliced bread. They come in super cool designs and colors, but don’t even require effort to look laid back and cool, which is exactly how you’ll feel when you’re wearing them. Throw on a t-shirt and you might as well be snuggled in your bed you’ll be so wrapped in comfort. If sweats and yoga pants feel too much like pajamas, joggers are the ideal gateway without sacrificing style.
If a jumpsuit isn’t casual to you, think of it like this: It’s a whole outfit that screams “look how nice I look” in one piece. One step in the morning to throw it on, and boom: you’re ready for class, a coffee date or whatever life may throw at you that day. The fickle weather in the first part of fall semester will have you feeling grateful you’ve got something to wear that’s so low-maintenance and transitions from warm to cool with a quick addition of a jacket or sweater.
1. Rain Jacket
No matter where you go to school, there’s a chance you’re going to get drenched walking across campus. Rain is the worst kind of weather at a sprawling school, because there’s no way to live your whole day in one single building. Ergo, you will have to go outside and if you pack some rain gear you’ll be a lot happier when that random hurricane comes. Every year, moms remind us to bring rain jackets and boots, and every year we call her to thank her for saving our lives. One jacket and a pair of rain-proof shoes are all you need to save yourself from an awful day of drenched hair and wet socks (quite possible the worst feeling in the world).