The storm on Monday Feb. 2 solidified what all Geneseo students avoid acknowledging: winter is here and it’s here to stay. Coats are zipped up, heads turned down and there is always a line of students finding refuge in Starbucks. While it may seem like sweatpants and industrial snow boots are the only way to survive the walk to class, there is a surprising amount of stylish and durable clothes for students to wear. Fleece-lined anything will be your best friend on days that the weather drops to the single digits. For male students, these can be found in denim form at any outdoorsy store. Fleece-lined leggings are also an option for girls—they look exactly like regular ones but are significantly warmer. Running leggings are another easy way to feel warm and comfortable without looking sloppy.
I would also recommend investing in a “real” sweater. I put “real” in quotations because so many popular women’s brands sell long-sleeve shirts that are labeled as sweaters but are actually thin, translucent or loosely knit and therefore full of holes for wind to blow through. On the other hand, a thick and loose-fitting sweater can be worn over and over; it can match basically anything if it is a neutral color. Ladies, this might be a good time to check out the men’s section of the store.
Not everything you wear has to be of industrial warmth. An easy way to incorporate your favorite summery shirts is to layer them under a cardigan or casual blazer. Keep it fun with a patterned scarf and you’re all set to go to class or meet with a professor. You can also accessorize with a simple watch or bracelet and stud earrings to add a polished feel to your ensemble.
Footwear is the most essential component of a winter outfit, especially for the snowy treks to class and dining halls. Leather shoes are ruined by salt, canvas and sneakers soak through and why even try with ballet flats? The best shoe to own is an L.L.Bean, Sorel, Timberland or equally durable boot with waterproof toes and insulation. If something like that is out of your price range, however, make sure to spray whatever you choose with waterproofing spray every two to three weeks.
We’re all going to have days where we oversleep and think, “What’s the point?” But weather aside, you make an impression on the people you see every single day. You will never see a professor walking to class in sweatpants and a sweatshirt and they notice it when students show them equal respect.
That being said, if what you had planned was a solo trip to the library, it comes down to what you feel best in. If you know baggy clothes makes you sleepy, suck it up and put on a pair of jeans. If you can’t work when you’re not extremely comfortable, then don your yoga pants and get cracking.
What matters most is finding a balance between coziness and effort, so experimentation is key. Shopping at the local Goodwill will allow anyone to try out a new style without risk of overspending, and is guaranteed to find you warm pieces that will stand out in a crowd or a whiteout.