With the free time to shop, the extra cash from our summer jobs, and the strong desire to buy entirely new wardrobes for those vacations we’ve been waiting all year for, it is so tempting to splurge on summer clothes. But let’s be honest, how often are you going to wear that floral BCBG maxi dress you bought for that one fancy dinner in Cancun?
If you have survived a winter in State College, then you know the struggle that every student faces between the months of November and March. Trudging through a blizzard just to get to your first class of the day, because Penn State never cancels classes (except on that miracle snow day last year), is something we all experience all too often during the cold season.
As a freshman, I had a cheap thermal coat that my mom had bought me from a department store years ago, a thick pair of rain boots that I attempted to double as snow boots, and a few light cardigans. Little did I know, that my collection of “winter essentials” was nothing short of a joke compared to what I actually needed to survive a brutal State College winter. It didn’t take me long to realize that my winter wardrobe needed a serious upgrade.
So save your money and buy a North Face down coat, because although it’s a little pricey, you’ll never be cold and it will last for years. Invest in a good pair of good snow boots that have a faux fur lining and good traction. They’ll keep you from slipping in the slushly snow on the sidewalks and will keep your toes from going numb. Collect some great layering pieces like thick pullover sweaters, long cardigans, and chunky scarves. Layers will be your best friend, especially when walking out of negative five degree weather and into an over-heated lecture hall.
Listen, I’m not saying you shouldn’t treat yourself to some new outfits suited for the hot weather this summer. We all need a reliable pair of high-waisted denim shorts for tailgate season and a few crop tops and flowy cardigans for music festival season. However, these are pieces that you should be buying at reasonable prices especially because they’re typically fad items and aren’t as wearable.
Trust me, you’ll get so much more ware for your money with that North Face coat than you will with that BCBG maxi dress. Have fun shopping this summer, but save your splurge moments for those essential State College winter pieces. You’ll be so happy you did once the cold weather comes around.