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A Californian’s Guide to Dressing For the East Coast Autumn

Every day is a struggle on what to wear outside. In California, I got to dress based on my mood; if it were cold, I would still survive. That mentality does not work on the East Coast, and I am still adjusting to what I need to wear. 

It’s not incredibly cold just yet, so I haven’t had to pull out an oversized jacket, which is nice. But, when I wear a jacket, sometimes it is too hot even if the weather is the same. So here are some tips that I have begun to learn. 

  1. Just because it’s cold outside does not mean it will be cold inside. I made the mistake of layering up for my walk to class, but when I got there, I was sweating and couldn’t de-layer. 
  2. Layering doesn’t have to mean shirt over shirt or leggings under jeans. It’s not cold enough yet for you to do that anyway. But you can layer a jacket with a sweatshirt, scarf, ear muffs, or whatever you want. But it would help if you remembered that you must take it off in class because you’ll overheat.
  3. The wind changes everything. It can be the same temperature today and tomorrow, but you will be way colder if it’s windy tomorrow. Make sure you check on the weather app not only the temperature, but also the wind, so you know if you have to make yourself extra snug. 
  4. My favorite thing to do in the morning when I’m unsure of the weather is look out my window. I will stand there for a while and watch everyone walking past on campus. If I see everyone’s legs covered, I know it’s not hot. The biggest thing I look for is people in just a long sleeve or just a sweatshirt because it can never be that cold for just that. I also try to see if I spot any wind or sun peeking through because that helps me a lot.
  5. Lastly, ask your East Coast friends! Most of my friends are originally from the East Coast, so I just text them in the morning and ask what they’re wearing. Usually, they dress appropriately, so it’s helpful instead of guessing and being wrong.

It will be a struggle for a while, but I am confident that we can all adjust our wardrobes and outfits to the new weather our colleges are bringing us!

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Originally from Brighton, England but curently living in San Francisco and attending Boston University (Class of 2026)