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8 Ways to Brave the Elements without Sacrificing Style

If you’ve learned anything during your time at college, it’s to expect haphazard weather. Temperatures are below freezing one day, and then suddenly it’s sunny and 70 degrees the next. Oh, now it’s going to rain Saturday? Fantastic. Balancing classes with social obligations can put strain on one’s sanity, so it’s difficult to always consider your style, especially when the weather is so fickle. While you’ll recover from the embarrassment of slipping on the wet marble steps, the shame stamped on your bedazzled PINK yoga pants might linger. Here are some tips to keep you looking functional and fashionable.

1.  Get a pair of Bean Boots.

I think there comes a time when all of us have brushed off the 20% chance of rain only to find ourselves in a downpour. Do yourself a favor and invest in a pair of these. Not only are they suitable for rainy weather, but they’re great for the snow, too! And with Thinsulate and Gore-Tex options, they’re sure to keep your feet warm in any winter weather, which means there is no excuse NOT to buy these babies.

 

2.  Layer it up.

Layers are a girl’s best friend and a must for autumn and winter. I like to start off with a tank top or shirt, add a flannel, and finish with a water-resistant coat. You’ll be nice and toasty as you walk to that dreaded 9 am, and if it gets warm later in the day, you can just slip the coat off and carry it on your arm. If the day does a complete 180 ─ which is totally possible, and I’ve seen it before, you could even take the flannel off, and tie it around your waist for a cool, carefree vibe.

3.  Always, ALWAYS carry an umbrella.

This may seem like a no-brainer, but I can’t tell you how many times my umbrella has saved me. No matter what you’re wearing, an umbrella will keep you dry and happy like no raincoat can. Nothing is worse than trekking to class with only a raincoat on, trust me. Soaked pants and dripping hair are not a good look. Many stores sell travel-sized umbrellas, and you can even invest in more durable models like those from Davek and Magellan’s. The main point is to get an umbrella that does what it’s supposed to do: keeps you dry. Then you can “Run the World” shuffle it all the way to English where you magically transform into Queen B.

4. Channel your inner Elle Woods.

If your bright Barbie-pink windbreaker gets you through the day, all I’ve got to say is You Go, Girl! Anyone who judges you ought to bend-and-snap it on outta here. Bright colors can positively impact your mood and help give you that extra push to make it through the day. Why do you think yellow rain gear is such a classic?

Tip: If you’re wary about your boots or coat being too loud, stick with neutrals to ensure one pop of color, or be bold and brighten up your entire outfit. Vivid accents on sweaters and tops are perfect for accentuating your neon boots.

5. Buy exciting gear.

I don’t know about you, but I love finding excuses to shop. I bought my Hunter wellies specifically for college, knowing I’d have to walk around in all kinds of weather, so imagine my excitement when it was drizzling during move-in day. Maybe I wasn’t jumping out of my seat thinking “Oh goodie, rain!” but it was still an opportunity to show off my new babies. For the first few months, even if it was remotely wet outside, I’d say, “Oop, looks like it’s going to be a rainboots kind of day.”

6. Your hair. Don’t. Just don’t.

Winter has frizz and static written all over it but mix it with inclement weather and you’ve got a double whammy on your hands. Since I know my naturally curly hair won’t make it through the day if left loose, I tend to braid it and forget it.  If you were blessed by the hair gods, then please teach me your ways so that they might smile upon me as well..

7. Whip out your hair accessories.

This is the perfect time to experiment new trends! Chances are, your hair isn’t going to be having its greatest day, so why not spice it up with some awesome headwear? Rock that beanie! Flaunt that turban! Your head and ears will stay warm, and your tresses will thank you.

8. Stay positive.Yes, super cheesy, but they always say “A smile is the best thing a girl can wear,” and it’s true! A positive attitude can go a long way. So what if it’s dark and dreary out? Brighten up your day (and others’) with your cheerfulness and you can weather any storm.

How do you handle bad weather? Share your tips with us in the comments below!

L.L. Bean Women’s Bean Boots, 8″, $109.oo; llbean.com

Hunter “Original Tall Gloss Rain Boot”, $140.00; usa.hunter-boot.com

Urban Outfitters, Deena & Ozzy Rib-Knit Turban Beanie, $29.00; urbanoutfitters.com

Karishma Patel is a sophomore Journalism-Editing and Graphic Design major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is also on the pre-medicine track.
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