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Pastels, My Only Desire


Today, I decided that winter is over. Though the calendar has said this for about a
month now, the temperatures – both in my study abroad city of London and back on
campus at ND – have been telling us otherwise for the duration of this semester. No
matter how far we tread into April, the cold has remained, and I have remained in
sweaters and dark, sad colors.
That streak ended today.
Did Britain experience a sudden heat wave today, you ask? No. And was my anti-
winter vendetta particularly well thought out, given its exact alignment with the day
of the UK’s highest-profile ceremonial funeral since Princess Diana’s? Also no.
It was, however, awesome. For today, I decided that, gosh darn it, I was tired of
wearing winter clothes. We are a stone’s throw away from May, and I’ve worn six
different sweaters and three shades of maroon in the past week.
This, month of April, is unacceptable. It is spring. I should be wearing lightweight
things. Skirts, even. Pastels.
When getting dressed this morning, then, I tossed on a fuschia T-shirt and cropped
jeans – again, maybe not the best idea I’ve had this semester, as my path to class
took me directly through Baroness Thatcher’s very dark-clothing-centric funeral
procession path – and decided that, after class, I was going shopping.
After walking past a few more authentically “British” stores that looked entirely
too navy-heavy for my purposes, I eventually found my way to my nearest Banana
Republic. My mood changed as soon as I walked through the door and into that
candy-colored, American-sized wonderland.
I tried on a top in mint. I tried on a seersucker party dress. I tried on a shift dress the
color of a literal banana. I paraded in front of a mirror in more muted spring colors
than you’d find in a whole grocery aisle full of rainbow sherbet. By the end of my
spree, my wallet and I jointly settled on just one item: a beige pencil skirt.
Beige? Pale yellow? Seersucker? Who am I, even?
My semester’s wardrobe color scheme has been influenced by the weather, but it’s
had its foundation in the fact that I just don’t own that much light-colored clothing.
Pastels, even in the warmer months, are just not usually my thing.
As the winter drags on and spring begins to peek its flowery head through the shop
windows, though, I have realized that, against all odds, pastels are all that I want.
Pastels are lightweight clothing. Pastels are springtime. Pastels are joy.
If you are confronted with a dilemma of what to wear tomorrow, ladies of
HerCampus, I urge you: choose a pastel. It may sound like something you’d reserve
for an Easter mass or a brunch with your grandma, but I promise you, in the barren,
perpetually-forty-degrees wilderness of South Bend or even of much of Europe, it
will turn your day – and maybe even your semester – clear around.
Face your closets with a spirit of spring, ladies, and ask yourself, “Could this garment
appropriately decorate the walls of a newborn’s nursery?” If the answer is no,
put that icky dark-colored clothing item away until our next scheduled football
opponent isn’t our own team. When you’re dressing for Blue-Gold season, you had
better be relying on periwinkle.
Sarah is a senior at the University of Notre Dame pursuing majors in English and American Studies. After graduation, she hopes to somehow finagle her way into a career in journalism. She enjoys whistling and Stanley Tucci and hates all forms of bees.
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