Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Spring outfits on their way in

Kate Evans/Collegian

Ah, February. February, you don’t know what you do to us. You tease us with a slice of springtime sunshine, a preview of what is to come, but then you retreat to your cold, hard self and once again our cheeks are ravaged by windburn and our wardrobes doomed to hibernate underneath our coats.

It’s the age old conundrum: How to get through the final slog of a New England winter without being confined to the perpetual invisibility cloak of a North Face puffa jacket. Or that creeping loss of morale when you must open your wardrobe each morning and make awkward small talk with your summer wears like lost friends.

The magazines have started laying on their spring advertisements and we just want to join the party. God knows it’s easy to give in, with a resigned shrug and some idealistic philosophy about how it’s what on the inside that counts.

This is (partly) true, of course, but it doesn’t hurt to walk around campus with a little skip in your step aided by something that pays homage to the coming spring without inducing frostbite. With a few sly tricks you can escape the winter dressing funk, and smugly so because you don’t need to throw masses of money at the problem to find a solution. Just remember the lessons your Mum instilled: follow in the footsteps of cult Hollywood plonkers and embrace high visibility.
Your transformation from the winter dressing funk starts in one place and one place only – the realm of the vest. Don’t wrinkle your nose like that. If you don’t embrace the vest, you will never progress past the status of lifelong amateur in the league of spring dressing dons. When the thermometer is still flirting with the low 20s, you need all the help you can get, and vests and thermals should be viewed as helpful sidekicks.

Look no further than the superheroes who know all about the power of insulation. Clark Kent would be pretty chilly in that suit if he didn’t have an array of starched undershirts to see him through the cold. It’s a lesson that has been instilled in us from the start from our mothers, and vests are just one of those things like times tables and coffee that we realize they were right about all along.
Now that you’ve worked on your thermal foundations, you ought to think about color. A bright spectrum of colors is one of the best ways of banishing that seasonal affective disorder-esque wardrobe apathy. Take a look around the dining commons at meal times and you’ll notice that maroon is pretty much as adventurous as we get at the University of Massachusetts. Throwing on something colorful is one of the best ways to remind yourself that summer is indeed a real thing, not a figment of your imagination. If donning your heavy winter coat is unavoidable, having a delicious slice of color peeking out from underneath is a nice antidote. If you’re adventurous and fully committed to the “I want spring, and I want it now!” frame of mind, then why not color block your way to eternal happiness? Lipstick is a tool to be embraced and a swipe of tangerine-colored lipstick worn with a turquoise jumper is a particularly dreamy combination.
Events like the Oscars can make the final winter slog particularly painful when those bloody West Coasters spend an evening prancing about with their shoulders out. Bare shoulders – in February!

But don’t let envy get the better of you; simply follow their lead. Zooming around campus in a satin train isn’t too realistic, so I urge you to be inspired by an unsuspecting corner of the Best Actor in a Supporting Role category. Yes, hullo there Nick Nolte, I see you there, you fine purveyor of the Hawaiian shirt, you. Who could forget Mr. Nolte’s wholehearted commitment to print in that infamous mug shot? Everybody’s favorite cult bad boy knows how it’s done when it comes to prints, and after all, now that you’re layered to the nines in vests, who says that you can’t wear your summer clothes now? There must have a reason why fashion editors never stop banging on about “florals” as soon as spring is on the horizon, and that’s because prints are proven to improve your mood by 75 percent. Actually, I just made that up. But there is no denying that a little floral here, a dose of Hawaiian there or a helping of leopard print can go a long way to ending the doom of the muted winter wardrobe and have you once again believing in the existence of that thing called the “beach.”

Stevie Mackenzie-Smith can be reached at [email protected]


View Comments (1)
More to Discover

Comments (1)

All Massachusetts Daily Collegian Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • A

    Angie HillsFeb 2, 2012 at 12:38 pm

    Love it! Love Spring – the weather – the fashion…and like the idea that I don’t have to wait!
    Thanks for the article!