Ohio University’s first semester of the 2023-24 school year is almost over, but the cold weather is just getting started. This inevitable temperature change has forced many Bobcats to adjust their daily outfits and wardrobes in a number of creative ways.
OU students have many different ways of changing what they wear in response to colder weather. For many of them, layering is the most important part of staying warm while keeping their stylistic integrity intact.
Autumn Warren, a senior studying outdoor recreation and education, said she styles numerous layers together in an attempt to stay warm.
“I have four long sleeve (shirts) underneath my outfit and I'm wearing fleece pants, and then I have a skirt on over my jeans,” Warren said. “I'll just take things, put a bunch of stuff on that goes together visually. That maybe isn't necessarily an outfit but to me it is. Then I can just take off whatever I choose, so later in the day, it all still goes together.”
While layering is generally agreed upon as an integral part of cold-weather fashion, comfort is also very important. Wearing layers with style can be comfortable, but often style is not the priority.
Alayna Talladino, a freshman studying visual communications, said her mood and the weather often affect whether style or comfort is her priority.
“If it's colder, it's probably sweatpants and a sweatshirt,” Talladino said. “But like today, it's a nice temperature out, so I'm like, ‘Oh, might as well look kind of decent.’”
When picking comfort over style, some people get the feeling of disappointment when they wear just sweatpants and a sweatshirt. Seasonal depression, caused by lengthier hours of darkness, often makes it hard to want to dress to the nines.
Luckily, some students’ personal styles go hand in hand with comfort, despite certain preferences against cold weather clothes. Sedda Feldman, a sophomore studying social work, is one of these students.
“I've been able to transform my style to be comfortable,” Feldman said. “I do get really overstimulated with layers, so sometimes I'll have to sacrifice my style for that because I will freak out if I have too many layers on.”
Feldman also said layering could be included in some staple wardrobe pieces for the cold.
“(I’ll wear) a big pair of worn-in jeans and a sweater with some layers underneath a bit,” Feldman said. “I'll wear a long skirt with leggings underneath the skirt and some kind of layering tops on top of that.”
As finals week inches closer, many students find themselves in their class buildings studying the day away. While this is not a particularly fun part of the year, it can make deciding what to wear in the winter slightly easier.
Jori Husted, a freshman studying visual communications, said her class schedule and workload impact her outfits day-to-day.
“Honestly, I'm inside all day,” she said. “So basically, I'm wearing the same stuff that I wore when I was (outside), just like a sweatshirt and sweatpants or whatever.”
Ohio has a reputation for incredibly unpredictable weather, which is another factor for people to consider when picking out their clothes for the day. The uncertainty of the day’s weather has driven many students at OU to find creative solutions to the fickle problem.
“I’ll wear something in the morning and throw a coat on over that,” Feldman said. “I can take the coat off and then be more comfortable in the (higher) temperature later and then just throw my coat in my bag or something. I always have my backpack or a tote on me.”
Some days, all of the wardrobe pieces fall perfectly into place, and other days, the weather and a sluggish mood can prevent a truly brag-worthy outfit from coming together. However, there are some things one can do to embrace inner style even if dressing up is out of the question that day.
“When you have to sacrifice the style of your outfit for warmth and comfort, I really like to lean into doing weird hair and makeup to make it cool,” said Warren.