How to dress for the mess of a Texas winter

As a native Texan, I find that there are fewer things more fickle than the weather. One weekend prepares you to think that we will finally have a “winter” of something under 50 degrees, and on Monday we are right back to a solid 80. When we do have those days that warrant real pants and a coat, every building on campus becomes a furnace. This makes for a very uncomfortable transition from popsicle to steamed student.

Plus, when the season pretends to change, our wardrobes follow accordingly. Dressing acceptably on a daily basis can be a struggle. At least during finals, there’s this unspoken rule that allows us to let our wardrobe guard down; workout clothes become the standard for everyone. While this is the most comfortable choice for spending hours inside the library, when you have to walk to and from your dorm, bracing the cold can be almost frightening because running tights are only so warm.

So, how to go about dressing appropriately for finals and the Trinity building versus the Texas weather phenomenon? First things first: this is plainly obvious, but it is worth noting that layers are key. In a city with almost year-round warm temperatures, it’s easy to forget that there are other wearable materials outside of cotton. If you prefer to stay super toasty, you should invest in fleece-lined anything. This style of tights is popular and can be purchased at most retail stores. And no one has to know that even though they look like normal pants, they actually feel like pajamas.

The top half of your body will probably get too warm with a fleece lined shirt, and jackets of this material tend to be almost exclusively of the athletic style.

So, if you would rather not have that look, I recommend wearing sleeveless shirts beneath a long sleeve T-shirt.  You can peel the top shirt off as you stumble into your boiling hot classroom, most likely five minutes late because you stopped at Einstein’s for that steaming cup of cafe mocha.

As far as winter accessories, scarves can make or break your winter experience. Use them and the walk to lower campus won’t feel like a punishment.  Don’t use them, and be prepared to keep the chill with you until you have a second cup of coffee. Again, this reasoning is totally obvious, but it’s also easy to forget that scarves exist for a reason.

Another item that will save your weary brain from being frozen is a knitted headband. These things work miracles in the cold weather. They keep your head warm, which keeps the rest of you warm (*gasp*””science!). Thankfully, headbands come in a variety of styles, so if you aren’t into knitted wear, you can find these in fur, fleece or cotton. When you approach the almost alarmingly warm buildings, you can just whip it off and experience a quick cold breeze before entering, and all is well.

If you are too lazy or too cheap to buy these items, you can at least accessorize with a steaming beverage of your choice to keep your hands warm. Please consider this advice and please do not make the rest of us uncomfortable by being “that guy” who wears his thinnest shorts in 30-degree temperatures. We will all be shivering for you.

Anyway, best of luck with finals, and may the weather be ever in your favor.