Party boys, freshman girls shirk comfort for fashion

D By Molly Kentala

does anyone even know what season it is anymore? The sudden onslaught of snow, while a majority of the trees still have leaves, makes it hard to distinguish between early October and mid-December. Maybe there really is a month called “Smarch,” and we’re experiencing it right now. Whatever the case, this incredibly confusing flip-flop of the months gets everyone confused when trying to predict the weather.

I’ve lived in Minnesota almost all my life. I feel I’ve got this weather thing down pat. Shorts in the summer, coat in the winter. It really isn’t that confusing. But when Mother Nature decides to throw us a curveball and have 50-degree temperatures one day and snow storms the next, my system is thrown out of whack. It seems everyone is as mystified as I am in trying to decide what to wear, made apparent by the lack of “weather appropriate” outfits seen around school.

There are two types of people on campus – overdressers and underdressers. Overdressers make it quite obvious they hail from another state, usually one with a warmer climate. While observing one walking down the street, I notice their faces are the only visible parts of their bodies. Not only are they wearing a heavy winter coat, but also a hat, gloves and a face mask. I can only imagine how many layers they have on that the passerby can’t see. Most overdressers, in their amusing naivety, believe their skin will turn blue after 2.7 seconds of exposure to the elements. The stress in their eyes gives it away as well. It is the exasperated look of, “When will this winter end already?!” while we Minnesotans look at them and can only laugh. Honey, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Underdressers are a very different breed. Most of them are freshman girls, unable to properly cover themselves for fear that no one will see their $250 outfit from Abercrombie & Fitch that their daddies bought for them. They seem to roam the campus in packs, heading to and from class in huddled little bunches, all clutching their arms in fear of their tanning booth bronze fading to a Minnesota pale. I found myself walking to class with an underdresser one day and felt bad, so I offered her my mittens. “Oh, no thanks,” she replied through chattering teeth, “I’m not even really that cold.”

Another strain of underdresser is the party boy. He is simply “too cool” to dress for the weather. It could be 20 degrees below zero and you’ll still find him parading around campus wearing a T-shirt and shorts. This one is easy to spot, since he has a smile plastered on his face to let everyone know that he’s not feeling the least bit chilly. This could be attributed to the fact he might still be hung over from the ridiculously large amount of alcohol he drank the previous weekend or the fact that he’s done so much damage doing who knows what to his brain cells already he has no sense of weather. Regardless, it is entertaining to watch this figure stroll down the sidewalks of campus, causing double takes and confused stares wherever he goes.

There are some people out there who fall into the category of quasi-dressers. These people are intelligent human beings that sometimes simply forget what month it is and make a weather faux pas. Case in point: sandals. Don’t get me wrong, sandals are perfectly fine in the summer. But when the rain turns to snow, it’s time for those toes to go into hibernation. A good friend of mine wears sandals year-round. I’ll see him with a hooded sweatshirt on, the hood pulled tightly around his face, hands in his pockets and bare feet exposed to the elements. He doesn’t care what month or season it is – it’s always sandal weather. And socks are not an option. To him, they are reserved for special occasions, like a snowfall the night before or an outdoor exposure of over an hour.

Another group with blatant disregard for the weather is headphones people. These “musicians in spirit” cannot live without music, therefore, be it walking to class, riding the bus or grabbing a bite to eat, they always have their headphones plastered over their ears. At the chance of wrecking his or her image, a headphones person wouldn’t be caught dead in a hat. Being the scientific wizards they are, they believe a piece of plastic cleverly placed over the ear canal somehow protects their entire head from the weather conditions. Headphones people amble down the sidewalks, bobbing their heads to their pulsating rhythm of choice, all the while completely oblivious to the lovely shade of frozen their noggin is turning.

It’s Minnesota, folks. It’s going to get cold. I know all of you have windows where you live (if you don’t, step outside, take a look around and make sure you’re not in Montana.) It takes a whopping two seconds to peel back the blinds and glance up at the sky. But if that option involves too much energy before you’ve had your morning latte, plop on down at your computer and check out a weather Web site. On my computer, I have one set as my home page. It’s an easy way to prevent myself from feeling like a human Popsicle when I step outside.

Always remember when it comes to the fast-approaching suffocating darkness of winter and you go to a school as big as the University, no one is really going to miss you if you “accidentally” turn off your alarm. A warm bed beats out a comfy coat any day. Besides, who wants to walk to class in a blizzard anyway? It’s not like we live in Alaska.

Molly Kentala is a sophomore journalism student. She welcomes comments at [email protected]
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