- They lied. It’s not always sunny in Philadelphia. I was deceived. I once believed, or at least hoped it to be true. I knew Philly was no California, but what did I know? I grew up in Singapore, where the seasons are wet and dry, the trees are always green and the air forever hot and humid. Coming to Penn, I’ve learned to dress strategically, but I admit sometimes the weather gets the best of you. This season has been especially confusing with sunny skies one day and rain and snow the next. Checking the weather in the morning provides no guarantee with continual fluctuations. Especially this past week with highs in the 70s but lows in the 40s. Often it hasn’t been warming up until late in the afternoon, if it does at all. So, here are some tips to keep in mind as we head into spring and you head out to class.
Weather Updates: I know it may seem obvious, but check the weather. It’ll only take a few minutes but can save you an extra trip to change in the middle of the day. It’s really easy to install weather apps on your iGoogle homepage, Mac dashboard or iPhone. Check them before you go out but don’t forget to take a peek outside first. More than often the weather forecast doesn’t exactly align with the gray skies outside, so double check before you leave your dorm or house in the morning.
Scarves: Accessorizing is always an easy way to quickly adapt to the changing weather. But as we head into spring, gloves and hats may seem a bit too ‘wintry’. Instead, I’d suggest scarves. They can easily be stuffed in a bag when not needed but make a huge difference if there’s suddenly an unbearable gust through the dreaded Wind Tunnel. Furthermore, it will completely brighten up your outfit. Look out for spring colors and funky patterns to spruce up your look. From Hermes to your thrift store finds, scarves come in all shapes, colors, prices and textures. Good examples include this light pink polka dotted scarf from Mango or this $12 cat print skinny scarf from Dorothy Perkins. Although some of the examples I’ve included may be pricey for a college budget, you can find similar alternatives, and keep in mind, you will never outgrow a scarf. It’s incredibly easy to add that extra warmth and zing as you head out the door!
Layer: I always bring an extra sweater if I’m afraid it’ll be cold later. Likewise, anything you can unbutton or unzip will be extra useful as you trek up the 38th street bridge.
Umbrellas: In short: Lifesavers. Love them. They are also worth the extra investment, and that’s coming from the girl who has naively bought two from CVS and subsequently witnessed them torn apart by rain and wind. For just ten dollars more you can find umbrellas of better quality and supremely better looks. Lulu Guinness has a super cute birdcage umbrella with transparent plastic and imprinted birds. Liberty London has more great prints, like this one in red paisley, not to mention it’s navy curved handle. Again fashion forward and extremely practical.
Know your limits: Be conservative and cautious. If you fear the cold, like me, don’t get too excited when you see sun. When you’re brave enough to wear flip-flops and sandals, be careful to bring other warm gear so you don’t freeze before on your way to class. What’s worse than cold feet or shivering arms when you can’t make an extra trip back to your dorm? You’ll end up sick in bed, if you’re not careful.
But then again… just go out and take advantage of this warm weather while it lasts!
— Clare Sandlund