Since last year's spring shows revealed all the incoming fall looks, many of us have been stocking up and filling our (dorm?) closets with new shapes, textures and trends. Peplum! Printed suits! Menswear! Some looks are familiar, some new and inspired.
I myself felt conflicted when packing for school this year, mainly because, as a transfer, I was packing for someplace entirely new. I have traded the streets of New York City and the NYU campus (or lack thereof) for Ithaca, Big Red, and Collegetown cobblestone. People warned me of the ominous winter, told me it was time to trade my platforms for loafers or Uggs (no chance). I guess I faced more inner conflict than most when packing up my closet. However, all Cornellians face one daunting obstacle: How do we balance the desire to remain fashion-forward with the desire to be comfortable, practical, and, as Ithaca residents, warm?
Even as a native New Yorker, I am perpetually cold. For this reason, I am just dying to break out my oversize blazer and knee-high socks. However, I'm not cold enough to show up to a frat party sporting either of these looks in August, even if it is 50 degrees by the time I make the midnight trek back to West Campus. Instead, I suffer in my skinny jeans and a chambray top, and hope that the body heat of four hundred Cornell freshman crowded into a living room will ease the pain. On the porch of a certain fraternity annex, I notice a girl in a black peplum top with a sheer V-neck. I give this girl kudos; she's rocking one of the biggest trends of the fall season, with no sweater or coat in sight. She is sacrificing for fashion, and it's paying off. I silently curse myself for being weak and letting the cold cloud my judgment; after all, BEAUTY. IS. PAIN.
The next day on the quad, when the sun is out and the temperature almost fools one into thinking it's still summer (because, technically, it is), summer trends still dominate. Girls look cute in floral minis and high-cut 'vintage' shorts that seem DIY, but were likely purchased that way for $50 or more. Guys stroll in Sperrys and polos and the occasional statement tee. These sunny, summer looks are a far cry from the hints of fall I glimpsed last night, shivering on that porch. Additionally, since O-week is still recent, Cornell clothing is everywhere as well. At NYU, to be seen in anything short of the newest off-the-runway look was tragic — unless, of course, you adopted that jaded, grungy, whatever look. Either way, though, to wear anything bearing the letters 'NYU' was elementary and embarrassing. I literally don't even know if we had a mascot or not...
But here, gazing around campus, as my eyes fill with vivid reds and bears ripping through the letters 'CU', I wonder how long the student body will continue to wear Cornell clothing so prominently. I wonder, but, even as a fashion-fanatic, I don't mind..I can wait for fall fashion, and I can be warm in my new Cornell sweatshirt in the meantime. I never had an NYU sweatshirt; I never had the sense of community I feel right now seeing a bunch of college kids walking (shuffling, actually...late nights in C-town?) through a quad looking comfortable and confident in sweats (Although I still admire the girl rocking a chiffon dress and stilettos at noon walking into Olin library...).