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COLUMN: Dressing for fickle fall weather


It’s a strange time of year in Bloomington. The calendar may say it’s fall, but remnants of summer linger, with some intense high temperatures bound to last well into October. That being said, cooler moments will creep their way in, making dressing for September and October a difficult — but fun — challenge. 

When you’re building a flexible fall wardrobe, check your closet for these essentials: 


Fall is all about the iconic cardigan. One of the best aspects of a cardigan is how easy it is to slip on and off depending on the temperature, so be sure to stock up on a few for the fall. It’s best to buy neutrals if you’re aiming to wear them with multiple outfits. Look for colors like beige and white. It’s nice to mix in some warmth, though, so don’t shy away from tones like burnt orange, maroon or copper to blend in with the changing leaves. 

Basic T-shirts 

You can’t go wrong with a simple T-shirt. This wardrobe staple is great to wear on its own when it’s warm out, but you can easily slide one of those cardigans over it — making it an adaptable option for unpredictable Indiana weather. 

Related: [COLUMN: What to wear: How to stay fashionable this semester]

Tennis shoes 

Since you might be ready to put your open-toed shoes away for the season, tennis shoes are a great alternative that still feel comfortable in warm weather and keep your toes covered in cool weather. They’re great for walking long distances — whether you’re going to class or taking a weekend hike in Brown County — and you can find many sleek, affordable pairs that complement any ensemble.  

Scarves — but nothing excessive 

You certainly don’t need a giant wool scarf yet. But a thin, lightweight linen scarf that you can fold and keep in your bag is a good idea. When a breeze kicks in and you start to feel that chill, you’ll want to protect your neck from the elements. And it’ll be easy enough to take off if you start to feel too sweaty. 

Rain gear 

Rain is an ever-present threat across Indiana, and Bloomington is no exception. Make sure you have a raincoat and rain boots in an easily accessible location so getting ready for school is quick and simple. For pop-up storms, keep a foldable rain poncho in your bag or purse along with a small umbrella.  

Oh — and don’t forget to stock up on the umbrella bags many IU buildings put out when it storms. If you don’t have access to those, though, be sure to carry around grocery bags for your wet poncho and umbrella. 

Related: [29th annual Lotus World Music and Arts Festival to kick off Sept. 22]

Gloves and hand warmers 

Keeping a pair of knit gloves in the pocket of your backpack or purse is an excellent idea for the fall. They’re especially great for early morning tailgates, and when paired with hand warmers, you’re bound to stay toasty. As the day warms up, though, gloves are small enough to be tucked away for later usage, and hand warmers can be thrown away. 

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