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Allison Henry

Fall at Columbia is an emotional roller coaster, chock-full of ups and downs. Some days you have three midterms and two breakdowns, get kicked out of Butler because of a (fake?) fire alarm, and find yourself temporarily out in the cold, digging through the trash outside of Lerner for discarded bake-sale dregs and/or the sushi even Café East deemed too suspect to sell. Other days, you inadvertently see the huge tub of egg mix John Jay uses in its omelets, or run into your ex just when you're taking a solitary, sober slice of Koronet to the face.

With this constant dodging of potential trauma, you just don't have the time to coordinate a new (and socially acceptable) fall wardrobe. Luckily, The Eye is here for you with your essential list of do's and don'ts. You might not look like an international student—or an NYU student—but at least people will stop mistaking you for a consistently untrendy Greenpeace petitioner or a (gasp!) member of Greek life.

Some good ideas:

Those flip-flops with built-in bottle openers. When they're useful, they're useful. When they're not, they're normcore. Win-win!

Huge Duane Reade underwear for when you run out of all your other underwear but don't have time to do your laundry. It's always fun to keep an interested party guessing re: whether they're checking out your panty line or the bottom of your bralette.

Fracket. The fracket is a cheap jacket that you don't mind losing or getting ruined at fraternity ragers. At least, that's the traditional collegiate definition. At Columbia, think of the fracket as a piece of outerwear with the durability to act as a drool-stained pillow in Butler, but that's also insignificant enough that you have no qualms about leaving it behind when the added weight becomes too much to bear on the last flight of stairs before you hit the seventh floor of Hamilton.

A smile! Totally kidding. Fuck that.

Better Not:

Aggressive frat tanks. Nothing says "I definitely probably have never even heard of roofies" like these sleeveless wonders. Methinks the tank doth protest too much.

Leather outfits. It's Ferris Booth, not the VMAs. Buy an ugly pleather miniskirt from Forever 21 you'll never wear like the rest of us, and go to bed.

Preppy/WASPy shenanigans. You're not at Andover anymore, sweetie. Boat shoes are for boats, Ray-Bans are for pilots and trophy wives, and if you have a smartphone you probably don't need a "timepiece." And salmon shorts are for NO ONE.

A joke T-shirt. It's all fun and games until you start wasting people's time with the punch lines emblazoned on your tee. When you have 200 pages of reading a night, the last thing you want to do is dedicate valuable seconds to sounding out, "I'm with stupid."


humor fashion fall style columbia Greek Life