Dress for wherever your break takes you

We’ve been waiting for it, craving it, praying for it and finally it’s so close that we can touch it: spring break. For one glorious week, USC students will get time off from studying, attending mundane classes and dealing with extracurriculars. For one week, we can forget about that stupid thing called “responsibility” and just … breathe.

The big problem, however, is that somewhere between the midterms, papers and general lack of sleep, most of us haven’t had time to think about what to bring on our little adventures. Folks, spring break is three days away — it’s time to lay down the law and get crackin’.

So whether you’re planning on partying in Cabo or exploring Europe (or even heading home for some much-needed family time), I’ll be breaking down the basics of what you need to pack in order for your vacation to be as relaxing as possible.

Headed to: balmy paradise

If you plan on playing into the college-student cliche of turning Florida or Mexico into your own personal playground, be sure you know what you’re getting into. And, please, for the sake of your friends and family: Stay safe.

Now that the obligatory safety message has been stated, let’s get to the dirty work.

Bathing suits. Yes, for some reason, someone decided that tight one-pieces in the ’40s weren’t quite sexy enough. So, basically the Devil decided to make bikinis the new thing.

It might sound ridiculous, and you might not believe me, but everyone has swimsuit insecurities. Even that chick with the six-pack still thinks that her chest looks flat in her string bikini.

Instead of shaking in your flip-flops, it’s time to embrace your beautiful body. If you don’t want to wear a two-piece, then don’t. It’s that simple. You should feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.

Look around you: There are plenty of adorable — and even sexy — one-pieces that’ll knock anyone’s socks off as well as keep you super comfortable and confident.

Vintage is in. So look to old photos of Marilyn Monroe and Sophia Loren to spark some inspiration. Stores such as Everything But Water and Victoria’s Secret have affordable, cute and long-lasting one-pieces that’ll have both the boys and your wallet hollering in excitement. If you’re larger chested: Congratulations. But don’t forget that the girls can easily droop. Try to gravitate toward a smaller size so that you get the support that you need.

Whatever you do, please try to stay away from those tacky leopard prints and blinged-out suits. And guys: Ed Hardy is not a real designer. Stay away.

Headed to: The Cold War

Finding yourself skiing at Big Bear? Cavorting around Europe? Well, you’re in for a surprise. Turns out not everywhere in the world has beautiful 75 degree weather. Make sure to bring a nice coat that’ll work during the day and at night, and can be layered over sweaters easily.

Though coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, the most important thing to keep in mind is fit. Coats should never be so big that you’re swimming in it, or so small that you can barely bend your arms. Girls often forget the importance of a cinched-in waist to reveal your shape. And guys usually just gravitate towards the puffy down jackets of our middle school youth. It’s time to grow up, everyone: Invest in a coat that is comfortable, makes you look great and that you’ll keep forever.

Big spenders: Head over to Burberry to get a classic trench that you’ll always love. For those less inclined to drop 800 bucks on a beautifully cut piece of fabric, look for a coat that still aims to flatter. Neutral colors will make the coat last. Remember: Trends come and go, but a classic is forever.

And don’t forget to pack a few scarves and a pair of gloves. People often underestimate how cold the world can get. Don’t think that just because you’ll be skiing or snowboarding or taking long tours of the Sistine Chapel that you’ll sweat the cold away. We’ve been in Los Angeles for months now and are too used to beautiful weather. Mother Nature is a b-tch, so get used to it.

Headed to: Home Sweet Home

If you’re headed home, you’re in luck. You need to pack absolutely nothing. Just bring home a bag of laundry to throw at your parents.


Sheridan Watson is a junior majoring in Critical Studies. Her column “A Stitch In Time” runs Tuesdays.