Spring is a magical time when cynical Midwesterners drop their scowls, don sundresses and play Atmosphere’s “Sunshineon repeat while grilling out.

As carefree as we may feel, one problem remains: We live in the Midwest. Last week one girl in my class told me, “It will be 70 degrees on Saturday,” to which I replied, “It will probably snow next week anyway.”

It snowed that next week.

Take Monday, for example. An overcast morning brought a light drizzle and a cool 60 degrees, while an overcast afternoon brought us a humid 70 percent dew point and a sweltering walk to class.

To cap it off, the sun came out around 5 p.m. bringing a near 70 degree temperature, only to be followed by a predicted 38 degree evening. Now I’m not a psychiatrist, but if I was, I would diagnose Wisconsin with a personality disorder.

The question remains. What the hell are you supposed to wear in the spring?

Figuring out what to wear on a spring day in the Midwest is comparable to figuring out what to wear on your first date. You’re either going to look like a douche, or you’re going to look really good and subconsciously feel like a douche.

Wearing your high-waisted jean shorts and white Chuck Taylor’s? Too goddamn bad— it’s going to rain at a moment’s notice and scuff the shit out of your kicks.

Killing your Lululemon’s and Nike Free Runs with the North Face vest? Somebody probably forgot to tell you Bascom Hill was going to do its best Amazon rain forest impression today.

Feeling ballsy today? Try out the pastel shorts with the Sperrys and a button-up shirt. Just kidding, you’re doing way too much, bro.

As you can see by my clearly un-generalized observations, dressing yourself in spring is a crap shoot.

I myself started today off with a raincoat, some khaki pants, boat shoes and a very pessimistic outlook on this being the only outfit I would wear today.

Little did I know every lecture hall would feel like Vietnam in monsoon season.

By day’s end, I was rocking a baseball cap, basketball shorts, flip-flops and a long-sleeve shirt.

When the time comes to leave work, the wind will probably pick up — which will lead to the Midwestern cultural phenomenon of wearing shorts with a sweatshirt.

It’s like dressing yourself for the first day of  kindergarten all over again.


At the end of the day, most likely whatever you start out wearing on a spring day is going to feel awkward and be ridiculed by your friends. Change multiple times a day to keep your swag on point, and let the pile of clothes on your floor build up like the Great Wall of China.

If you figure out a fool-proof formula of what the fuck to wear on a spring day, tweet me @REALlouisjames. I’ll be needing input.

[Photo by Flickr user zeesenboot]