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Fashion by Felicia

Felicia Caponigri | Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Every May, as the spring semester draws to a close and the weeks of final papers and exams fall upon us, I am faced with a most revolting dilemma. This dilemma has stalked me every year of my academic pursuits, and once again I find myself in its clutches. I know I am not alone in facing this dilemma of epic proportions. Due to the aforementioned mountain of academic commitments, we all find ourselves inside the library or other chamber of study solitude — Insert your own favorite study space here — typing away while that gorgeous sun calls to us with its blatantly impassioned rays of light.

This is a dilemma because of the pure torment it creates between our academic and ‘fun in the sun’ personalities. However, when we inevitably meld our two desires, finally bringing our work onto the quad with reckless abandon in order to accomplish our study goals and get the de rigueur tan we need to start the summer off right, we are faced with a fearful fashion challenge. Grass stains, wind and flying balls from overzealous boys engaging in an outdoor game of baseball now must exist in the same environment as books, loose-leaf paper, sticky notes and highlighters. What fashion item could possibly serve both the purposes of a study environment and a grassy knoll? In what article of clothing can I both worship the sun, getting minimal tan lines in the process, and still be chic in the halls of academia and out in the elements?

The answer to this question, my fellow fashionistas, has been well hypothesized by our Parisian counterparts. They have faced the same dilemma when studying on the wide grassy expanse facing Invalides — although there the problem is compounded by very vocal, enchantingly-engaging Frenchmen whizzing by on Vespas and in voitures. What is this article of clothing, which can perfectly meld your study experience with today’s beautiful weather? I give you — the maxi dress.

A longer version of your favorite sundress, the maxi dress is characterized by its length. It should sweep the floor, grazing your ankles at the very shortest. Giving the illusion of a party dress made for day, the greatest thing about the maxi dress is its mobility. The yards of fabric in the skirt allow you to at once protect yourself from the dreadful air conditioning of the indoors, and also to artfully arrange the material around your gams, creating the illusion of a shorter sundress. You can lay out in the sun properly and get that tan you so deserve after long hours spent researching.

Moreover, fret not about the wind. The longer skirt will billow about you producing a most romantic vision of carefree existence. Color-wise, choosing from a darker palette will deflate any worries about grass stains and such. Of course, if you want to be noticed, brights are enticing against a spring green backdrop. The top of the sundress can be anything from halter to spaghetti strap to bandeau — choose what flatters you most. Flats are of course the most practical shoe with which to pair it, although a high sandal can also give an overall statuesque impression. Material should ideally be soft cotton. Old Navy currently offers a lovely bright yellow variety for $29.50. Dilemma, I vanquish you, in the name of summer style.