Students, walking

Students make their way to and from class on Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2021 in University Park, Pa. 

Balancing fashion trends with casual comfort, there are many ways incoming Penn State students could dress for their New Student Orientation debut, and a few Nittany Lions offered their niche tips. 

“It’s going to be hot outside,” Kavya Jhaveri said — advising students to stick with the classic “shorts and T-shirt” combo.

Breaking down these State College staples, Grace Norris said she is “team athleisure.”

“You [won’t] catch me dead in jean shorts,” Norris (sophomore-marketing) said.

Mapping her usual walking route, Norris said that every time she walks to the HUB-Robeson Center she is “drenched and sweating.”

“Some people are comfortable in jean shorts and a cute top,” Norris said. “More power to them, but I need breathable clothes.”

Agreeing with Norris — and sporting a fashionable athleisure tank — Magdalene Medvetz “only wear[s] athletic clothing,” she said.

From cropped tanks to sweat-wicking shirts, Atharva Kurve said “athleisure” is most common.

“The guys wear 5-inch inseams a lot,” Kurve (sophomore-civil engineering) said, “so you’ll definitely see those a lot around campus.”

Reflecting on the popularity of athletic apparel, Chrisly Li advises students to “wear more outdoor and walking clothes.”

Students are sure to experience those tiresome treks along campus, so “running shoes are kind of a must,” Kurve said, “especially to make sure you don’t feel bad after a long day of walking.”

Jhaveri (junior-psychology) agreed running shoes may come in handy during NSO. 

“I feel like a lot of people wear Nike Blazers now,” she said. Whether you want high-top dunkers or low-rise classics, Jhaveri said the Nike shoe proves to be a popular and “comfortable” pick.

Not a fan? Li (junior-supply chain) suggests slapping on “some sandals” as an alternative.

“I think there has been a lot of change [in fashion] since I was a freshman,” Li said, looking back at her NSO in 2019. “I came on the first day dressed as smart casual because I literally didn’t know what was happening. Then I saw all the other girls wearing leggings.”

Ahmed Ojha also recalled his exact outfit during NSO.

“I wore a pink tee and these gray sweatshorts,” Ojha (junior-economics) laughed, pointing to his pants. “It was an exciting day.”

Factoring in unplanned occurrences, Norris said students should also prepare for State College’s weather whiplash.

“Bring an umbrella,” Norris said, warning students of a sudden storm.

While a majority of the days during NSO are “hot,” Ojha said “it was cloudy” for him as well.

“My go-to outfit is a tank top, leggings and sneakers,” Zenia Masani said. “But if it’s cold, I will throw a sweatshirt on.”

“Right now, it is too hot for that, but then again, it was literally snowing last week,” Masani (sophomore-risk management) said.

For completing the NSO lookbook, Medvetz (freshman-kinesiology) suggested students “carry a bookbag on campus.” Serving as a storage for belongings but also comfort, Medvetz said she feels “awkward without [her] bookbag.”

“One of those cute tote bags you can throw a laptop in would be ideal as well,” Norris said, explaining how she “want[s] one” and sees them trending on campus.

Despite all of these options, students should beware one bag in particular: the drawstring backpack.

“You would die,” Norris said, emphasizing its discomfort during those “sweaty walks.”

Taking these tips into account, Ojha encourages NSO students to “just put yourself out there, give everything and just try to make friends.”

Whether it be the weather or schedule planning, “if something doesn’t go as expected, give it a second chance,” Li said.

Annalie Ayers (freshman-nursing) said at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what students wear to NSO.

“You are all in the same boat.”

Editor’s Note: Magdalene Medvetz is a former reporter for The Daily Collegian.

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