A guide to UW Madison apparel for every season!

Coming to Wisconsin from California, I was stressed about how to dress in not only the cold but also the few months of warm weather. I didn’t want to bring my whole wardrobe, but I wanted to be prepared for the first month of good weather and the freezing cold weather. In addition, there is the stressor of what to wear to class. I was never someone who dressed up for class, but I wanted to in college. The truth is, comfort is key. When you have an 8am 20 minutes away from your dorm you won’t want to spend the time picking out a cute outfit everyday. 


Don’t be fooled, Madison is not always cold (although it is a lot of the time). You want to have at least some warm clothes coming into school. My go to for the warmer months is always shorts and a tank top with a zip up on top, or jeans and a tank top. This outfit is easy to throw on for class and is comfortable and cute as well! It also is important to have zip up jackets or sweaters because this will help you layer for the colder months as well. 

It always feels colder when the weather goes from warm to cold (rather than cold to warm), so you will definitely need all the jackets you have. From light trendy jackets to puffer jackets to long coats, you should have them all. Among students it is considered not socially acceptable to be wearing long coats before Thanksgiving, so having a puffer jacket is important and will keep you warm while it is cold, but not as cold as it gets. Coming from Southern California, I had no layering pieces whatsoever and I quickly realized that layering is so important. Sometimes just your long coat won’t cut it, so piling on layers underneath will help dramatically. Typically while going to class in the cold I will wear a long sleeve under a sweatshirt or sweater with jeans or leggings, and of course my puffer jacket!

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