How to Layer for Weird-Ass SoCal Weather


Maddie Moore ’22
Fashion Columnist

It was a Sunday, and I was sitting in my best friend’s car — wearing only a bra.

You might be asking yourself, how on earth did you get there Maddie? Unfortunately, it was not for any particularly exciting reason. The cold hard truth is that I am a sweaty, sweaty girl who, despite living here for eight full years, doesn’t know how to dress for Southern California weather.

Clara (the aforementioned best friend) and I had driven to Silverlake to exchange her shoes and attend a flea market. Being a fashionista, it was imperative that I curate the perfect outfit for the excursion. Claremont was 50 degrees and cloudy when we left, so of course I dressed for 50 degree weather. Adorned in a pink top layered over a white turtleneck, heart-embellished jeans, and my pink cowgirl books, I thought I looked hot — little did I know this outfit would soon make me a little too hot.

Before I knew it, the once-cloudy sky had given way to an 80 degree day, and Clara noted that I was sweating. At that point, the turtleneck had to go. The turtleneck — that was truly my downfall, and the whole reason I was sitting in my best friend’s car wearing only a bra. You see, there is no way to easily take off a turtleneck — and there is definitely nothing fun or flirty about removing a turtleneck in a car. But that’s what I got for being a layering novice.

Needless to say, I needed help. Bad. So I decided to meet with a series of experts on SoCal layering to soak in their wisdom.

First was none other than the Tsion Mamo ’23. An absolute delight of a human who managed to always look stunning during Zoom class, Mamo showed up to our interview sporting a pink-and-orange billowy top paired with some paper bag style jeans. In terms of her style, Mamo fills her closet with a mix of basic and accent pieces. “I tend to go for more neutral tones… because they work together better,” said Mamo.

In terms of her personal suggestions for layering, Mamo’s key piece of advice is to come prepared. “I always have a jacket in my backpack… something light to put on when the classroom gets cold or at night when it gets really cold,” she said. “You gotta be cautious of the weather overall for the day. For example, I know it’s going to be cold later, so that’s why I’m wearing pants, but they’re baggy pants, so I won’t get too hot now.”

Mamo enjoys pieces such as her oversized army green jacket that is “so big that it fits everything,” and a light brown sweater fit for mild weather. When looking for items to layer with, she thinks I should search for larger pieces that can comfortably fit over any type of clothes.

Next I met with Sarah Meadows ’22. Every time I spot Sarah from across a crowded Malott, I can’t help but be amazed by Sarah’s outfit. Today Sarah was wearing mostly black and silver; black boots, black pants, a fabulous black belt with glittery silver flame accents, a black long sleeve adorned with stars layered underneath a black sweater tank, and a floral tichel. When I asked Sarah to describe Sarah’s style, Sarah simply said: “Goth. Milf. Modest.”

When it comes to layering, Sarah is a pro, because Sarah follows a principle called tsinut. “The principles of tsinut… [have] to deal with covering yourself and also what that means,” Sarah said. Sarah’s biggest tip is to think intentionally about materials in layers — today Sarah was wearing a top out of a sweater-y material, but on a warm day Sarah might wear a t-shirt with a cotton button down over the top. I am amazed at Sarah’s ability to be ready for any weather — Sarah has a plethora of jackets stored in Sarah’s car at all times, and carries around gloves for colder night classes.

“My general strategy for clothes is that all of my clothes have a consistent color theme,” said Sarah. “When you give yourself a consistent color theme — a wardrobe that is intentional — you have the ability to wear it multiple ways.” Sarah’s favorite layering piece that Sarah owns is a black jean jacket with a crocheted depiction of Sarah’s cat on the back, made by Annie Jones ’22. “Every time I wear it, it makes me really happy because it feels like [my cat] and is comfy, and hypes me up when I put it on,” said Sarah. In general, Sarah suggests having jackets that can go on over whatever.

Thanks to the wise words from our layering masters, I was prepared to never have to sit in a car on the side of the road wearing just my bra ever again. Well, at least not because I was too sweaty.


That One Pink Girl

Image Source: Maddie Moore ’22

Don't Miss