Looking good from head to toe

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Spring is one of my favorite seasons, especially on Occidental’s campus. Roses and daffodils are blooming all over, trees have fresh green buds that are flowing out into lush leaves and the occasional rain mixed with days of sun makes the grass greener no matter what side you are on.

California has the special privilege of settling into temperatures between the ’60s and ’70s in the month of March, making it even easier to embrace one’s spring time wardrobe. This wardrobe is full of pastels and bright colors. Men don Nantucket red chinos with white button-downs and navy colored Sperry’s on their feet, while women zip into every hue of shorts and slip on printed dresses. Some days on this campus, it feels like I am walking through an ongoing catalogue spread combining Urban Outfitters and J.Crew and I love every moment of it.

However, there are some things we all must remember to take care of when the weather warms up and our wardrobe evolves with it. While it certainly is time to chuck out the black tights that got you through the winter months, it is now more important than ever to review some simple beauty regimens and accessory choices that will amplify your outfits.

First, let’s discuss skin care. If any of you are, like me, come from a colder climate, you know just how easy it is to forget about dry skin when all you wear are long pants and sweaters. But when the layers come off to reveal skin that looks ready to fall off and die, you end up feeling self-conscious wearing anything that shows you arms or legs. Feeling confident in an outfit is half of what being stylish is all about, so do yourself and your skin a favor and start slathering on some lotion. Invest in a moisturizer that is oil-free to ensure that skin is hydrated, not greasy. If you must have a moisturizer that has a fragrance, make sure it isn’t overwhelming – you never know whose nose you might offend or whose allergies might act up.

Next, let’s move on to footwear. Flip-flops are universally loved, but not always appropriate. If you have a meeting with someone important – a job interview, or anything more than running errands or going to the beach plan – it’s time to upgrade those shoes. Wear something a little more thoughtful than a piece of rubber between your toes. Men should consider driving moccasins or boat shoes, while women should employ flat leather sandals in a metallic hue. If you want to wear heels, make them a wedge sandal or espadrille, and never wear a heel higher than you can walk in. Nothing is more ridiculous than stumbling around in heels: You look and feel like an idiot.

While we are on the topic of shoes, never wear Crocs. I don’t even know why someone made these shoes. They are cheaply-made, overpriced rubber slip-on shoes that have been aerated with enormous holes on the tops of your feet. Some styles even have shearling interiors, which contradicts their intended use in aquatic environments. They don’t look sophisticated, sporty, or flattering; Crocs only successfully make feet appear enormous and bizarrely round. If I see you wearing a pair, I hold the right to burn yours as you watch.

Finally, on the topic of feet, never forget to get a pedicure. Ladies, if your toenails are discolored and they are as long as your fingernails, fix them. This is unsightly.

Men, this is for you, too. No, you don’t need to have your toes polished, but you do need to have your nails clipped and your feet clean. Nothing grosses people out more nor ruins an outfit better than smelly, dirty, Hobbit feet. Ever see Frodo and Sam with a bunch of ladies around them? Didn’t think so.

Lastly, while it is sunny and wonderful outside, sunburn and skin cancer is no joke. Use sunblock, wear a hat and definitely get out your biggest Jackie O. sunglasses to block out this harmful rays. The additional benefit of those enormous, black out shades? Nobody can tell if you are checking out a stylish somebody in the quad. Happy people-watching!

Noel Hemphill is a junior ECLS major. She can be reached at hemphill@oxy.edu or on Twitter @WklyNHemphill.