KOPPLIN: Wardrobe essentials for staying warm, avoiding winter slush

From fluffy to soggy, the beautiful snow that covers the University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s campus evolves into an unpleasant element: slush. Road salt, dirt, gravel and other muck from the ground mixes with snow to create a gloppy slush. And, at this time of year, slush is practically inescapable. Although one can avoid dips in the sidewalk, snow piles near street curbs and other corners around campus where the slush piles up, there is no way to completely avoid it. The best tactic a student can embrace is preparation. Here are several pieces that can be added to your outfit to help you manage the slush.

1. Waterproof shoes

The first and most obvious piece of clothing to help you combat campus slush is waterproof shoes. The only thing worse than cold toes are cold, wet toes. Wearing waterproof shoes minimizes the misery of walking through slush and keeps toes relatively warm. Waterproof shoes tend to have good traction, too, which is crucial when slush brings everything to a new level of slippery. Online sites like Zappos or Payless are affordable places to find stylish, waterproof shoes without walking through the slush to a store.

2. High socks

Along with waterproof shoes, high socks are of equal importance to keeping your feet warm and slush-free. When splashing around in unavoidable snowy puddles, it is nearly guaranteed that water will fly everywhere, especially on the backs of pant legs. Wearing high socks ensures warmth and protection from slush on your ankles and keeps your pant legs from getting dirty or wet. One of the best places to get different styles of high socks is Target, as it usually has an extensive clearance section with discounted socks.

3. Patterned pants

The dreadful action of kicking up dirt is inevitable when trudging through slush, which can coat the back of your pants in grime. Some types of pants, like black pants, will showcase this splatter. But, patterned pants will mask the speckles and spots of dirt by blending them into the pattern. And, if the worst happens — that is, if the traction on your shoes is not enough to save you and you wipe out on the sidewalk — patterned pants will mask the giant wet spot from the fall. H&M is a great place to get pants with different patterns for relatively affordable prices.

4. Waterproof coat

A coat is an essential part of one’s wardrobe for any type of winter weather. But, for slush, not just any coat will do. Wool or fabric coats can be a trap for the dirt and grime in slush, and if the wind picks up — as it has been known to do in Nebraska — you could be covered in sticky, gross slush particles. A waterproof coat will brush this dust off more easily and protect your clothes from the mess. A great place to look for stylish, waterproof coats is ThredUp, which is basically an online thrift store. They offer prices that are more suitable for a college student’s budget.

5. Gloves, hat and scarf

The final pieces of the essential slush-y winter wardrobe are a pair of gloves, a hat and a scarf. Keeping your hands, head and neck warm with cute accessories can help minimize the bad mood that is often sparked with winter weather. Not only will this block the misty, dirty wind that comes from being blown off slush, but it will also pull the outfit together in a satisfying, confidence-boosting way. Almost every store listed above offers affordable hats, gloves and scarves.

Since slush is impossible to avoid all together, the best thing a student can do is prepare for the soggy, dirty mess. Each of these outfit tweaks will help better prepare you for winter weather and the slush that comes along with it.