Here at Northwestern, where we consider the high 40’s to be “warm” and winter is less like a season and more like a momentous life event (timeline, anyone?), many people rock a winter pallor on the regular. I took for granted just how lucky I was before I came to school; in Southern California our temperatures rarely veer below 50 and even then the sun continues to shine.  Rain is an anomaly and comes about once every two months. As a result my skin reflected a warm gold that I took for granted. The first thing my mom said to me when I got off the airplane after an NU quarter was, “Wow, you look a little…pale.”

Though I adore the recent trends that emphasize vibrant pops of color, they aren’t exactly the most flattering when I look like I belong with the dead more than I do with the living.

For that reason exactly, I’ve fallen in love with Theory’s spring collection. The pieces, constructed in various shades of cream, pale pink, and mint green, ensure that my skin will no longer clash with my clothing in that unavoidable way. With the addition of cardigans in ghostly pale shades, I may even have the possibility of looking a little less like Casper and a little more like my former self.  I am particularly obsessed with an off-white cropped leather jacket with embossed honeycomb detailing. The zipper on the jacket has just enough of an “angry biker” vibe while still maintaining the façade of femininity (that requires suspending the belief that angry bikers wore cropped cream colored jackets, but just go with it). If you happen to get your hands on such a piece, come springtime look to pair it with high waisted skinnies, a tie-neck blouse (try Equipment or Madewell), and chunky ankle booties. I’m also looking to get my hands on a single-buttoned pale pink blazer, a carefully knitted cardigan I could see myself taking study naps in, and an artfully draped silk dress in stark white.

While waxing philosophic about Theory I also discovered a few budget-friendly options for outfitting yourself in just the right amount of pallor this spring.  Try Nasty Gal for more bohemian, hipster themed items, or ASOS for a varied selection of dresses in pretty pinks and toasty beige shades with ladylike details.  Gap, one of my favorite places for basics, has a standout collection of chunky knits and lightweight sweaters in classic pale neutral shades.

The California sun is months away so in the meantime, I’ll just concentrate on finding clothes just as pale as I am to be my new best friends.