It looks like Springhamton is here to stay. What does this mean for your drawers filled with hoodies, sweatpants and sweaters? Nothing. Let’s be honest here: spring in Binghamton is filled with 80-degree days that are followed by 35-degree days, which leaves many of us scratching our heads looking through our closets trying to find pieces that will accommodate any weather this town decides to throw at us. Here are some helpful tips to make use of what you have in your closet without having to break the bank buying new spring clothes.

First off, let’s go over colors. While neutral colors have been in the spotlight in recent years thanks to celebrities like the Kardashians, Gigi and Bella Hadid, as well as Justin and Hailey Bieber, it looks like popular colors are beginning to swing in a brighter direction. Sage, lilac and cerulean are showing up all over brands like Free People, Aerie, Urban Outfitters, Cider and ASOS. The thing about fashion is that it is cyclical. We saw a rise in ’90s-inspired trends a few years ago and now we are seeing trends from the early 2000s come back. So, if you do want to feed your shopping addiction and acquire a few new pieces, ones that have fun colors are great paired with neutral basics you already have in your wardrobe.

Haven’t gone spring shopping yet and are looking for inspiration? Well, you are just in luck! Here are a few suggestions to get you spring-ready on a college-student budget. The clothing brand Cider has great options for trendy pieces at low prices. Bright colors and unique patterns on pants, skirts and dresses are forecasted to be all the rage in the next few months. The “Heart Wave” pants, “Green Flower Pattern Trousers” and “Smile Egg Yellow Skirt” all from Cider, each cost under $30 and are great trendy pieces to add to your collection. However, as you know trends come and go, so this is where the basics you already have in your closet come into play. Each one of these pieces will look amazing with a basic white T-shirt, solid color sweater or cardigan, paired with Air Force 1 shoe, Superga or Converse sneakers and you have yourself a perfect spring outfit!

Looking for a more casual, comfortable outfit for your Zoom classes, but still want to look cute? Sweat sets look like they are here to stay, but instead of sweatpants, opt for sweat shorts! Matching sets are an ode to the matching velour tracksuits we saw popularized by celebrities like Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian and Ashley Tisdale during the early ’00s. So make use of the black sweatshirt you love and pick up a pair of black sweat shorts, or give those sweatpants you already have a chop. Aerie also has great options for mix & match sets that are size inclusive and cost around $50 for both pieces. The “Sunset Terry Fleece High-Waisted Short” paired with the matching top is the perfect option to lounge around your dorm or apartment in, while still being cute and cheery.

Thrifting is also a great way to shop both sustainably and on a budget. Binghamton has loads of thrift stores, as well as vintage consignment shops like Salvation Army, Mabel D. Orr and Stephen’s Vintage. When shopping look out for unique tops, tennis skorts, cardigans, sweater vests and denim jeans. A good pair of vintage Levi’s will carry you through any weather Binghamton decides to throw at us. Plus, they’ll look good with a tank top for the summer, a cute blouse for the spring, a sweater for the fall and a puffer coat in the winter. Regardless of if you prefer to thrift, or buy new clothes, good quality basics paired with trendy pieces is one of the best ways to look stylish without breaking the bank.

After many students missed out on last year’s Binghamton springtime because of COVID-19, the time for warm weather has finally come back around to the city. This school year has been filled with inconsistent and intense weather, and the spring season will be no different. Dressing for ice-cold weather and boiling hot temperatures all in the same week can make it impossible to be comfortable, but here are some tips to stay stylish and comfy, all without blowing this month’s grocery money on a new wardrobe.

For starters, layering will be vastly important for this season. Wearing light outerwear for everyday activities is crucial. Looking toward bomber jackets making a comeback in 2021, cheaper options can be found from brands like H&M or Uniqlo. Don’t put away all your hoodies for good either — chances are they’re going to be needed for the cold mornings and late nights. Pair a decently plain hoodie with a cheaper, more affordable version of a mac jacket in the shape of the minimalist coaching jacket. They can be picked up from most skateboard brands for a more logo-centric approach, or even a uniform website like Aramark Uniforms for something along toned-down lines. Almost everyone owns a go-to flannel, and make sure it’s put to good use this spring, because a pop of color for the springtime will go a long way.

It’s shorts and hoodie season, as most men would say, and spring 2021 is no different. For those unable to let go of sweatpants, sweat shorts are, again, a great option! They’re the most comfortable alternative and still let the legs breathe a bit. Again, H&M provides stylish, cheaper sweatshirts. Champion also nails the sweat short game easily with their classic jersey cotton shorts. For those looking to make some noise with their short game, continue on with the 5.5-inch inseam trend from last summer. The ladies love it, and with brands like Goodthreads giving comfort and more formal style with shorts, the 5.5-inch inseam is a total win. Nylon shorts will again be a guy’s best friend going forward. The comfort, durability and style will ensure any gym session, outdoor adventure or date will go off without a hitch. L.L. Bean and Patagonia are dependable with nylon shorts, but PacSun has a great selection of patterns and colors to make shorts the star of your outfit.

Men and shoes go together like milk and cookies, and with a very saturated market, there’s a pair of spring kicks for everybody. Pair those high-flying vintage graphic tees or tie-dye shirts with a toned down pair of white shoes. Stan Smiths, Nike Court Vintages or the godfather of white kicks, the Chuck Taylor All Stars, are all great options to compliment spring outfits. If shoes are the star of the show, there’s plenty of colorful options that will catch some eyes. Anything from Vans screams springtime, and the “Anaheim Factory” collection has patterns and colors to fit any personality. If skate shoes are not your style, then you might be a New Balance fan. If you’re not, then why not? NB has taken the mainstream shoe game by storm and has countless silhouettes and an endless stream of collaborations. New Balance will give the same comfort lawn-mowing fathers received for years, without sacrificing a single bit of stylish appeal. From affordable to wildly expensive, there’s a pair of “Newbies” for anybody, and most come in colors that will steal the show.

This spring, focus on being comfortable above all else. Carry around a backpack to store your hoodie or jacket. If shorts don’t suit your style, keep a pair of comfortable jeans handy. Break away from the crowd and rock some plaid pants from H&M on a date night. Take spring as a chance to mix and match, because oftentimes it will not be too hot or too cold, perfect for some great outfits. Be unique, take risks and be comfortable this season, because there really is no reason not to.