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Climate and Clothing

Sweet Briar’s climate makes it necessary to have warmer clothing — wool sweaters, heavy coat, boots, wool skirts and pants, etc. — during the winter months, beginning about Dec. 1 and ending about March 1. During this period, temperatures average about 32°-50° F (0°-12° C). September through November and March through May, when the temperatures average about 60°-80° F (15°-27° C), lighter weight clothing, such as short-sleeve blouses, cotton skirts and pants, light sweaters, etc., are appropriate. The temperature during the summer months (and sometimes September and May) is usually higher, 80°-95° F (27°-35° C). Most students wear sweaters or T-shirts with skirts, pants or shorts when attending class. Blue jeans are common attire. Pack a few dresses for formal occasions, parties and holiday events, and it would be wonderful if you could bring at least one outfit of traditional clothing from your home country. Sweet Briar has several events throughout the year when you will have the opportunity to teach others about the culture(s) of your home country. You also might want to bring a bathing suit so you can enjoy our indoor swimming pool at the gymnasium.

Since the College van runs to a local shopping center regularly, you may wish to purchase additional clothing, bedding or personal items after you arrive. You also can purchase additional clothing at the Sweet Briar Book Shop, which also carries basic drugstore items as well as books, gifts and stationery. Necessities, such as blankets, pillows, and linens, can be purchased locally or supplied by a linen service available to students for a fee by Amherst Dry Cleaners. The College has its own laundry facilities with washers and dryers for your use. Generally, shipping trunks and boxes by parcel post or a private firm is expensive. You may want to investigate the cost of sending some things by airmail. Trunks or boxes shipped to Sweet Briar with your name on them will be delivered to your room. Most airlines allow only two suitcases or 44 pounds of luggage. You should inquire with your carrier prior to departure. Whatever you do, pack as lightly as possible!