Author: Elizabeth Kimmelman Schwartz, C’04
Halter Top Day to me means springtime at Penn and the end of a long, awful winter. I know some of you might be confused that I’m not referencing Hey Day or Spring Fling. I bet some of you are wondering, “What on earth is Halter Top Day? They didn’t have that when I went to Penn!” Ah, but you are wrong. Halter Top Day has always existed, even if you weren’t aware of its existence.
Halter Top Day is something one of my favorite sports writers, Bill Simmons coined in one of his weekly columns a few years ago. Here is Urban Dictionary’s definition of it:
A term coined by Bill Simmons of ESPN in reference to the day when the weather finally becomes warm enough in a notoriously cold part of the country (i.e. the Northeast) that convertible tops can go down and girls can wear miniskirts and halter tops outdoors. Usually occurs in April.
I know, you’ve heard me reference my inner feminist on this blog, and now I’m writing about a term that possibly has sexist undertones. I don’t care. To a winter-hater like me, Halter Top Day is the best day of the year, sexist name and all. Every year, from November through April, I basically curse myself for ever having left Los Angeles. I stare longingly at my flip flops and I angrily throw on my massive outerwear, including Uggs which are quite possibly the ugliest things I’ve ever put on my feet but I have yet to find anything as comfortably warm. As a shoe lover, Uggs kill me. As a cold weather hater, Uggs are my salvation.
Anyway, I digress. After a long winter during which I am mainly miserable and randomly shout things out like, “THERE ARE BETTER WAYS TO LIVE!” (my husband loves when I do that), Halter Top Day arrives and it is truly magical.
Halter Top Day is really at it’s best on college campuses, and Penn really knows how to do it up. Girls wander out in jeans and tank tops (I don’t think halter tops are really in style anymore). Guys throw on shorts and grab Frisbees. Lines at the food trucks grow. People walk around with iced Starbucks drinks instead of hot ones. The green gets crowded with people hanging out on the lawn, tossing previously mentioned Frisbees, eating previously mentioned food truck lunches, and drinking previously mentioned iced Starbucks drinks. You can’t find a seat at any of the tables on the patios, and while you are mildly annoyed, you also don’t care because the sun is out, you aren’t freezing and you know that anything is possible! Friends literally greet each other as if they haven’t seen each other since November. It’s both relaxing and exhilarating all at once.
Without even realizing what it was, since Bill Simmons didn’t coin the term until after I had graduated, I lived for Halter Top day in college. I live for it now as an adult. Simply put, it’s the best.