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Winter Clothes availability?

Ms. LadybugMs. Ladybug Posts: 148Registered User Junior Member
edited January 2012 in Oberlin College
D is starting to pack, excitedly getting ready for frosh move-in in two weeks. We will be flying with D from Northern California to Oberlin. I have read blogs and am telling D to heed advice about buying winter clothes there. Without a car, how easy will it be for D to buy warm snowboots and winter coat etc.? Looks like there is a WalMart about 2 miles from college - how do kids without cars get there? And/or are there stores in town who can sell California girls frostbite-resistant footwear and bulky-yet-hip winter fashions for the brrrr cold weather??? Last ditch effort of soon-to-be empty nest mom :( needing to know that D will be warm and cozy ... please advise - Thanks, Ms. L
Post edited by Ms. Ladybug on

Replies to: Winter Clothes availability?

  • D'yer MakerD'yer Maker Posts: 3,421Registered User Senior Member
    Definitely interested in this too.

    Will we need to order winter clothes on-line and have them sent? On some levels I think I know the answer already as clothes shopping for my son amounts to purchasing a t-shirt from a sidewalk vendor. I can't imagine him figuring out a bus schedule and then taking time away from...well, anything else...just so he can buy a turtleneck and long underwear. With any luck there will be some winter clothes in stock at the stores while we're in the U.S. in a couple weeks.
  • quaerequaere Posts: 1,264Registered User Senior Member
    There are a few places to get winter-ish clothes in Oberlin, mostly smaller items. Ben Franklin has a basic stock of things like hats, gloves, scarves, and warm socks; the bookstore has college-branded things; and Ratsy's, the vintage clothing store, has some cool jackets and light coats (see relevant blog post!)

    For cheap winter basics, though, WalMart is the closest place to go. It's not hip and fashionable, but it's really the only place to get things like boots, heavier coats, and long underwear. It's about 3 miles outside Oberlin, so students without cars can bike there pretty easily (and you can borrow bikes with baskets from Wilder, the student union). Beyond that, the options are driving someplace or shopping online. If you go the online route, I'd recommend starting with Lands' End and L.L. Bean -- but I'm a frostbitten New Englander rather than a stylish Californian, so your mileage may vary ;)

    If you haven't seen it, there's a pretty helpful old post about what kinds of winter clothes to get: http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/oberlin-college/1112448-winter-clothing.html
  • dave72dave72 Posts: 600Registered User Member
    From my perspective, shopping online would be considerably easier than getting to/from WalMart for students without access to a car, especially for bulky items like winter coats and boots.
  • lipitopapitolipitopapito Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    Is there a mall anywhere nearby?
  • dave72dave72 Posts: 600Registered User Member
    There are a couple of good malls (Great Northern and Crocker Park) about 20 miles away. Again, not easily accessible except by car.
  • pohakupohaku Posts: 168Registered User Junior Member
    Amazon can be your friend. We have Amazon Prime which gives you "free" 2 day shipping on many (but not all) items. My D used it purchase things she needed (including new and used textbooks) and had them shipped directly to her. Easy and quick, pretty good selection if you know what you want and know your size.
  • Ms. LadybugMs. Ladybug Posts: 148Registered User Junior Member
    So, there is no bus that runs from campus out to WalMart? D has never been much for bicycles ... I can't feature her riding 6 miles round trip anywhere - I think she would sooner walk than bike. Is there a basic shoe store anywhere nearer town?
  • qialahqialah Posts: 1,600Registered User Senior Member
    My NCAL D did fine with her CA outerwear through late November. We bought the heavy coat and boots with her at the mall in Elyria when we visited during parents weekend. She also bought herself winter stuff over Thanksgiving break which she spent in Peoria with an Oberlin friend. We found that it was not worth coming home for Thanksgiving since she had just been home for a week in during the Oberlin break in mid-October.
  • PlainsmanPlainsman Posts: 1,503Registered User Senior Member
    Great Northern Mall: classic large, enclosed Americana suburban shopping mall in a solidly middle class area. It is also surrounded by several strip malls with different stores and restaurants, but Dave72 is correct. You will need a car.

    Crocker Park: Outdoor promenade style mall with fancy shops, outdoor cafes, pricey yuppie apartments, restaurants, bars, clubs and movie theaters, all integrated into a "concept." A little more upscale than GNM. You have to visit this place, but again, you'll need a car.

    Cobblestone Mall Area in Elyria: Closer and less stimulating than the above, and located in a more "blue-collarish" but okay area. But this mall area does have pretty much everything you need. It just doesn't have anything "cool."
  • lipitopapitolipitopapito Posts: 12Registered User New Member
    This is very helpful!
  • flexflyerflexflyer Posts: 23Registered User New Member
    I'm a big fan of shopping online and having things shipped and many students do this. The mall that Plainsman mentions is easily accessible by car. There is a car sharing program on campus, similar to Zipcar, where you can rent a car by the hour. It is run by one of the major car rental companies (I forget which one). Get some friends together and it will only be a few bucks each.
  • PlainsmanPlainsman Posts: 1,503Registered User Senior Member
    Since your student is likely to be at Oberlin for 4 or 5 years, I recommend you not simply restrict your exploration to whatever is within a 3 or 4 mile radius of campus. That would be boring, don't you think? The closest large enclosed mall to Oberlin is probably the Midway Mall in Elyria. I think they changed their name to Westfield Shopping Center (don't ask). It's only 11 miles from campus. We never go there because my wife thinks the neighborhood across from the mall is a bit sketchy. But it has a ton of conventional mall type stores. My Oberlin daughter never goes there either, even though we gave her a car at the beginning of last year, her sophomore year. Here's a link: Midway Mall :: A Property of Centro

    Not far from Midway Mall/Westfield Shopping Center is a smaller mall area called Cobblestone Square. It is located on Ebbe Road in Sheffield Village, Ohio. We've gone to the movie theaters at Cobblestone Square. The place is okay.

    About 19 miles from campus in another direction is the Great Northern Mall (what most people call it) in North Olmsted. This is definitely a step up, in my opinion, and has a ton of strip mall shopping and hotels within a mile radius. A lot of Obie families stay in North Olmsted. I usually stay at the Marriott Courtyard here, and almost always run into Oberlin people (ask for the "Oberlin rate"!). It's a nice area with more places to eat and shop than you can shake a leg at, and an easy 20 minute cruise down the road to Oberlin. We consider it worth it because the drive is so easy (almost no traffic except in the mall area) and you can't beat the variety and quantity of choices. Nothing closer to Oberlin can match it. But some people can't get deal with driving an extra ten minutes, so they miss out. To each his own, I suppose. Here's a link to the mall which is legally called "Westfield Great Northern Shopping Center": Westfield - Great Northern Shopping Mall

    Literally in back of the Great Northern Mall is the Great Northern Plaza with even more stores: Great Northern Plazas :: 4954 Great Northern Mall, OH, 44070 :: 440-734-3721

    To go upscale, you want to find Crocker Park in Westlake, Ohio. I can't figure out whether Westlake or North Olmsted is closer to Oberlin. If you're staying in North Olmsted, Crocker Park in Westlake is about 6 miles away, but I don't know if that means further away or closer to Oberlin. I haven't checked a map. It doesn't seem to take any longer to drive directly to Crocker Park from Oberlin than it does to drive directly to North Olmsted from Oberlin, but it is a different route. Anyway, here's a link to Crocker Park: It's All Happening Here ? Westlake, Ohio || Crocker Park

    Whenever we visit Oberlin, we always make time to go to Crocker Park. The shopping is a little too pricey for my taste, but there are some cool places to eat like Liquid Planet, Vieng's Asian Bistro, and First Watch, and the movie theaters are plush.

    When you're tired of shopping and eating, there are two other huge attractions in the area: the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton and the spectacular Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland. I think you can get to either one in about an hour.

    Enjoy!
  • ElizabethHoustonElizabethHouston Posts: 128College Rep Junior Member
    When I was a student, I bought most things that weren't readily available in downtown Oberlin online because it was inexpensive and convenient. But for incoming students, please note that needing a car to get to a nearby mall/Wallmart is not a particular barrier to shopping, even if you personally do not have a car. It's generally pretty easy to find someone with a vehicle who is also interested in going to the mall (especially for winter clothes when it starts getting cold), and it just means that your shopping excursions are likely to also be social/group events. I came to Oberlin with no winter coat and no specific plans for how I would go about acquiring one, and ended up having a fun coat-shopping trip to the mall with friends.
  • shalvshawshalvshaw Posts: 1Registered User New Member
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