Warming up to winter fashion

Written by: Channing Murrock

This winter, make a lasting impression as the fall semester ends and a great first impression when the spring semester begins by dressing in winter’s hottest styles. Things to keep in mind when dressing for cold weather are comfort, warmth and fashion. Winter clothes don’t always include sweatpants, snow boots and ski pants and don’t have to be frumpy-looking. Dressing for chilly weather can be a fun way to experiment with layered looks and cold weather accessories such as hats, gloves and scarves.

The turtleneck was seen all over the runways this season. Many of these turtlenecks are made of lightweight fabric and printed with fun patterns or made in bold, trendy colors. Turtlenecks are a great investment piece, because they ward off the cold air that might blow down your coat as you walk to class. A fun way to dress up a turtleneck is to include a short necklace or even a choker in a contrasting color. Some turtlenecks already come with a contrasting neck, so it creates that layered look without all the bulk. Layering a couple of bangles on your wrists over your shirt is a fun, fashion-forward way to dress up your sleeves.

If you aren’t a fan of turtlenecks, another fun option is a crew-neck sweater in a neutral color. Necklaces that imitate collars on shirts are a fun twist to add excitement to an outfit. Bejeweled collar necklaces are a great idea for a holiday party to help start a conversation and can set you apart from everyone else.

“Jeweled collars allow you to change up the look of your sweaters and t-shirts,” said senior Anastacia Grenig. “They can make a ‘blah’ outfit pop and bring a casual shirt into the limelight. They are the perfect accessory for anyone on a budget wanting to look like the cover of Vogue.”

Local mall stores have a variety of necklaces at all budget levels. To save even more money, try to make your own unique jewelry out of beads, wire or string from local craft stores.

As for outerwear, oversized coats are a fun way to stay warm, as they can have multiple layers without looking too bulky. These coats are usually knee-length or longer and made of soft fabrics, and they come in a variety of colors. Dress up your date-night outfit by choosing a coat that covers you from shoulder to toe. Add a pair of bright leather gloves and you will stay toasty and still look chic.

Instead of stepping out in Uggs or snow boots, try swapping in a pair of knee-high riding boots in dark chocolate brown or black.

“You can’t go wrong with a pair of high-quality boots,” Grenig said. “Snow and rain quickly ruin cheap fabric boots and end with you having wet feet. Investing in a pair of waterproof and lined boats will last you years and keep you from many days of cold feet.”

Don’t forget to weatherproof the boots so salt stains don’t show and water doesn’t get into your boots and soak your socks.

Need something else to blast away the winter cold? Try wearing fleece-lined tights underneath your pants or jeans. These come in a variety of colors, with black being the most versatile. Leggings can also be bought with fleece lining to help keep you warm on long walks across campus. Check out your local thrift stores, as they are great places to look for unique pieces while staying on a budget.

Looking put-together after braving the cold winds is hard to do. Key items to carry around with you are a hat to tame hair, lip balm to moisturize wind-burnt lips and lotion in the same scent as your perfume for not only a little pick-me-up but also for moisturizing dry hands and cuticles. Dry cuticles leads to damaged brittle nails that aren’t attractive on anyone.

“Always carry ChapStick and lotion,” Grenig said. “The cold winds damage your skin on your face and lips the most. Lotion also is a good fix for taming flyaways and frizz that are bound to happen when you take off your hat.”

As for your nails, deep colors like reds and purples are a great look for winter. A fun, wintry twist on a manicure is to paint nails a deep jewel-toned blue and layer a silver glitter over them to imitate snowflakes in a less obvious way.

Winter doesn’t have to be a time when your fashion slacks. Anyone can stay warm while still looking good by taking a little time each morning to plan a great outfit. This will give you the confidence you need to have a great semester.