Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Looking hot when you’re cold

By Effie Speridakos

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(MCT)

Knowing how to dress for the winter is a crucial survival skill as a student at the University of Massachusetts. Even still, the climate is never an acceptable excuse as to why there are so many fashion victims parading campus post rain drizzle. College is a place where most people develop out of their conforming ways and begin expressing their own identity as they find it. So, this is the time to toss the North Face, leggings and Uggs winter wardrobe, and start investing in some sharp and sensible winter pieces.

Trekking through slush around campus all day calls for some durable shoes guaranteed to keep your pinky toes warm. Rain boots are a great option, and don’t always need to be sported in obnoxious prints. Steve Madden and Tory Burch bring the rain boot to the chic side with versatile colors and hardware accessories.

The important lesson here is to ditch the Uggs. Let’s remember they were made in Australia and intended for the dry atmosphere there. Sheepskin ruins when it is dragged through snow and, furthermore, stains when it is dragged through salty snow. If there is any uncertainty left, these are not the kind of “boots with the fur” Flo-Rida was referencing.

Save the leather boots for drier days. With leather, the options are endless: equestrian style boots bring the preppy, while biker boots bring the cool-grunge. Make sure to layer knee socks with taller boots for warmth. This can add a cute touch to your look if you let the sock peek out a half an inch above the boot.

Another essential element to the perfect winter outfit is the coat. Down jackets will keep the body insulated and comfortable, but make it easy to resemble the shapeless burrito being rolled up at the Hatch. It needs to be warm, but not bulky. To reflect a feminine silhouette through your outerwear, the waist must be cinched. Keep an eye out for coats with belts. If they are lacking, don’t shy away from a little DIY, and add your own fabulous belt to complete it. Miss Sixty and Michael Kors put out flattering styles that have now gone on sale. Pea coats are another stable way to top off your winter ensemble. The identifying factor of a pea coat is that it is made of wool. Because the material is made of sheep’s hair, it will keep you cozy. A sure benefit of sporting a pea coat is a slim look with a flattering shape. Either of these options beat the look and comfort of a North Face, as they keep you warmer and give you a sophisticated shape.

As for layering underneath, cashmere and wool are cozy enough to keep you feeling toasty, yet thin enough to keep you from looking like a super chunk. Knits prove to be comfortable, while fashionably relaxed looking.

A quick word on leggings: They are not pants, so refrain from wearing them with anything that doesn’t cover your rear. Jeans are a fine alternative.

By highlighting your frame and accessorizing, you will be making yourself more attractive in a mature way. Hats are key in this bitter season. Warm body temperature escapes mostly from the head, so keeping it covered will help retain the heat. Earmuffs are a cool alternative to hats. Gloves and scarves also help bundle up. They are cool in luxe faux fur, animal prints, plaids or embellished. These accessories are fun to mix and match. Sunglasses are an accessory that is easily overlooked in the wintertime. The sun rays and bright white snow make eyes squint and scream for shades, so don’t forget to grab a pair.

Getting dressed with these points in mind will bring you a step closer to looking and feeling like a fabulously chic grown-up. Voila, practicality and fashion can actually coexist.

Effie Speridakos can be reached at [email protected]

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