Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Five weather and fashion friendly items for winter

By Nia Decaille

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Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

Taylor C. Snow/Daily Collegian

As students in western Massachusetts we know the reality of the freezing temperatures, intense winds and weather changes too well. Whether you’re taking the colder months delightfully or with a grain of salt, why not do it fashionably? There is a method to layering those sweaters and finding that cozy jacket. Staying warm doesn’t have to mean that you need to sacrifice any sense of style at the expense of a snowy day.

One of the most obvious and easy style items is a warm winter coat and covering as much of your body as possible is key. A little more than an accessory, you want to pick something that you can put on with minimal clothing underneath and still feel warm. Investing in a coat that is lined on the inside is an absolute must. The extra material on the inside will shield your body from cold temperatures and provide insulation; opting for a coat with length will also keep more of your body warmer. Coats with faux fur lined pockets can also serve as a way to keep your hands warm. Some brands that are great to try are London Fog, Marc Fisher, L.L. Bean, and North Face. One of the best places to search for that winter coat steal are large department stores or outlets like Burlington Coat Factory that are more likely to have discounted prices.

Instead of trying to buy more woolen sweaters and knits, layering your clothes is cost effective and can make up for what your winter coat is lacking. Instead of placing a regular tee shirt under your cardigan or blazer, try thinner knitted garments also known as “long johns” or Under Armour. Wearing them under your jeans or pants will also help you brave the wind and protect your skin from the air, which is more susceptible to drying out during the winter. Depending on the material you can also wear them to the gym underneath your clothes and have a quick change for that mid-day exercise routine.

Hats and head gear are sometimes tricky because they can mess up that hair do you spent time on, or give you hat hair. The good news is that you don’t always have to put on a hat; earmuffs aren’t out of style. Teen Vogue recently listed the top 30 pairs of ear muffs that are fashion forward and cozy.

If you’re interested in just keeping your ears warm a designer pair will cost you, but for the college dime any retailer like J.C. Penney should only cost you between $10 and $20. Aviator style or fur hats are also still a hat staple for the winter time and still remain very much high fashion.

Let’s face it, winter boots can be a little tacky, but a good pair to brave the snow is essential to your winter wardrobe. The best option for warmth and style is a pair that are waterproof, lightweight and have tough soles with traction. In most cases, those Uggs that you loved wearing during the fall will keep your feet warm, but are no stranger to the puddles and slippery snow around campus. To keep your feet from getting wet, an insulated rain boot or water proof shoe may be pricy, but it’s worth the investment. Sporting your favorite leather boots from the fall is also easy if you invest in a good waterproof spray or sealant. Some great brands to choose from are Hunter, L.L. Bean or Anne Klein. You may be able to find better deals online if you’re looking for a boot under $100.

Lastly, the colder months just aren’t the same without the glove and scarf combo. A scarf well-suited for extreme cold temperatures should be made of thicker materials; wool, thick knits, etc. Another thing to look for is a lengthy scarf that can be tied, looped or secured around your neck. When walking past the library is enough to break your spirits, a scarf can make your campus travels easier and you can experiment with texture, color and prints to spice up your winter staple items. Knit or leather gloves is also a matter of preference. Leather gloves that are lined can be a plus, but also restricting and uncomfortable in comparison to a knit material. For everyday use, try to find a scarf and gloves that complement the coat that you wear most often.

When you’re trying to figure out just what to bring to campus take these items into consideration to stay warm without feeling tactless. You don’t have to grudgingly spare any of your fine fashion senses to dress for the weather. One of the best things to remember when wearing any item, your confidence is the best accessory. Layering up and putting on a coat won’t make you feel summer time fine, but you can be effortlessly chic.
Nia Decaille can be reached at [email protected]@umass.edu.

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