As we come back to school hoping to look fresh and stay warm, here is a quick look at a few of my must-haves and must-leaves for winter 2008.
In: Forget jewelry – scarves are this winter’s No. 1 accessory. While I didn’t quite love the summer scarf look in ’07, I think a scarf is the piece to tie your ensemble together until at least March. I buy mine at H&M, where they carry a wide selection of cozy cashmere blend scarves for both sexes costing just $9.90 and $12.90.
Out: Leggings are out, and I think we all saw this one coming. Tights are the new leggings, which is a big plus, ladies, because tights elongate while leggings shorten. But fear not – you don’t have to ditch your leggings completely. My little trick is to pull the ends of your leggings as close to your ankles as they will reach, tuck them into socks, and then throw on a pair of boots. No one can tell they aren’t tights (unless, like I did over break, you try to pull this off at the airport and the security screener makes you lose the boots.) For your flats and other everyday shoes, invest in a couple of pairs of footed tights to replace last year’s leggings.
In: Lots of layers will never go out of style in the winter months. This is one of my favorite winter looks because it really blends fashion and function. Case in point: I truly believe that the temperature differences can run upwards of 15 degrees among older buildings like Anderson and Gladfelter halls, newer buildings like Tuttleman Learning Center, and lunch venues like the Student Center, whose doors are constantly opening and closing. When you’re shuffling between classes, it’s perfect to be able to drop or add a layer or two. Plus, I love letting little details of thermals, tees or tights peek out from under other garments. I have been seeing a lot of layered looks leaning toward a neutral-toned color palette this season, which looks great. At the same time, there is no need to shy away from the bolder colors, as long as you keep it coordinated. And, of course, keep your look clean by always sticking to solids or very subtle prints.
Out: Tweed – never loved it, never hated it, until I began seeing Hillary Clinton’s suits on CNN day after day. Sen. Clinton helped me to realize tweed is really a horrible material, and I see it on way too many young people around campus when it gets cold. Yes, it is thicker and probably warmer than your average cotton-poly blend, but it is an unattractive, uncomfortable fabric. When Clinton was first lady, she wore Oscar de la Renta exclusively. What happened?
In: Capes, crop jackets, sherpa wraps, military and equestrian-style coats and other out-there outerwear are my must haves for the beginning of this semester. If you can step outside the box with just one clothing item this season, go for a unique coat. The winter runways have been filled with some of the most outrageous, over-the-top and fabulous shapes and fabrics for outerwear, and even the most bizarre designer inspiration can be seen in wearable, fashion-forward outerwear on the racks.
Mary C. Schell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.