How to

20 April 2016

Fashion Trends: Staying Safe and Stylish

It’s quite difficult to stay warm and be fashionable, especially considering the layers upon layers of clothing obstructing your silhouette; an ongoing struggle, an uphill battle of sorts, as men and women alike attempt to dress warmly without totally disregarding trends.

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One of the easiest ways to keep warm and retain a sense of style is to dress in layers. The outermost layer does not have to be the dividing line between staying warm and freezing. A base layer, more commonly known as long johns or thermals, can be worn under nearly anything without detracting from the overall look. An indiscernible thermal layer offers the wearer endless stylistic options with which to conceal the bottom layer. A perfect way to optimize warmth is by wearing a full set of baselayers designed to hold in warmth and guarantee comfort. Depending on the temperature, long johns for the hands, as it were, can be added beneath gloves to work similarly to a thermal layer.

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Socks of all sorts can make or break an outfit. Knee-highs will transform a dull skirt and tights into a preppy ensemble reminiscent of a school uniform. Whereas plain white socks are a safe choice, a bright sock paired with boots and jeans can be used to pick up specific colours in an outfit. When it comes to everyday clothing, purchasing cold-weather gear makes a huge difference in regards to warmth. Choosing a high-quality sock that is designed to withstand the wear and tear that comes with unseasonable climates is more valuable in the end than grabbing a handful from Poundland. Ultimately, if warmth is of the utmost importance, invest in a good pair, one that will go with your personal style, and go from there.

Another simple trick to staying warm and fashionable is to remember your accessories. A beanie will do; whether holey or fleece-lined, the simple addition of a hat can make all the difference. It has the added effect of keeping stray hairs in line or covering up an untidy end-of-day do.  Scarves achieve a similar outcome by keeping the top of your coat comfortably sealed against the elements. The best of both worlds is a something like a snood, a scarf and hood in one, or a hat that can be converted into a closely-worn scarf. Never to be underestimated is the usefulness of toasty and, resultantly, functional hands. Gloves and mittens are a staple of winter fashion which can add depth of colour and another warm layer. To wear such accessories, especially when they match or compliment an outfit, needs no justification. To keep especially warm, consider purchasing a pair of gloves suited for cold weather.

One of the best things about the aforementioned accessories is that a multitude of colours and designs are available at all times. So whether your personal style relies on patterns, wild shades, or plain black, there’s always another.

Lastly, but arguably most important, is footwear. It won’t do to venture out wearing flats or even oxfords (some of which are fraught with holes). More suitable, in almost every case, are boots. Whether short or tall, suede or leather, boots trump other shoe options due to their durability and indisputable knack for keeping you warm. Additionally, boots can be made to match any outfit, regardless of the make of the boot. For example, even the ruddiest snow boot can find a place in the right closet.

Utilizing cold-weather accessories, base layers, and the right footwear, one can keep up a fashionable front despite facing a cold front. Keep in mind the quality of items as well as versatility before committing to a purchase.

Jacqui Litvan

Jacqui Litvan, wielding a bachelor's degree in English, strives to create a world of fantasy amidst the ever-changing landscape of military life. Attempting to become a writer, she fuels herself with coffee (working as a barista) and music (spending free time as a raver).