BY: MADISON GALLEGOS
For most Southern Californians, winter is one of the worst times of the year. You’re forced out of the warm embrace of shorts and sunshine and into the cold hands of wind and waterproof mascara. Let’s face it—y’all can’t even handle when temperatures drop below 65. Even so, the biggest victim of the season is not students, it’s fashion. If an outsider were to walk around our campus, they would assume stores in Long Beach only sell ill-fitting sweatshirts and leggings (which, by the way, are not an acceptable form of everyday pants). Well, I’m here to tell you that there are, in fact, several other options available. A bit of cold weather is no reason to sacrifice your style; you can save money, stay comfortable and look great all at the same time. Provided are three different looks that you most likely already have in your closet or that you can find at affordable prices—each piece can be found for less than $50—from stores like ASOS, TopShop, or Zara. Each piece is a staple piece, meaning if you don’t already own it, you should. These pieces can be interchanged with one another, along with other items in your closet, to make endless unique looks that even the fashion-impaired can put together.
A longline single-breasted peacoat, a turtleneck, a mini skirt, and over-the-knee boots. Sheer leggings and a staple accessory complete the outfit. A classic look for those who like to look a little more upscale. The boots can be any kind: booties, heeled or not, ankle, any would work.
This look is a bit more new age, featuring a bomber jacket, your favorite tee, jeans, a cap, and flats. Bomber jackets are perfect for those who are more prone to the cold and are a great windbreaker. Try branching out with the jeans to rejuvenate your style, look for straight-leg, boyfriend or wide-leg (the ‘70s are back, baby).
For the most laid back of you, I put together a jean jacket with a shearling collar, an oversized sweater, black cigarette pants, sneakers, and a beanie. While it’s not the most thought out look, you can still pull it off by choosing the right color scheme and combination of pieces. A printed pant really makes a relaxed look like this stand out.
- Pay attention to fiber content: Wear fabrics that don’t breathe very much. In other words, try to find clothes that will trap the warm air your body naturally produces. Strive for polyester, wool, acrylic, rayon, and velvet; their dense textures will keep you warm and their fuzzy fibers will keep you cozy. Stay away from cotton, silk, and linen to shield yourself from those huge gusts of wind, as their thinness will allow it to blow right through you (besides, they wrinkle easy and definitely contribute to your “I just rolled out of bed/I haven’t slept in three days” look).
- Wear dark colors to avoid the bulky look: Layering is a must during this time of year, which can often lead to you looking bigger than you may want. Wearing dark colors will make you appear slimmer and sleeker.
- Seek out pieces that are easily mix-and-matchable: All the individual pieces can be made into several different outfits. Focus on buying classic, essential pieces that go with everything (e.g. black pants, pea coat, plain sweater). If you’re really savvy, you’ll be able to narrow this down to about 10-15 staple items. This will allow you to showcase distinct looks without spending a fortune on an expansive wardrobe.
- Please, please stop wearing leggings as pants: Unless you are coming from exercising, you should try not wear leggings. I know—they’re extremely comfortable, but there are other, more fashionable options. Joggers lend that same sporty look, but with the chicness of smoother, shinier fabrics. Cigarette pants are also a great alternative; they have the classy look of trousers with the comfortability of your favorite lounge pants. So please, save the leggings for the gym. Most of your leggings are see-through anyway. And we can see everything. Everything.
- Accessories are your best friend: Minimalism is a simple, staple look for winter, so accessories can make your outfit entirely. Scarves, hats, socks, and especially shoes can provide that extra flare that’ll make heads turn. In Winter we tend to wear dark colors, so utilize accessories for a pop of color, print, or texture.