Winter is looming. The days are short, and college classes — well, somehow, those just seem to be getting longer. It’s no surprise that this is the time of year when many college kids seem to give up on their wardrobes. These winter months are when the sorority and fraternity hoodies seem to multiply. Low-quality leggings and cheap sweatpants abound, and everyone looks like they just woke up — and, in fact, they just might have!
It can be hard to dress warm and fashionable in the wintertime, but you don’t have to become a winter fashion zombie. You can choose to look good on campus this winter. Here’s how.
Balance comfort and style
Here’s how not to prepare for winter on campus: go to a fancy shop and buy some over-the-top designer clothes that you’re never going to want to put on in the cold of a winter morning. If you do that, you’ll end up with one or two fancy things in your closet — and a whole lot of sweatshirts on your body and in your laundry hamper. Don’t fight your body’s need for comfort in the winter months — instead, embrace it and invest in quality clothes that actually feel good to wear in the cold.
There are such things as stylish sweatshirts. There are sweaters, too, and high-quality affordable leggings. There are even dresses and skirts that look good with leggings (yes, you can dress up leggings — if you know how). There are cozy boots and thick coats and warm hats available that don’t look like you got them for free during rush week.
Consider these items when you’re gearing up for winter Get cozy, and don’t forget to layer up. Build a winter wardrobe that’s truly appropriate for winter. The secret of stylish people isn’t that they would never wear things like workout clothes or warm threads. It’s that they invest in workout clothes and warm threads that actually look good.
As a college student, your budget is pretty limited. College kids aren’t always the best with money, and even if you are different, you should still be careful: if you splurge on a few fancy items that you don’t need, you could end up with a winter wardrobe that has one or two (rarely worn) nice pieces and a whole bunch of junky sweatshirts and stained sweatpants.
Be smart: spread your budget around. Buy clothes that go with each other as much as possible, so that assembling fresh outfits can be done without buying new and strangely-colored garments to pair with the ill-advised impulse buys of days gone by.
And know where to shop. Local boutiques and designer shops are going to be a bit too rich for your blood and maybe offer only limited styles and sizes. But online shops aren’t always a good choice, either: if you head for a massive e-retailer, you often find low-quality clothes in boxy fits. These retailers don’t respect our different body types and the fits that work for them — they just care about clothes that are cheap and easy to mass produce.
A sweet spot to aim for is an online boutique, which offers the best of both worlds. Like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online boutiques are small and dedicated businesses that focus on fashion. But, like their monstrous e-retailer competition, online boutiques can offer lower prices thanks to the reduced overhead costs that come with doing business online.
Dress your best
You want to be warm and comfortable this winter, but you don’t need to look like a slob. So embrace fashionable comfort and shop smart at online boutiques. That way, you’ll feel good at your 9 a.m. winter class — or, at least, a little better than if you rolled into class in stretched-out leggings and a dirty, baggy sweatshirt.