Fashion Friday: 5 basics for a practical winter outfit

I’ve been rather upset with myself, lately.

Looking through the Fashion Friday columns that I’ve written, I cringed at how mediocre my writing was, and quite frankly, I’m embarrassed.

When I decided to write about fashion, I wanted to encourage people to dress however they wanted and convince them that clothes don’t have to be so damn expensive in order to look good.

I wanted to remind people that it’s OK to express yourself through your sense of fashion, and I wanted to share my ideas about thrifting and also finding vintage fashion finds because that’s what I like.

But I noticed that I veered off in a direction I didn’t want to go into so here’s my attempt to get back on track.

Since it’s cold outside, and miserable and it’s only going to get worse from here, it’s safe to start considering a warmer sense of style.
Combing through the bowels of the Internet I was able to piece together five essential pieces for a very practical winter get-up.

I want to talk about a practical winter wardrobe that is cheap, looks good and keeps you warm. It doesn’t get any better than this, man.

Scarves

Yes, I’m talking those scarves that also work as a blanket. You need to get yourself a blanket scarf because they are the best invention to grace the cold Midwest winter. Seriously though, what’s really beneficial about oversized scarves is that they keep your face shielded from snow or cold air, keep your mouth and throat covered (so your mom will approve) and you can also wrap it around your head and pull your hood over it ensure extra warmth. Plus, you can hide snacks and munch on them walking on campus. It’s a win-win, really.

Big Coats

You know everyone talks about getting a “statement coat.” This is one that stands out and pops and makes everyone wish they had your coat. I talk about getting a coat from the thrift store that is two sizes too big for you so you can layer up and keep warm. You want to know what my statement coat is? A green oversized dad coat with a hood some flannel lining and is a brand that has been missing in action since 1995. It’s nothing fancy but that’s the thing, winter coats don’t have to be fancy (unless you want them to be, then by all means, fancy it up). You should get an oversized coat because you can keep warm by layering up.

Fleece leggings or long underwear

You will thank me for recommending this. Forget the jeans this winter, and instead picture yourself in a warm, soft paradise while walking to Blair Hall from Andrews Hall. Yeah, fleece leggings take you to paradise and back. They keep your legs warm, look great and you can get them in different colors and styles. If you do want to stick with jeans, that’s cool; just get a pair of long underwear and a bigger size jean so you can wear them under your pants to keep warm.

Boots or socks

I know what you’re thinking, and yes, you’re right, winter boots are expensive. But hear me out, you would be better off if you spent, let’s say, 40 bucks on a decent pair of snow boots, then another $10 on water protection spray, and those boots will last you for a long time. When you invest in clothing or shoes that you know you need and will last longer than a season then it’s justifiable to spend a little extra on these things. Also, there’s no shame buying second hand boots. I did, I couldn’t be more grateful because at least I have boots. If you already have winter boots though, then I recommend getting a few pairs of thick, wool socks. If you don’t like wool then some sort of wool mix is fine too. Socks are great because it’s just one extra layer of defense against the cold, so it doesn’t hurt to get some boot socks.

Gloves

Invest in gloves you cheap ass. And I’m not talking about the thin gloves that you can get for 50 cents that have touchscreen capabilities. I’m talking about thick, comfy gloves that will protect your hands from the elements. You can even get mittens if you want; they work just the same. As I said before, it’s OK to splurge on things you absolutely need and gloves are a necessity.

Just on a side note though, I know this column is about things you could easily get at any moment, but don’t forget about the people who don’t have that luxury this winter season. Remember those who aren’t as fortunate, and give back as much as you can, whether that’s donating some of last year’s winter clothes and boots or volunteering even.

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or achaynes@eiu.edu.

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