One of my favorite things about living in Tennessee is fall and winter when you get to pull out your ADORABLE winter clothes. From scarves and cashmere sweaters to pea coats and leather boots, my fall and winter were basically a five month fashion show.
So you can imagine how excited I was when I realized I would be attending school in Wisconsin. It just gave me more of a reason to shop. Before moving here, I stocked up on some of my favorite staple winter items: cute hoodies from Forever21, adorable sweater dresses from Francesca’s, and of course brown and black boots with knitted boot socks. I was ready to make Whitewater my runway…but, as you can guess, I was not ready for the tundra of the North.
Wisconsin winters are not about style. They’re about survival.
In Tennessee, I often wore my Toms and leather boots in the winter, but I learned the hard way that this is not appropriate footwear for the North. One of my responsibilities at school is to sell raffle tickets at our home football games. It was one of the first days of flurries, and I was actually excited about the glittery powder….until those flurries seeped through my Toms and socks, soaking my feet and leaving me with no feeling in my toes for hours.
Since then, I’ve invested in some heavy duty shoes for those brutal winter days. Although winter boots can be quite expensive, the price is well worth the quality. There are very few things worse than sitting in class with wet, cold toes. Below I’ve listed some of the top rated winter shoe brands:
- L.L. Bean (my favorite)
Winter coats are a necessity, not a fashion statement! This was a tip I needed to know before moving to Wisconsin. In preparation for school, I purchased two rather fashionable “winter” coats: a green pea coat from Old Navy and a thin black fleece from Forever21.
I’m sure my Wisconsin friends are laughing at the thought of surviving winter with these supposed coats, but I can promise you, I was not laughing my freshman year. I lasted about two weeks into winter before I called home begging for money to buy a real coat. By real winter coat I mean Northface, Carhartt, or Columbia. These, too, can be expensive, but they are durable and a well-made investment.
Even now I found myself layering my Northface over a hoodie over a long-sleeved tshirt. To be safe, just remember: the more layers the better.
This piece of clothing is specific to my female friends, but I’m sure it will be relevant to the majority of college girls. There are very few articles of clothing quite as comfortable as leggings. Plus they’re versatile! You can dress them up or down. However, they aren’t considered winter apparel and often are made so thin that they offer no protection from any form of weather…well I few companies have heard these complaints and problem solved! They have made Fleece-lined leggings.
On an average week during winter, I wear leggings 7 out of the 7 days; sometimes by themselves, but more often than not, I wear them under my sweatpants or jeans to add just one more layer.
Fleece-lined leggings are growing in popularity. You can now purchase them in the majority of department stores. I typically purchases mine from Target, but if you don’t have one in the area, just look at almost any clothing store. It won’t take you long to find a pair and fall in love.
Over time, I have discovered that it’s still possible to be fashion forward during the winter through the use of fun accessories. While your biggest priority should be quality, it’s possible to dress up your outfits with some warm weather accessories. Below is a list of accessories that can help make any winter outfit fun and exciting, but more importantly, help keep you warm!
- Boot socks
- And, of course, fun Hot Hands!
To sum it up, focus on warmth over fashion. The winters up North are beautiful but brutal. Take it from me, being comfortable is way better than looking cool.
Until next time,
Next week: Let it Snow