When people meet me, the first thing they usually ask is something along the lines of “OK, can you leave me alone now?” But for those who stick around, the second thing they usually ask me about is how it’s possible that I successfully pull off looks, in the deep, cold stretches of winter, when the go-to style is to throw on a coat and hat and hope you don’t freeze to death on your way to class.
Don’t let winter be a time to ignore your most prized pieces. It’s possible to be both fashionable and functional, even in a polar vortex. Here is what you need to know:
Jackets are still relevant
To paraphrase comedian Brandon Wardell, fall is a great season because you can wear a cool jacket instead of working on your personality. While winter weather requires wearing a coat, don’t let your jackets — or, just as importantly, your hoodies, sweatshirts or flannels — sit in that corner of your room that you keep promising yourself you’ll clean some day.
Grab a large, plain coat — personally, I find that a peacoat goes with anything — that you can layer a more interesting jacket under. An bright vintage jacket or a thick shirt or flannel can often fit the criteria here. While the rest of your outfit might be those dull earth tones that we often fall into during winter, the jacket can be your chance to pop off some color and/or personality (which is a good thing, since you don’t have an actual personality worth showing off in this hypothetical).
Boots are not optional
Truly, I don’t care what kind of boots you wear, as long as A) you actually have boots and B) you’re not lying to yourself. While a jacket can mask your horrible personality, boots are a window to the sole/soul.
What I’m trying to say is that I f***ing hate Bean Boots.
Look, L.L. Bean makes great products. Their boots are very well made. But I’m not a Bean Boot guy. Wearing Bean Boots is fine, I know many great guys and gals who do so. But unless you are the fratty, O’Patio-loving dude-bro (not that there’s anything wrong with that!), then you are living a lie every time you step into those boots.
We can discuss the ethics and morality of Greek Life having a monopoly on Bean Boots in another article — but in my opinion, it’s not my place to culturally appropriate Bean Boots from them when there are plenty of other boots to choose from. I personally like boots that hug your lower calves so that they can squeeze into fitted pants, and thus continue the resistance against bootcut anything.
Hats, gloves and all that other stuff your mom is begging you not to forget
The general rule of thumb here is that the cooler you are, the wackier the kind of hat you can get away with wearing. That being said, I usually go with a low-profile, gray knit hat. It goes with everything, and since the jacket is doing all the talking in my outfits, the hat doesn’t distract from anything. There is a strong chance that by the time this article hits the press, I’ll have lost the pair of $2 Target gloves I purchased Sunday. But the point is, those basic, black, knit gloves are probably all you need. If you’ve got the gumption to rock more artistically designed gloves, by all means, go for it. I’m just leary of thick winter gloves, which usually resemble Hulk Hands (which are cool in their own right, though notably missing from most fashion columns).
Finally, scarves are too intimidating for me to have an opinion on. Wear at your own risk.