While it’s fun to stalk Los Angeles style bloggers on Instagram for fashion inspiration, their California “winter” is nothing compared to what we’re dealing with in Binghamton. For us, a light cardigan is not a jacket, and any looks showing skin are typically abandoned mid-October. December 2015 might have felt like spring, but 2016 is bringing us back to reality. Low temperatures don’t necessarily mean sacrificing your style, though. Pipe Dream is here to give you practical fashion advice for dealing with a real, East Coast winter.
The gap between shoes and pant-hem can be killer in winter winds. Break out some high socks to make sure your ankles stay toasty. Choose a fun color or pattern to peek out from the top of your boots or between your sneakers and jeans to add some flare to your look. Socks in a mustard or burgundy can be a welcome pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic outfit. This way, your cropped jeans don’t have to go into storage until spring.
For a warmer option, fleece-lined leggings are a lifesaver. On the outside, they look like every other pair you own, but on the inside, your legs are extra cozy. You can pick up a pair at Target for $12 in both solid colors and patterns, so you don’t have to spend a ton to add some warmth to your wardrobe. For men, flannel-lined jeans — available at many major retailers — are a comfier alternative to keep warm during the winter months.
As any concerned parent will tell you, layering is a key skill in dressing for winter. Plaid flannels can be layered under your favorite hoodie or sweater for more warmth, and the sleeves and collar peeking out from a solid-colored outer layer makes your outfit more dynamic. If you need one more layer, long-sleeve thermal shirts can act as a great base under flannels or sweaters to keep you insulated.
While your mom might have forced you into them for elementary school pictures, turtlenecks really are good for keeping your neck warm while still looking sharp. Channel your inner beatnik with a plain black turtleneck, or choose a speckled knit for a patterned look. Paired with a long statement necklace or layered with a peacoat, you’ll look instantly polished. Cowl-neck sweaters and sweatshirts work, too, if turtlenecks aren’t for you.
Even though we haven’t had much snow yet, being prepared with a good pair of boots is a must. Boots tend to be on the expensive side, but investing in a good pair will pay off in the long run. Instead of going straight to your favorite brand’s website, check Amazon or Zappos for a discounted price first.
While winter shoes can easily be considered stylish, having to wear a heavy jacket over your well-planned outfits can be frustrating, but not if you choose one you love. A long, wool coat can protect your legs as well as your torso from the cold, and a camel or gray color will match with any outfit. While you may not think a puffy winter coat is a flattering option, they come in a bunch of colors and styles. Drake made bright red work, so why can’t you?
Now that you’re a master of layering, the walk between the West Gym and the University Union will be that much less brutal. Good luck out there, and protect your frostbitten faces.