From the Runway

Dressing practically for winter weather, while still looking fashionable

Connor Bahng | Staff Photographer

Dressing for winter doesn't have to be boring—both men and woman can spice up their winter wardrobes.

The heavy snowfall last week brought a clear message: winter is coming. It’s most definitely time for the parkas, down coats, snow boots and scarves, but don’t let the bundling stop you from showing your personal style. Winter is one of the best seasons for fashion creativity because there are so many opportunities to try different layering techniques and color palettes.

Though this may seem difficult to do, considering the sidewalks are slick with ice and you typically have to walk through a few inches of snow. Fear not, it’s easy to wear clothing that is both fashionable and practical for the weather.

This fall/winter fashion season, we saw the return of ’80s power shoulders for women, in addition to excessive puffer jackets, sleek velvet and extra-long sleeves making their return to the runway. On the menswear side, designers added copper to the winter palette of their lines, including embellished bombers, knits and silk.

A trench coat with a cardigan underneath is a winter classic no matter what year it is, but this season, opt for a massive puffer jacket, which can be spotted in the Fall 2016 collection for Balenciaga. To bring inspiration from the runway to campus, I would suggest a trench over a puffer jacket or puffer vest for a boundary-pushing look.

Another option is wearing a puffer off-shoulder jacket, as seen on the streets of Paris and other fashion hotspots. But if you’re looking to borrow style tips from menswear lines, double on the plaid with ’80s style shoulder pads to create a more tailored look.

Velvet is also having a major fashion comeback with brands like Valentino, Giorgio Armani and H&M utilizing the fabric in their most recent collections. While velvet may be reminiscent of your grandma’s clothes, it’s been co-opted for just about everything: bomber jackets, pajamas, hats and pants. For some, there can never be too much velvet, but if you prefer a subtle approach, try a velvet baseball hat or the year’s popular accessory, the velvet choker.

To center your outfit on the velvet trend, wear a moto jacket, which is perfect year-round for all seasons. A dark green color like emerald is perfect for the season as it is reminiscent on the fall colors but plays upon winter’s iconic tree, the evergreen. To create a more feminine touch, wear a dress with a slit at the bottom, which adds some edge to the look. Keep warm with tights underneath. Black booties are perfect for this time of the year because they bring the look in with coordinating colors and add some height to your frame. Rocking a belt will help cinch your waist.

If a dress isn’t your style, I would recommend jeans or faux leather leggings. For jeans I would opt for the tried and true choice of black, but to add some character, wear them with the rips at the knee or frayed bottoms.

If the bottoms are cropped, wear thick socks scrunched up to cover any exposed skin. Faux leather leggings are perfect because while stylish, they add texture and a level of chicness to the overall look. Wear the leggings with an oversized hoodie as seen on Vetements’s fall 2016 runway or a sweater with extra-long sleeves as seen on runways for Fenty and Hood By Air. Pro tip: if wearing the extra-long sleeve trend, let the sleeves poke out a little bit underneath a trench coat for a street-style look.

While the traditional winter color palette includes red, green and other dark colors, try adding some alternative hues. For example, gold is always in season, especially a shade of rose gold; the popular shade has been used extensively in jewelry and shoe colorways this season. Other solid color choices are chocolate, burgundy, navy and plum. Try experimenting with various tones to create mixed outfits.

For guys, I would recommend a palette of red and navy. It’s not over-the-top festive but shows some spirit. Create the look with a navy blazer, red knit sweater and for a bright spot layer a white collar button-down underneath the sweater. Medium wash jeans and brown dress shoes form a modern, yet casual look. If it’s chilly out, add a scarf and tie it into the rest of the look by matching the scarf color with the jacket.

The winter season is home to the year’s most popular holidays, so try and incorporate some of the holiday cheer into your outfits, with either embroidered sweaters or metallic accessories. Try knits with chain detail or tinsel inspired looks. You don’t have to go all out, but don’t be a Scrooge and ignore the spirit all together.

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