Picture the typical Harvardian’s winter—snow blanketing the Yard, holiday cheer permeating the Cambridge streets, two-and-a-half weeks of vacation looming in the not-so-distant future and Birkenstocks with socks. Just because temperatures drop to unquestionably uncomfortable lows doesn’t mean your fashion sense should feel an excuse to hibernate. According to Teen Vogue fashion writer Eviana Hartman, staying warm and looking stylish need not be mutually exclusive.
“The most important purchase you can make this season is a great winter coat, which can make even the schlumpiest studying outfit look put together,” Hartman says. “There are so many styles that look great right now. Crisp, cropped mod peacoats, hooded parkas, fuzzy bombers and shearlings each have plenty of personality.” Hartman also recommends bringing your basic wool coat to a tailor to get the waist nipped or the hem shortened to give it an updated, more figure-flattering look.
Despite the chilly weather, Hartman warns readers against piling on the layers—otherwise known as the walking marshmallow look. “Wear one or two oversized pieces and keep everything else fitted,” she advises. “Contrasting a sporty, functional item with something sleek looks extremely cool. If there’s a blizzard outside and you’re wearing an enormous parka, you might try super-slim jeans or thick wool tights with boots and a skirt to add an element of femininity.” Alternatively, she says, “Try wearing a hoodie underneath a blazer or double-breasted coat. It will keep you warmer and add some edge to the coat.”
For this season, Hartman also suggests sweaters or jackets with oversized stand-up collars and anything in bright colors, particularly jewel tones such as kelly green and rich purple.
Furthermore, winter weather does not have to mean hiding your legs in jeans or cords. “The miniskirt in denim or tweed or wool, whether straight, pleated or flared, is incredibly popular this season. With tights, it’s perfectly practical in cold weather,” Hartman says.
According to Hartman, mod mini-dresses or knit turtleneck dresses are also chic options—and can be as comfortable as pajamas.
Warm, woolly snow boots are not only a necessity in chilly weather but can also add style and fun to your everyday ensemble. Ugg boots are very popular, and moon boots are experiencing a revival.
Hooded cropped parkas and military coats offer, according to Hartman, a more sophisticated alternative to Patagonia fleeces. These can be found at either Spiewak.com or any army surplus store.
Inventive accessories can also spice up any functional cold-weather outfit. “I love the idea of rhinestone brooches pinned onto the outside of a coat. It may sound like something your grandmother would do, but that’s exactly what makes it fresh,” Hartman says.
Additionally, the season’s hottest jewelry, including long earrings, multiple-charm pendants on a gold chain and piled-on chains and pearls can “transform any outfit and keep you feeling fashionable.”
Vintage stores and thrift stores also serve as great resources for fashion and budget-conscious students. Above all, Hartman advises students to have fun with their clothes. “Don’t be afraid to experiment, customize and make things yourself. It’s always better to stand out than to blend in, even if you make a few mistakes along the way.”