The Spread

UIUC Student Fashion: Winterwear

Article and photos by Hana Hong

The delicate strategy of cold-weather dressing is unfortunately not as effortless as it seems- staying warm and looking chic are two elements that sometimes refuse to collaborate. While we never want to sacrifice our figure just for the sake of a toasty coverall, we admit it can be daunting to find a trustworthy topper that actually flatters your shape. Luckily for you, the season’s most-trending and conventional styles fortunately happen to be some of the most flattering. In an endless ocean of outerwear, we’ve narrowed down the options to find the fits that truly compliment each and every frame.

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The A-Line Petticoat- What I love about art museums is being able to view discreet details and miniscule patterns up close and in person. Two-dimensional images never manage to do a masterpiece justice, and I believe that this is because you are deprived of the textural element that makes a piece of artwork so tangible. Texture adds a new dimension to artwork and the same cannot be truer for clothing. This particular Fashionista sauntering around the quad caught my eye with her fabulous winterwear. Her classy A-line petticoat brings a silhouette that cannot be beat and a pattern that would perfectly balance any girl’s spectacular waistline curves. The muted color schemes of creams are striking amidst the simplicity of her outfit, adding personality and charm to the neutral foundation.The knitted pattern of the scarf that subtly shifts from a basket weave to simple gray stripes is an impeccable accessory choice. Most prominently, the intermingling of fabrics between cashmere and raylon produced a beautiful unique texture that created a modernized aura of sophistication. The character of fabric elevates the appeal of a garment. After all, who can resist the richness of velvet or the indulgence of cashmere? We gravitate towards clothes that we feel fabulous in, so naturally we are drawn to fabrics that feel appealing. To keep the outfit coherent, pick a color story and remain within the boundaries of those tones; feel free to choose a single color, complementary of Barbara Bui’s fall 2014 collection.

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The Parka- As seen in shows such as Zadig & Volitare, parkas are one of the most coveted pieces for fall and winter. The parka is the epitome of cute and casual dressing. With sherpa lining and a furry hood, it is practically a wearable sleeping bag, the perfect outerwear option for staying snug against rugged temperatures. Personally, the military green color mixed with the more androgynic aspects of the coat gives me a vibe reminiscent of the classic mountaineering look that inspires a rugged sense of adventure. The success of this particular ensemble can also be attributed to the way that this Fashionista plays with proportions. The cable knit sweater’s compact silhouette remains sleek because it remains form-fitting underneath her relaxed outerwear. Keeping the garments monochromatic also helps keep the ensemble modern and prevents it from coming across as bulky. Furthermore, she subtly embellishes the look with her colorful kicks, providing a pop of color and a fresh alternative to the conventional brown Ugg boot.

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The Down Jacket- Down coats, also known as puffer jackets, probably remain among the most common winter coats that women wear, especially in subzero temperatures. They are durable, resistant to wear/tear, waterproof, and provide great insulation. However, a common worry about puffer jackets is that they will make one appear too bulky, thus flattening, not flattering ones best assets. To prevent this, opt for a darker colored outerwear piece, like this timeless black option. If you have a longer hourglass figure, choose single-breasted options with skirted bottoms, like this Fashionista did. This ties it all together while showing off her tapered waistline. The black-on-black, legging and skirt duo gives the allusion of having incredibly slim long legs. This stylist’s use of textural variety also prevents the ensemble from emitting an obscure feeling of loungewear. Her pink fuzzy sweater contradicts the more tough resistant aura of the black coat, creating a perfect harmony of textural elements. By intermingling several more muted fabric surfaces, one can create intrigue and multi-dimensionality in their look.

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The Double-Breasted Peacoat- If your frame is petite & compact, pick something that won’t completely engulf your body. The length should extend no further than your hips and you should avoid super-dramatic embellishments — instead, opt for rich, bold colors. This fashionista’s bright red double-breasted peacoat paired with paisley-inspired leggings was the ideal option for her body shape and incorporated an eye-catching color scheme that emitted an effortless chic refinement as she trekked across the quad. Double breasted coats are my personal favorite winter clothing essential-one that offers warmth whilst avoiding the dreaded look of overlayering. The loud pattern of the tights are silenced by the cooperative solidity of the outerwear, a feat that is to be encouraged for winter toppers everywhere. Throwovers should always enhance the look, never diverting attention from the voice of the outfit itself.

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The Fair Isle Cardigan-It’s never too early for Christmas patterns! Fair Isle sweaters lend a ski-chic finish to chilly days in unquestionable style. Be it shopping in the city centre or a break in the mountains, these sweaters combine the advantages of a satisfying thickness with versatility and an on-trend attitude. Fair Isle knits are on nearly every fashion designer’s radar right now, with a particular spotlight given by Louis Vuitton, Maison Martin Margiela, and Tommy Hilfiger on the 2014 runways. The traditional Scottish pattern-multicolored bands of geometric shapes-adorns sweaters this season for a truly distinctive style. A-listers such as Victoria Beckham and Rihanna (wearing Yigal Azrouël) have been frequently spotted sporting this pattern as well. Wear it with anything you like: jeans to achieve a casual look, leggings to modernize the classic pattern, or a skirt for a more girly ambience. This smart sartorialist pairs her preppy navy cardigan with chic details-her sophisticated frilled cream scarf and floral print jeans offers a stately stylized harmony with the rugged black Doc Martens.

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The Multi-Layered Jackets- Textural variety is also a way to enhance your outfits. A garment with a particularly asperous pattern or form is sure to be a showstopper. By playing with various surfaces this Fashionista is able to compose an ensemble that plays up a sense of debonair poise with folksy style casualness. The harmony of the outfit is achieved through the cool autumn color palette of dark greens and faded browns; the complementary tones are what unify the mix of textures and patterns. Close observation reveals the lace-type pattern on the dress, but though this adds interest to the simple shift, it does not detract from the other textures at play. As our eyes move down the outfit, they come across the darling combo of knitted tights with rich red wine knee socks and weathered velvet brown boots, each item displaying it’s own individuality through its texture. Topping off the outfit is a wrap-around coat, and if the comforting feeling of triple layering isn’t appealing enough, the faded vintage quality of the jackets add a textural element through the interplay of light and dark shades around the seams and details.

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