By Madison Gillespie
One of the biggest challenges faced by students returning from break is the long, often snowy, and always freezing commute to class each day. With at least some time spent trudging across slush-filled sidewalks, the icy breeze biting at your face, an appropriate winter wardrobe is essential this time of year. Unfortunately, many are subject to the “broke college student” budget – shelling out hundreds of dollars on textbooks doesn’t exactly help – and don’t have extra money to spend on new sweaters. Fortunately, there are some cost-effective ways to make any wardrobe wearable in the winter. Here are a few styling tips to make clothing items traditionally worn in the spring or summer work in these colder temperatures.
1.) Pair lighter items with thermals and fleece-lined clothing.
Credit: Marks & Spencer; Pinterest
With the warmth of spring and summer come loose, lightweight clothes.Thin T-shirts and tanks, sheer tops and blouses – none of these items seem ideal to wear with temperatures often dipping below 30 degrees. However, with thermal shirts and long underwear, these seemingly flimsy clothes can become better contenders against the cold. Since thermal clothing is so thin and form fitting, it can easily be slipped under other items to provide immense warmth without the bulk. Now you can seamlessly add another layer to your favorite short or long-sleeved tee; fit some warmer leggings under a pair of loose joggers that can’t quite cut it on their own in the cold; put a black thermal under a sheer top and still look fashionable for a night out; or keep warm underneath a suit for any interviews or career fairs you may need to attend this spring. The applications of these layering pieces are endless, and are sure to make adapting your wardrobe all the easier this winter.
Many retailers, including Walmart and Target, have huge selections of thermal clothes and underwear this time of year, as well as fleece-lined leggings and tights. Amazon also offers plenty of these items for affordable prices.
2.) Layer over areas of exposed skin.
Credit: Threads for Thomas; Favim; Wheretoget; Pinterest
Staying warm in the winter is all about bundling up, preventing as many areas from becoming susceptible to frostbite as possible. That means your favorite cold shoulder top, ripped jeans, and denim skirt should be pushed to the far side of your closet until March, right? Wrong! All of these items can still be worn this time of year, so long as you layer appropriately. If you’re wearing a cropped top or sweatshirt, pair it with a pair of high-waisted jeans or leggings to cover your exposed midriff, and add a long cardigan or jacket for extra warmth under your winter coat. The same method can be applied to any off-the-shoulder or cold shoulder tops, too. Just add multiple layers, such as a flannel and a bomber jacket or an oversized denim shirt and a cardigan, all topped off with a winter coat, and your shoulders will be plenty warm underneath the layers.
Tall, over-the-knee boots can cover jeans ripped at the knee, protecting your kneecaps from the wind and snow. On a day that’s slightly warmer or when it isn’t snowing, the same can be said for more distressed denim. Slide a pair of thermal, fleece, or velvet-lined leggings (the third can be found on Primark for only seven dollars, with rave reviews) under ripped jeans to achieve a practical yet fashionable look. These same sorts of leggings can also be used to make skirts, dresses, and rompers wearable if you are going out or have more formal events to attend.
3.) Additionally, use scarves to cover any skin showing through a top.
Lace-up, V-neck, and cutout tops are all the rage for spring and summer wear. While the patches of skin showing through these shirts can easily be struck by the cold, an infinity or blanket scarf can help prevent that. Drape one of these massive scarves over your shirt and securely button your coat, and you’ll be ready to take on the elements when you next head out.
4.) Double up on socks.
While socks are worn throughout the year, having more than one pair on your feet at a time in the winter can help you stay warmer, especially when wearing clothes that aren’t designed for lower temperatures. If you have only lightweight cotton leggings for this time of year, putting on two pairs of knee or thigh-high socks can better protect your legs. Or if you’re in the mood to wear sneakers instead of boots, layering crew socks over ankle socks can keep your feet warm while covering the exposed patch of skin between your pants leg and your foot.
If you’re concerned about going through socks too quickly with this method, never fear: Amazon sells basic packs of ankle, crew, and knee-high socks starting as low as $8 or $9. While these may be standard sock designs, since they’re meant to go under the socks you already own, who cares if they aren’t fancy?
5: Certain accessories will work year-round!
Credit: Highlark; Being Beautiful and Pretty
Baseball caps, sunglasses, and other accessories worn abundantly in the spring and summer are just as practical during the winter, if not more. The visor on a baseball cap can better shield your face from the wind and snow, especially if you put the hood of your coat up and over the hat. And for those especially bright winter mornings, the huge shades you rocked at summer music festivals will save your eyes from the sun’s dazzling rays. Not to mention that this oversized sunglasses look will add a pop of style to your winter outfits, especially if the lenses are reflective or tinted with color.
Featured image is from Pinterest.