STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK: Brighten Up

Style Advice of the Week

In regions of the world that suffer through unforgiving winter weather, many species of the animal kingdom resort to hibernation in order to save warmth and energy. The concept of staying dormant for several months might seem wasteful, especially if you live in a city with a warm climate year-round. Unfortunately, Montreal is not one of those cities. For a few weeks every winter, Montreal is subjected to what can be best described as a moderate Ice Age. Freezing temperatures of -25° C plummet to glacial values of -40° C with the additional wind chill. Even the sunshine seems to act as a mockery, giving a glimmer of false hope that perhaps the weather outside will actually be warm. It’s during those days that the concept of hibernation becomes arguably the only logical option.

However, unlike bears and squirrels, sometimes we have no choice but to leave our comfy fortress of blankets and pillows to get on with our days. The people who do brave the weather and walk the streets often look like they’re wearing head to toe body armour — complete with snow boots, down jackets and scarves that cover all but their eyes. As if inspired by the slushy snow on the sidewalks, the color palettes that are most vastly seen on Montreal winter wear are either grayscale or mind-numbingly neutral. In this sea of bleak hues, it probably comes as no surprise that this week’s Fashionista was a welcome sight.

With her unapologetic use of color, she reminded me of how much I adore the bright ensembles normally associated with spring and summer. However, it also made me question why the use of color seems so sparse during the drearier times of the year. With her lavender hair, a neon pink statement necklace and a blue knit sweater, this Fashionista proved what a strong impact a few solid colors could have. Although she used hues that are conventionally more feminine, she combined them in a way that looked modern and edgy by varying the intensity of her color choices. While an entirely pastel outfit can be a bit bland and a head-to-toe neon ensemble can cause ocular overload, this Fashionista found a happy medium when she opted for a pastel shade of purple, a moderate shade of blue and an electric shade of pink. For a similar look, combine this yellow necklace from ASOS with this indigo sweater from Topshop. To make a bold color statement without the jewellery, opt for this sweater from Carven that uses the same concept of color intensity variation. In addition to her color choices, this Fashionsita created a further juxtaposition in her outfit by incorporating her playful color choices with a preppy white button-down and Oxford-inspired ankle boots.

The true start of spring may not be for several more weeks, but that doesn’t mean that your sartorial spring can’t start earlier. Let the anticipation of the season serve as your inspiration to brighten up.

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