In high school, I never wore all-black. I wore bright colors to match my outgoing personality; I saw black as a color worn by quieter people who wanted to blend in. In college, my opinion of the color black has completely flipped. Now, an all-black outfit is slimming and stylish, whether it’s a little black dress and tights or black jeans and a dark T-shirt. Black becomes very popular on college campuses during the winter. When cold weather hits, bright colors go into hibernation.

When I saw this Fashionista walking out of her apartment building, I had to stop and compliment her on her bright choice of scarf. Her all-black outfit screams comfy college kid, but her scarf is like a breath of fresh summer air. It wasn’t until I asked to take her picture that her furry little friend poked his head out of her pocket and started crawling around. If there’s one thing I’ve learned from the students on UW’s campus, it’s to expect the unexpected—this time, the unexpected was a pet rat.

This Fashionista’s choice of scarf is great for many reasons. Instead of picking a typical winter color, she picked a scarf in a bright blue, reminiscent of a clear sky or ocean view. It’s thick enough to give her an extra layer of warmth but isn’t so thick that it becomes a bulky winter hassle. This Fashionista paired her bright blue and green scarf with a couple of college kid staples. Her black combat boots with fur lining are perfect for keeping warm while walking to class or visiting a friend, which is what this Fashionista and her rat were up to. Her black jeggings and coat are both must-have items for college students because they are so versatile. She could switch up this look for a night on the town just by changing her shoes!

How To: Need something to brighten up a winter color palette? Patterned scarves like this Fashionista’s are a great investment. If you don’t want to tie it around your neck, you can use it as a shawl. Either way, it’s an easy way to add a dash of bright color—and a hint of summer—to an otherwise all-black winter wardrobe.