With some rather out of the ordinary warm weather this winter (shorts in January, really?), some of us had our hopes on an early spring. But let’s be honest, we all knew deep down a massive dark cloud was just waiting to snow on our parade. When you have to dig back into your closet, there is always one item of clothing that has that impeccable ability to complete your winter look and those are coats. No one likes to wear a million layers to stay warm, so why not just buy that stylish coat you’ve been eyeing?

A coat that is thick enough to keep you warm during the bitter wind chill yet fashion-forward enough to keep heads turning on the way to class is the perfect winter must-have. When I was younger, a coat was a coat. Being from Chicago, having a coat that could keep me warm while my friends and I played in the snow was the only requirement I had. Now, so many designers take their lines and translate them to every article of clothing they can, creating this amazing blow up in coat trends this past fall and winter.

A coat can serve as a statement piece, such as this Fashionista’s cheetah print faux fur coat. I love that animal prints can take an ordinary outfit and turn it into an avant-garde moment. This Fashionista takes that avant-garde conviction to the streets, matching her coat with a simple black dress underneath. She adds more fun to her look with sparkly black tights that go well with her Dr. Martens boots for the snowy ground. This Fashionista’s outfit is full of trends including her black bowler hat and thick scarf. This look proves that we don’t have to give up our style just because it’s freezing outside!

What is your STYLE ADVICE OF THE WEEK? “My style advice would be to not be afraid to mix genres of clothing and styles! You should definitely be bold and confident about what you are wearing.”