STYLE ADVICE: Seasonal Dressing

Lesson number one: Do not fear winter weather. Embrace the cold.

Living in the infamous Windy City, “Chimera,” sweet home Chicago, during the below-zero-degree winters, I have learned to embrace the cold. Attending school at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, on the flat rural land that is home to some of the most brutal, bone-chilling winds, has taught me how to stylishly survive the tundra-like temperatures. Winter weather means winter fashion. Winter fashion means oversize sweaters, accessorizing in scarves, hats, gloves galore, boots, and bundling up with that beautiful wool coat that is two sizes too big so it can fit comfortably over the ten layers.

Lesson number two: Prepare for the polar vortex. Follow these five steps in order to properly attire with posh and practicality.

First, find a pair of high-waist, extra long jeans. The extra height and length provides full coverage from the rib cage to the ankles.

Second, let’s layer. Throw on a tight long-sleeve shirt or turtleneck (or two) underneath a chunky, long, wool or cashmere oversize sweater. The first layer will be reused and recycled numerous times; I love Gap and H&M for the basics. Here’s my tip for the sweaters: splurge and buy only a few quality, warm, thick yet trendy sweaters that are adaptable for daytime, nighttime, and any occasion in between. I always seek out plain black, gray, or white sweaters—outfit chameleons.

Third, dress up the feet with a pair or two of wool, fuzzy socks to avoid frostbitten toes. Then, work the shoes. Luckily, boots come in hundreds of shapes and sizes (think: heel height, shaft height, color, texture). I prefer a very slight chunky heel with a mid-shaft to fully conceal the calf and ensure maximum comfort.

Fourth, think about the coat(s): the most essential piece of winning winter. I rotate three main winter coats, each versatile for both the frigid cold and for maintaining my signature street style. Zara and Topshop are notorious for a colossal selection of chic, trendy, affordable, and still practical winter coats; from fur to wool to leather to suede to puffer jackets, remember these two stores for that most vital piece.

Fifth and finally, think accessories; thank you dearly for your affordability. Purchasing three enormous blanket scarves could cost less than $50—the price of one oversize sweater. Finding gloves and hats for less than $15 each is far from rare. Take advantage of inexpensive accessories! Make a statement with red leather gloves and a leopard print or plaid blanket scarf. Plus, in the wintertime (or anytime, really) there is no such rule as “over-accessorizing.”

Choose a strategy: stay warm, stay chic. Bundle up boldly. Treat the frozen streets as a winter wonderland runway.