WHAT TO WEAR: The Rise of "Winter-Wise"

February 15th, 2017 at 2:00am

Living in Ithaca, the most common complaint about winter fashion is that, “It’s too cold to look nice.” To my peers at Cornell: I’m right there with you, and I feel your apprehension. Yet, to put this as bluntly as possible, you’re wrong.

Contrary to your initial beliefs, you don’t have to sacrifice coziness for couture. If someone had ever tried to tell me it was possible to wear a stylish sweatshirt, I would’ve nodded appreciatively while assuming this person was insane (except for nine-year-old me, who had a beige sweatshirt with a bejeweled horse on it and thought nothing could ever be more fashionable). Hear me out, though. With the rise of athleisure, comfort and chic have somehow become synonymous terms. Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein have been competing to produce basic styles that flaunt their designer names and feature all the comforting details of our favorite old hoodies and beanies. Fortunately, these are sold without glittery horse designs.

With this rise of cozy, edgy design, we find ourselves free of a weather-sensible dilemma amidst harsh winter, and this Fashionista proves just that. This outfit caught my attention from the moment I laid eyes on her vintage-chic high-waisted jeans, Tommy Hilfiger beanie, and green parka purchased from a thrift shop in New York City. Dawning a jacket from a fairly inconspicuous designer, she contrasts the informality of the outfit with a bold pop of color: a gold mini backpack from Prada, which flows seamlessly into the trendy current of today’s mainstream fashion—pun definitely intended.

Furthermore, the look is tied together through the use of sturdy Blundstone boots, above which white socks offer a stable contrast of hue. The combination of cuffed denim and this black-and-white pair evokes a warm, secure feeling that promises the outfit could be suitable for several different occasions but is also easy to wear. No hassle of flowing, loose ends; no excessive jewelry that gets caught in hair or on jacket sleeves; no exposure to the blistering Ithaca cold while walking to class—except for maybe the ankles, but I don’t think anyone could argue it wasn’t worth it for a look that is tied together as well as this one.

I love this outfit because it suits a style I love but never find myself buying clothing for. While I tend to stick with dresses and floral prints, I love the look of certain aspects of athleisure and “urban-alternative” clothing, as this Fashionista describes her personal style. Whether walking to class, rushing a sorority, or meeting friends, this look can take her anywhere she needs to go this winter—and so too can it for you. This, my fashionable friends, is where athleisure gives way to what I’m terming “winter-wise” apparel. Just don’t quote me on that. Unlike the clothes, I’m not sure if that term will be one to stay!