Shakin’ up your winter wardrobe


Credit: Paul Itkin

Today I’m going to take a departure from my usual blogging style and talk about fashion. When the real cold weather set in earlier this week, I rummaged through my closet and remembered why getting dressed at this time of year always seems like a chore. There tend to be many small dilemmas, at least in my experience. A frequent one is the inclination to reach for a comfy hoodie or thick sweater when I roll out of bed; however, I’ve definitely found myself in situations where the heat was cranked up to 80 degrees in a classroom. At times like these, I wish I had taken a layered approach. Lately I’ve gotten better about things like this–thinking about layers, paying more attention to clothing labels (i.e. What’s the percentage of cotton in this sweatshirt?)–but dressing on the practical side can still feel pretty blah somtimes.

I’d like to share some thoughts that might help you pep up your chilly-Philly wardrobe.

  • Graphic tees and tanks don’t have to be for summer! They’re often available as hoodies, sweatshirts, and long-sleeved tees, too. If you can’t find anything clever or cute enough in your usual brick-and-mortar stores, consider looking for a piece of “fandom” clothing online. You know what I mean: something with an image from or a reference to a beloved book, show, band, etc. Good places for this kind of shopping include Redbubble, Etsy, and (yes) Hot Topic.
  • If you have a bunch of plain shirts or sweaters that you’re sick of, there are plenty of cheap ways to liven them up. Don’t fret if gluing rhinestones or learning embroidery isn’t your thing. You can’t go wrong by checking out some cool patches or appliques. Not only are they amazingly versatile in terms of design, they come in iron-on or sew-on styles, depending on where you look. You can find patches at flea markets or thrift stores, in craft stores like A.C. Moore, and, again, at places like Etsy. Proceed with caution online. I recommend searching for something specific so you’re not totally overwhelmed by the options.
  • Next time you need to replace a staple piece, think about unique details that will make you smile. For instance, hoodies with thumb holes at the cuffs aren’t just for athletes.
  • Go retro! Whether that means scouring Buffalo Exchange or scrolling through a site like Modcloth, you’re sure to find at least one old-school piece to reinvent your weekend look.
  • Consider looking for super-lined hoodies and coats/jackets. Sometimes wool or other fabric lined with a thin or satin-ish material won’t keep you warm past autumn, especially on the windy streets of Drexel’s campus. If you’ve got a feather down coat, you’re good. If not, fleece, sherpa, and thick cotton are good options.
  • INVEST IN A REAL PAIR OF SNOW BOOTS. I’m emphasizing this with caps because it’s very important that you don’t rely on rain boots. Seeing what a lovely lady had to endure after trudging through heavy snow in cheap rain boots–scraped, painful skin and cold toes–was not a fun experience. Plus, quality boots will last a few years, and you usually have a good selection of styles available. There are plenty of brands out there, but I recommend Land’s End or  L.L. Bean, or Easy Spirit or Clark’s if you have either wide or narrow feet.

Stay safe and have fun with your winter looks!

Isabella Fidanza
Isabella tends to be a little too ambitious and a little too talkative, but she means well and enjoys making people laugh. While she's always been interested in publishing, she's also enamored with history and museum settings. She sympathizes with sassy sidekick characters, and thrives on making friends from different cultures.

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