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Inside Beat

Alternatives to sweatpants with winter wardrobe must-haves

 – Photo by Salma HQ

As someone who loves the sauna because it feels like sunshine on a good beach day, I hate winter. I don’t like being cold! 

It’s easy to feel restricted in fashion during the coldest time of the year. Winter wear is usually thick, puffy and heavy. 

The more the temperature drops, so does my motivation for wearing anything other than a warm, comfortable pair of sweatpants. 

Here's a short list of five tips for braving the cold and still dressing your best. They’re easy and minimal effort, which is perfect for college students or anyone who's constantly on the go. And they’re all gender neutral, because dressing well is for everyone. 

Keep it simple!

Basics are IN. With the minimalist trend in full swing, most fashion distributors’ pieces are basic pieces, like solid-colored sweaters, simple jeans and basic T-shirts. I personally love to stick to basic pieces in my wardrobe because they’re so versatile. 

My favorite basic piece of this season? Turtlenecks. Whether it’s a sweater or a cotton shirt, these pieces are so versatile. Tuck it into a pair of black jeans or dress pants for a business casual look or style it with nice pairs of jeans and sneakers for a more casual look. It’s like Hannah Montana: the best of both worlds. 

Layers are fun AND functional. 

One of the worst things about winter fashion is that it’s heavy. Sweaters are all fun and games until you can’t pay attention in your lecture because you’re boiling under all that wool. Just me?

These heavy pieces are both cute and the epitome of winter fashion, but they’re also not practical in buildings where the heating system actually works, or lecture halls with more than a hundred students.

My favorite way to combat this is with layers! And not just with a T-shirt under thick sweaters — the possibilities really are endless. Cardigans, flannels, even layering your turtleneck under a cute T-shirt. Nothing’s better than combining your summer and winter wardrobes.

Good boots will take you far. 

Boots are my favorite part about winter fashion, and they’re more trendy than ever right now. Whether they’re knee-high riding boots, or some Dr. Martens, boots are a great way to pull any outfit together. 

My advice is to invest in a staple, ankle-length pair of boots. Matte black leather boots never hurt anybody, and they look great on everyone. My favorite boots of this season are my faux snakeskin booties, because they make for a great statement piece when added to simple outfits. 

Anything can be a statement piece. 

Basic pieces are a necessity to any wardrobe, but there should always be room left for some statement pieces. Statement pieces are the most noticeable thing about your outfit, and they’re so much fun because they allow for the most freedom in your wardrobe.

My winter statement piece is definitely my pair of snakeskin booties, but sometimes I like to switch it up with a colored beanie, patterned scarf or some layered jewelry. 

Statement pieces are also fun ways to base your styling around. It’s like a challenge sometimes — finding a colorful pair of sneakers or a sweater with a fun pattern and building the rest of your look around it. The freedom of mixing and matching accessories adds to the variety of different looks, and it reduces outfit repetition.

Wear a coat. 

As a kid, I hated wearing my winter coat. They can be such an outfit killer, I’ll admit. Luckily, winter coats have become such a staple piece for fashion now. I used to dread puffy coats, but now they’re trendy!

Gone are the days of not wearing a coat and choosing to freeze over ruining your outfit. I personally love a parka, but I also have a puffer jacket for the days I’m feeling more casual. Jean jackets, teddy coats and even ski coats are all perfect options to look and feel good in the cold. 

Hopefully these simple tips will help spice up your wardrobe for these chilly winter months. Stay warm, and remember: There’s only a couple months until spring and beach weather are back!

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