Winter Essentials

Winter has officially settled in here in Chapel Hill, but that doesn’t mean your wardrobe should suffer.  In fact, winter gives you even more opportunities to show off the looks and styles you love. Coats, hats, gloves, scarves and layering are all pivotal, not only for staying warm but for staying in style. As tempting as it is to thrown on your sweats and Uggs, which we know are needed at times, don’t waste these next few months of fashion fun! As the temperatures continue to drop, here are some of our favorite winter staples to get you through the season looking your best!

1. echotech Touch Gloves

Gloves are a definite winter necessity. They’re great for finishing off any outfit and they’ll keep your hands warm during those chilly months. But in the age of the smartphone gloves are a hassle. They make texting, using social media sites or apps, and all the other functions that make a smartphone fun near impossible. That is, until Touch Gloves came along.

From the company’s website: “Knit into the index finger and thumb of each glove, our eLink fabric interacts with touch screen devices, making them compatible with the iPod, iPhone, iPad and other touch sensitive digital devices.” The gloves come in every imaginable color and style, ranging from wool to cashmere, and with accents like ruffles, color blocking, patterns and bows. Keep your hands nice and warm, without sacrificing form or function!

Available online at:

http://www.echodesign.com/shop/for-her/gloves/

 2.  Socks & Tights

Just because it’s cold doesn’t mean you’re limited exclusively to pants for the next few months. Skirts and dresses are still in the game, but if you keep your legs bare you sure won’t be for long.  Tis the season for tights and socks of all kinds- never skip good hosiery! Tights aren’t boring like you may remember from when you were a little girl. Today, they’re one of the best ways to add detail to an otherwise simple outfit. Coming in a variety of patterns and colors, tights can not only keep your legs a bit warmer but also compliment the outfit you’re suffering for.

Sheer black tights are a classic and should be in your wardrobe anyway. However, patterned tights with polka dots or self-made rips can make a basic black skirt and sweater all the more interesting. Socks are also a must, whether in tights and a skirt or a good pair of jeans or trousers. In the drab winter season bright colorful and patterned socks can be a fun way to bring a little light in. A good pair of high socks will also be needed to keep those winter boots up.  A reliatvely new retailer Bootights makes tights with socks attached to the bottom! It’s literally the perfect pair of tights, invest in a pair and see what we mean.

The above socks and tights can be found at:

http://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/ACCESSORIES/sockstights.jsp?navLoc=left_nav

Bootights are available at:

http://www.bootights.com/shop-bootights.html

 3. Hats & Ear Warmers

If you’re having a bad hair day, whether it be due to winter winds or waking up late for class, or you simply need to keep warm, a hat is the clear choice. Even when the gloves and coat come off, a good hat can continue to make a statement in any outfit.  Beanies, berets and ear warmers are all in this season and are sure to keep you nice and warm.

Ear warmers are a great transition for those of us who love headscarves and headbands. They give you the functional benefits of the hat but with a unique twist. They come in a variety of styles and colors, much like their warm weather scarf counterparts, and you can easily find several to wear throughout the season. If hats are more your style, a good beanie or beret in a neutral like grey, black, navy or cream is sure to be a wardrobe staple as the temperature drops. They’re always a cute, comfy addition to any winter outfit. Plus, if your hair didn’t turn out quite right no one will ever know. Perks of the season, if you ask me.

All above products are available at:

http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?id=W_ACC_HATS

 4. Scarves

Scarves are an important part of your wardrobe during any season but it’s during the winter that they take on a whole new meaning. It’s oftentimes hard to find a scarf that can keep you warm in the wind and snow, yet look cute when you’re in class or a meeting and want to look cute without the coat.

Infinity scarves and snoods have been on the rise for the past few years and are now a full on fashion phenomenon. Available in a variety of materials, ranging from cashmere to a chunky wool knit, and every color and size you could need, these scarves a great addition to your cold weather closet. However, when purchasing these be sure you don’t go too big, because yes with scarves there is such a thing and it is to be avoided. If you don’t want a trend and instead a classic winter scarf, there’s lots out there for you! J.Crew has an incredible scarf selection, ranging form affordable wool-angora color block to beautiful cashmere wraps. Find what works best for you and your wardrobe. Be sure to have a variety of both basics and fun prints and patterns- scarves should be fun accent pieces even if they’re there to keep you warm!

All of the scarves seen above are available at:

http://www.jcrew.com/womens_category/accessories/scarvesglovesandhats.jsp

 5. Parkas & Pea Coats

The most important piece you will buy this winter is the coat. We may be in the south but that doesn’t mean that the walk home from the library at 2 am when you’re cramming for finals won’t feel like a trek across the tundra. Coats are pricey and for sure an investment, but one that is well worth it. Much like a life partner, once you find the perfect coat stop looking and settle down! I’ve found it’s best to have two winter coats- one for everyday and one when you need to dress things up.

The everyday coat should be some sort of parka or down jacket, one that can keep you warm no matter how bad it gets. The tried and true favorite across the board is any and all things North Face. The North Face ‘Metropolis’ Parka, coming in at $320 on Nordstrom’s site, is one of the brands most popular. The down coat with a detachable hood is lightweight but super warm! It also covers your butt- it might sound silly, but long term you’ll be glad you thought about that. Purchasing this coat was one of the best winter choices I’ve made. North Face has other great coats- find what works best for you! In terms of a fun coat for when the down parka seems inappropriate, well that’s up to you and your personal style. Find a coat that fits your personal style but keeps you nice and toasty. A pea coat is a classic choice that will likely work with any outfit for any possible occasion. They can be long or short, but in terms of color it’s best to stick with neutrals. If the coat is quality if will be costly so don’t waste it on a trend you won’t like during next season’s snowstorm.

All of the coats pictured above are available at:

http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/womens-coats-shop?origin=topnav&cm_sp=Top%20Navigation-_-Women-_-Coats%20&%20Jackets

6. Boots

 A good pair of boots is one of the most important things to keep in your closet to survive the winter. You can wear them with jeans, pants and your tights and skirts. Walking through campus it’s clear to see that the knee-high camel leather boot will reign supreme once again this year and with good reason! A classic pair of leather boots will go with any outfit and keep your feet and legs warm no matter the weather. While many of you will likely will have a pair leftover from earlier in the year, it’s a good idea to buy a new pair in the winter.

Soles and heels get worn down, stains are likely to be rampant especially on suede, and the overall quality of the boot has gone down. Not only does this take away  polish from your appearance but from the warmth and protection of the shoe. With all the holiday sales now is the perfect time to get a new pair of boots to get you through the season. Pick a pair you know will work in your everyday wardrobe, but that can be dressed up here and there! Leather is the safest choice, especially with snowfall possible, as it is the most durable. Again, pick a neutral shade that can function with the wardrobe you have but don’t be afraid of fun hardware and accents! Also, don’t just go for the standard calf height boot. Whether they’re knew high, ankle, or calf height boots if they fit your style and the function you need, get em!

All of the above styles can be found at:

http://www.madewell.com/madewell_category/SHOESANDBOOTS/boots.jsp?navLoc=left_nav

http://shop.nordstrom.com/c/womens-boots-shop

Fall Foliage for the Wardrobe

Autumn has been in full swing for a little less than a month, but one key factor seems to be missing—fall foliage. As a native of Chapel Hill, I expect the usual blend of vibrant red, orange, and yellow around this time of year. However, I have found that there is a dearth of fall colors around campus this year. I trample over dead leaves everyday, but I don’t actually see the beautiful mix of colors that usually evokes Halloween, Thanksgiving, and apple cider. Although this lack of fall ambience is disappointing, especially when I see friends from New Jersey posting pictures of fall foliage at its best, I have decided that the best cure for the lack of color is to incorporate fall into my wardrobe.

Let’s start with the reds. A particularly popular fall color this year is oxblood. Deemed the “it” color for this fall, Megan Buerger, a writer for The Washington Post, says, “Some see it as a deep red with splashes of purple and blue, nearing burgundy or berry. Others see it injected with chocolate brown and closer to the color of, well, blood. It’s everywhere in fashion this season, from chunky waffle scarves to shiny leather dresses, as dark as a plum lipstick and as light as a sheer merlot.” AllSaints Spitalfields, the British retailer based in London, has made particularly good use of the color in their fall collection. Try this oxblood dress or this oxblood biker jacket from AllSaints for an unconventional take on the casual dress and the leather jacket. And although there are no AllSaints stores located in North Carolina, their online shopping department is great, and shipping is free within the US.

Images courtesy of http://www.usallsaints.com

If you want to wear a brighter shade than oxblood, add a pop of cherry red or pink-red to your wardrobe. All you need to do is add an accessory in one of these shades, like this great scarf from Madewell, a store that recently opened at Southpoint Mall. I love the interesting print on this scarf and the bright red may seem unusual for fall, but it still works in small doses.

Image courtesy of http://www.madewell.com

As for orange, look no further than this autumn appropriate outfit from Madewell’s big sister brand, J.Crew. The lighter orange blazer layered over the deeper orange sweater is chic but laid-back. Blazers are a definite must for the fall, and this slim-fitting blazer combined with the festive sweater makes for a perfect orange outfit.

Image courtesy of http://www.jcrew.com

Finally, embrace yellow this fall by experimenting with yellow boots. Although unorthodox, yellow boots can make your outfit a standout. For instance, these yellow moccasin boots are not for the faint of heart, but they make a statement with their unusual coloring and decorative beading.

Image courtesy of http://www.shopbop.com

If you’re feeling a little less daring, try out these soft yellow-brown boots.

Image courtesy of http://shop.tsum.ru

And if it’s raining, try out these not so mellow yellow rain boots.

Image courtesy of http://habituallychic.blogspot.com/2008/03/not-so-mellow-yellow.html

 

Celebrity Street Style: These Boots Are Made for Walking

Rachel Bilson in Zara Suede Boots, Image courtesy of Traveling Fashionista
Rihanna in Azzedine Alaia Lace Front Shoe Boots, Image courtesy of Traveling Fashionista
Leighton Meester in Proenza Schouler Boots, Image courtesy of OutfitID

With cold weather swiftly approaching (this past Halloween weekend was not the time for skimpy costumes), we are all looking for ways to battle the chill while staying on trend.  Here, I give you the lace-up ankle boot. Whether high-heeled, leather, suede, military-inspired or shearling-lined, this shoe is a must have this season. With this variety of styles, you can’t go wrong. I cannot get enough of this fall trend.

From Chanel to Proenza Schouler, lace-up ankle boots dominated the fall collections at New York Fashion Week. They are chic with an edge, a wearable take on hiking boots. They work perfectly with fall’s menswear styles and can be dressed up or down.

We can learn a lot from these lovely ladies. Rihanna takes a fall basic, a chunky sweater, and transforms it into an outfit perfect for a night out with friends by adding a fitted black skirt, opaque tights and her tough ankle boots. Rachel keeps things casual, yet put together by pairing her boots with boyfriend jeans and a polished blazer–a perfect outfit for class. Leighton wears her stiletto ankle boots with a statement dress to add a bit of edge. Maybe you’ll work ankle boots at your next cocktail.

So, go ahead. Pair these booties with a boho dress and patterned tights, chunky socks and wool shorts, or your favorite pair of skinny jeans and a slouchy sweater for a cozy, chic fall look.

Here are some of my favorites. Enjoy!

Diba Pilt Bootie, $50, dsw.com
Miss Me Sid 2 Lace Up Bootie, $40, dsw.com
ASOS Taboo Lace Up Platform Shoe Boot, $71.88, asos.com
Images courtesy of Polyvore

F is for… Fringe Boots

Fringe is in. It’s on vests, purses, dresses, tops, and my personal favorite, boots. But no one one does fringe boots better than Gucci. Celebs like Rihanna and Elle Macpherson have been seen traipsing around town in Gucci’s over-the-knee “Devendra” tassel fringe boots with a price tag of $1,995. I’m just praying someone will produce a knock-off pair so I can don the look, too. I haven’t been this ga-ga over a pair of boots, since, well, last season’s Gucci fringe boots.

MW - F is for Fringe Rihanna

Image via Wardrobewire.com

C is for: Cutouts

As a girl who shamelessly falls for anything backless, it goes without saying that I am loving the new cutout trend. Plus, it’s a great way to show some skin without looking, well you know…

Cutouts are showing up in every which way from booties to leggings to dresses and have been spotted everywhere from the runway to the red carpet.

Below are some of my favorite options:

from left to right:

Boutique 9 by Nine West “Joely” cutout booties –> Shop these

Rag & Bone “Moto” leggings –> Shop these

Loeffler Randall “Strap back” dress–> Shop this

Ready or not?

balmain-boots

Image from Garance Doré

So fall is here, I think we all noticed that this morning when we walked out the door.

But for some reason I’m still scared about taking my boots out of my winter closet because then it becomes a fact: it’s cold again.

But leaving my personal fears aside, when do you guys think is the right time to start wearing boots again? Is it the beginning of fall? Do you just wear them all-year-long? When do you put them back in the closet for good?

Answers in the comment section!

B is for(what else?)…Boots

Found: Recessionista-worthy boots. These can be worn over-the-knee, slouchy OR un-zip ’em and they’re ankle booties. That’s 3 in 1! Colin Stuart for Victoria’s Secret just made the impossible, possible. Click here to buy.