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

Perfect Holiday Gift Guide

Tight on cash this season?  We’ve found the perfects gifts for the fashionistas on your list- all items $35 or less!

Essie Mini Polish Set
$17; essieshop.com


Essie’s winter 2010 collection creates an aura of mystique with a vision of wintery beauty that is darkly decadent and supremely elegant.

This 4 piece mini collection includes these fun hues:  masquerade ball, silken cord, hot coco, going incognito.

Sephora’s Black Studded Makeup Bag Collection
$24; sephora.com

A limited-edition ensemble of fiercely stylish cosmetic bags.  This range of chic makeup bags fuses attitude with function, to hold every aspect of your beauty arsenal. Four sizes and shapes, all featuring black faux leather and edgy studs, will get you organized and accessorized at the same time.

Ruffled Echo Touch Glove
$35; echodesign.com

Echo has combined two of their best selling styles from last year to give you the new and improved ruffled Echo Touch glove.  Keep your hands warm while you keep in touch!  Echo Touch gloves are engineered specifically with the new wave of technology in mind.  Adhered to 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.  Made of wool blend.

bareMinerals Keychain Kisses
$15; ulta.com


These mini shades contain a healthy infusion of 100% pure bareMinerals and a blend of exotic oils, botanical extracts and protective antioxidants for long-lasting hydration, superior shine and shimmering color – all without any stickiness. Plus, they’re keychain-ready, so you’ll always have your lucky lipgloss at your fingertips.

Studded Scarf Ring
$32; echodesign.com

Are you seeking studs? Echo’s studded scarf ring is trend appropriate and also looks great with any casual outfit.

 

Where the Wild Things Are: Animal Hats

As the temperature drops in Chapel Hill, a jungle of hats have sprung — literally. From Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to the beloved sock monkey, animal hats are a student’s way of fighting the cold with character.

To incorporate an animal hat into your jacket ensemble without looking too juvenile, wear the hat with a solid matching scarf and gloves to keep the rest of your look tame. (P.S. Looking for an animal hat on Franklin Street? Look up at Lightyears. You’ll find them hanging out on the ceiling.)

 

Quick Picks:

1) Cooperative Woodland Earflap Hat
$34, Urban Outfitters

2) Delux Sock Money Face Wool Pilot Animal Cap
$32.99, Amazon.com

3) Uglydoll Hat — Ice-Bat Blue
$20, Uglydoll Shop

lavish leather

A real leather jacket can cost an arm and leg, but with super fakes on the racks at nearly every mainstream store, there’s an option at every price. The sought-after luxury-look of a leather jacket is now a reality for the masses.

Jack by BB Dakota Empress Jacket, $50, Polyvinyl Chloride

A good faux-leather jacket keeps you warm, but looking sleek. A thrown-together look for class is instantly upgraded with a leather jacket.

Sparkle and Fade Faux Leather Hooded Bomber, $98, Polyurethane

The real dilemma is choosing which color to buy. Black is trendy, and conveys a “don’t mess” look. Dark brown is classic looking, and more down to earth. A lighter brown is bohemian and lighthearted. Then there’s grey, which is mysterious and playful.

I suggest buying a faux one under $200 and wearing it for a season or two before making the leap and splurging on a real one.

Another way to justify NOT spending hundreds of dollars on a leather jacket? Faux leather is animal-friendly.

And if you simply cannot choose which color, get all three. With such a range of prices and shapes, why not?

For now, a college girl can only dream about owning this beauty.

Best of Coats: Fall 2009 to Winter 2010

Now that it’s getting a bit nippy outside, its time to bring out last season’s winter coat.  But wait!  The holidays are coming up so why not ask for that coat you’ve been dying for ever since you walked past the window display at the local Saks or Nordstrom?  I know my birthday and Christmas are coming up so heck, why not ask for a matching pair of off-white leather gloves?  This season is seeing a wide range of coat trends including oversized collars, ruffles, fur, and strong shoulders.

Check out the Fall 09 RTW collections of Donna Karan and Louis Vutton for inspiration!

F09 RTW Donna Karan

Donna Karan Fall 2009 RTW; Image from style.com

Warm Up Your Winter Wardrobe

Image from asos.com

Image from asos.com

Mango Leather Gloves….. $40

These snakeskin printed gloves are sure to add an edge to any simple winter ensemble. All you need is a leather bomber, and you’ll be ready to brave the winter chill in style.

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Image from fredflare.com

Image from fredflare.com

Faux Fur Vest….. $60

Experience all the luxury that  fur has to offer without the two extra zeros tacked on to the price tag, and with a completely clear conscious with this faux fur vest.

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Image from urbanoutfitters.com

Image from urbanoutfitters.com

Knit Beret….. $20

This chunky knit beret is anything but your traditional winter cap. Protect your ears from the cold winter air and look cute while doing it.

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Image from modcloth.com

Image from modcloth.com

Printed Silk Scarf….. $20

Add a touch of drama to any dress or plain tee with this fabulous silk scarf. Whether draped across your shoulders, neatly tied across your neck, or peeking out from under a black peacoat, this winter necessity  is sure to make your outfit pop.

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Looking insanely chic in the winter for less….Priceless!

Click images to Steal These Deals!

Zeno Magic

zeno-image

Being a stressed-out college student means we are all prone to breakouts, and in the winter our skin is at its driest. It can be hard to treat pimples with topical treatments, which tend to dry out skin even more. However, I invested in a Zeno and for $89, I feel like I have a mini dermatologist in the palm of my hand. The Zeno is a hand-held device with a tip that heats to a certain temperature. The heat decreases inflammation and safely destroys the bacteria inside the pimple. This device is costly, but after the recommended use of 2 times daily for 2 and a half minutes, you see results. The pimple is either drastically reduced in size or gone completely. I think it’s a safe way to quickly eliminate pimples without scarring and without drying out skin. I was originally intimidated by its scary beeping and heated tip, but the results made it worth it! After using it for several months now, I feel like I have much more control over my skin. This is a great investment for people who have mild to moderate acne (the kind with a raised white bump). The Zeno allows me to quickly and painlessly thwart pimples before they become worse. No more cover up sticks or messy creams for me!

What alternative ways do you use to treat breakouts?