The University of Iowa University of Iowa

Swank Scoop: Style That Keeps You Warm

Here is Thakoon's take on a quilted weatherproof trench. (photo via: Indigital)
Here is Thakoon’s take on a quilted weatherproof trench. (photo via: Indigital)

The first snow has fallen, meaning the winter fashion season is officially upon us. With temperatures dropping rapidly and the sun setting earlier and earlier, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for the college student to get up and make an effort to look their best for the day ahead.

While it may be the easy choice to wear layer upon layer of mismatched sweatshirts, hats and gloves, there are practical ways to stay warm and stylish without breaking the bank. There’s no need to spend four digits on designer clothes to look good in this winter wonderland. Below is a rundown of the winter essentials to stay warm and stylish, while still remaining within the college-student budget.

A winter coat. A must for any Iowa winter, the winter coat comes in all shapes, sizes and styles. Whether it be a parka, blanket coat, or trench, protection from the elements is always top priority. Fendi’s pink weather-proof parka, YOHJI YAMAMOTO’s duvet coat, or Topshop Uniques’s quilted bomber are all perfect examples of possible avenues for braving the polar vortex in style. Boohoo and H&M offer affordable pieces that capture the essence of these runway looks.

Secondly is a good pair of snow boots. You don’t have to settle for those faux fur lined monstrosities any longer. There is another way! A rugged weather proof take on the classic Chelsea boot, or a traditional rubber-rain-boot-meets-sneaker with thirtytwo’s, Exit 14 boot, while pricier, can do wonders for your winter wardrobe.

Donald Glover (photo via: Seth Olenick)
Donald Glover (photo via: Seth Olenick)

Accessaries. Scarves, gloves, hats, balaclavas, you name it. Accessaries are a must, not only to make a statement, but to stop the bitter cold. Scarves are probably the most versatile of cold weather add-ons.  There’s a hundred different ways to tie a scarf. The fake knot, cozy neck wraps, braided, or an infinity scarf, presents 13 stylish ways to wear a scarf this winter.

When it comes to winter head gear there’s not a whole lot to work with in the sophistication department. The slouchy beanie is warm but completely played at this point. But if you must, it’s acceptable to trap the heat. At least don’t get caught wearing a bomber hat. Sorry Donald Glover.

Hip hop has turned the balaclava into an intimidation factor with the help of Odd Future, A$AP Rocky, and even Kanye at times. However, it’s still pretty lackluster in the traditional fashion sense. This ski-mask-like protection can probably stay at home unless you’re hitting the slopes or robbing a bank. (KRUI nor I endorse such behavior of course.)

Finally, there’s the under wrap. The illusion to create one garment appear as if it were multiple layers was all over the runways last show season. Ralph Lauren did his best with the simple yet elegant lawson cape and Ellison coat. Midwest winters definitely warrant multiple layers, so try an oversized blanket scarf with a knee length cardigan to achieve a similar mystique.

Whether you adopt your current wardrobe into newly styled creations, or seek out new options, hopefully these quick tips gave you the tools you need to improve your style while still surviving the Iowa winter.