Stay warm and look good doing it

Senia Hiltunen

Senia HiltunenFashion Columnist

Brrrrr! As the seasons begin to change and the temperature drops, it’s time to break out the coats, hats, scarves, mittens and boots to cross campus in the frigid South Dakota windy winter air.

But who really wants to look like a big, fluffy marshmallow wandering around campus? Not me, and neither should you.

You can look fashionable without looking twice your size and still stay warm enough to keep all your toes and fingers intact.

When looking for a winter coat, remember fabric choice and style are the keys to how warm the coat will keep you.

Suede and wool coats tend to be the warmest and most fashion forward. They come in different styles, colors, and lengths.

“I love coats. My favorite would have to be my tan suede long coat with white faux fur,” said coat-lover Nicole Kotewa, a senior Spanish, history and education major.

Other warm, yet fashionable winter coats are ski jackets and the very popular Columbia coat. These winter staples are a bit bigger in the bulk category, but are a must-have for the outdoorsy, ski and snowmobile fanatics.

“I have a light purple ski jacket,” said Natalie Krier, a senior biology and microbiology major. “I bought it because I know ski jackets are very warm, but unlike the name says, I don’t ski in it. I bought it for comfort and looks.”

Remember when buying a winter coat that it’s a long-term investment. Many people buy one or two winter coats and keep them for upwards of five years, so don’t be shy to spend the big bucks now to see a return in your investment years down the road.

Now, how about winter accessories that won’t make you look like you have two fluffy balls coming out from your head and a neck thick enough to belong to a pro-football player? You can still keep warm and have flair without looking like a fool.

Headgear is vital in South Dakota, because when the wind blows, it blows hard and cold.

I would suggest getting a hat that covers your head and ears. You can find stylish earflap hats in Target or Walmart that are dirt-cheap and have fun colors.

If you are looking for a more homey winter hat, knit one yourself, or have someone you know knit one for you.

“My mom loves to knit, so she made me a hat and gloves to keep me warm and remind me of her,” Krier said.

If you don’t want to take the time to knit one yourself or do not know anyone who can, there are some very cute and warm knitted hats out there for purchasing.

Now, the controversy: which keeps your hands warmer, mittens or gloves? I say: both, duh! But for the sake of being unbiased, I will explain them both.

Mittens cover all four of your fingers in one hole with your thumb being out on its own. Gloves have individual holes for all your fingers.

Kotewa thinks her leather mittens keep her hands warmer, but Krier thinks her knitted fingerless mittens with gloves underneath are the best option.

They are both right. Leather gloves with a clothed interior are very warm, but doubling up on knitted gloves works, too.

You can invest in gloves by buying Thinsulate or Under Armour pairs at sporting goods stores, like Cabela’s. These gloves are proven to be warm, but are on the spendy side, so don’t get them if you lose gloves like the dryer loses socks.

For scarves or neck warmers, the best is a knitted or neck gaiter style, but pashmina scarves can keep you warm, too.

As for color-matching accessories, it is a major NO. It is better to pick hats, scarves and gloves in a contrasting color from your coat or a classic color for versatility.

“I like to spice things up with the scarf and keep it classic with my hat and gloves,” Kotewa said.

A helpful tip for that really cold, blizzard-like day is to wear leggings under your jeans. Or, if you want to spend the money, wear running tights.

You should also look into heavier socks and a pair of winter boots for walking through the unplowed snowy sidewalks.

“I wear knee-high socks and good, study pair of boots to keep my legs and feet warm,” Krier said.

Now you know how to look fashion-forward and warm without looking like the abominable snowman, so keep warm my friends and continue to support the Jacks with your blue and yellow winter apparel!

#1.1782103:1755167460.png:DSC_0466.png::Collegian Photos by Senia Hiltunen