Past Issues Uncategorized

February 9, 2009 at 4:43 pm

The hardest month in fashion

I don’t know about you, but I’m jealous of those spring catalogue models. It’s not because they have flawlessly airbrushed complexions and bodies that put my gym time to shame. It’s because while they’re traipsing around in miniskirts and patterned heels, I’m donning my salt encrusted parka for the 78th consecutive morning.

While the realm of runway is well into Spring and Resort collections, the Midwestern world is facing its hardest month in terms of fashion. With wind tunnels, black ice, and not a single break from classes, we keep to our static pattern of corduroys and cardigans while spring dresses and sandals glare at us from our closets.

Since you’ve probably come inside to nurse the windburn on your face, I won’t torture you with tips on bare legs and blouses. Here’s the A-List of real ways to make it through the most disgusting month of winter. They’re not miracle workers- I have no breakthroughs for melting snow, and I won’t encourage global warming. But these February tips and tricks have gotten me through 12 years of Midwestern living. Forget finding a slim suit or learning to fasten gladiator sandals. Once you survive the February stalemate, other fashion challenges just don’t stand a chance.

1. Remove the hood from your winter coat: If you’re like me, that huge down coat with kicked-up mud on the bottom is quickly becoming the bane of your existence. Ironically, it’s also saving you from hypothermia. Because it’s absolutely freezing and you still have to wear this coat, make a subtle change by removing (or re-adding) the hood.

2. Rock the winter sales racks: In pre-recession times, there was no such thing as 80 percent off. Now merchants are practically paying customers to remove winter clothing from their racks. Places like Nordstrom, Macy’s, and Gap Inc. stores have fantastic winter sales going on now, and websites like and are always worth a visit. Having some new, inexpensive winter pieces will give you something to be excited about. And here in this arctic tundra, you’ll make use of them for months.

3. Try something new with your hair: I love picking out bows, headbands, and embellished bobby pins from inexpensive outlets like Target or Forever 21. If you do use hair accessories, tone down your earring size and wear one or two simple rings.

4. Change it up: If you’re stuck on sweater dresses and tights, opt for skinny jeans and a colorful chunky knit. If you subconsciously reach for denim in the morning, try some leggings and equestrian boots. Don’t wait until it’s warm outside to change the way you’re dressing… there are probably some winter styles you have yet to try!

5. Wardrobe exchange: What’s tossed in the back of your roommate’s closet will seem like brand new attire for yourself. Trade a few pieces with friends and neighbors, and you’ll feel made over without a trip to the store. When you’re borrowing, make sure the clothing size works with your body type. Accessories, shirts and sweaters are easiest to swap!

Now that I’ve passed the optimism onto you, I’m about to kick these winter blues myself. Check the next A’s List for what I’d love and hate to see on the collegiate runway this spring.

You’re Beautiful,

Women usually love what they buy, yet hate two-thirds of what is in their closets.
- The Neurotic’s Notebook