It’s hard to know what to wear in any season, especially fall and winter. We want to present ourselves as stylish and well-put-together individuals, but when the wind is whipping, the rain’s pouring and the temperatures drop, it can be hard to keep your hair, makeup and outfit looking their best.
If we under-dress, we spend the whole day shivering and looking ridiculous. If we overdress, we look like Eskimos, or worse, homeless people. How does one stay toasty-warm and yet be fashionable?
Fortunately for the style-conscious among us, layers are “in" in a big way this fall. You can recycle those trendy summer clothes by layering one thing on top of another. Of course, there’s a right way and a wrong way to go about this. Layers should add warmth, but not much bulk. A long tank under a long-sleeved T-shirt with a short sleeve tee or polo over top gives three layers of protection to your torso but only adds one layer of bulk to your arms. This also works for the bottom–wearing tights under jeans will help keep your legs warmer, and no one will notice them even if they’re ugly and thick. Long johns are awesome, too.
Which brings us to our next point: winter is not the time to show off your legs, girls. You might think you look hot in a miniskirt and heels, but you really look stupid, and more importantly, like you’re freezing your ass off. Don’t do it. You look like a fucking streetwalker. If you must wear a skirt, find some cute tights and boots with a decent tread on the bottom. Slipping and falling on your ass, or breaking an ankle, will not make the boys think you’re sexy, and it sucks having to try to keep your cast dry in the rain.
All you Ugg-obsessed trendoids can finally whip out your fur-lined boots. Have you noticed how ugly these boots are? Just asking. While these boots look about as good in summer as miniskirts do in winter, they’re appropriate for the rainy, miserable season ahead. Be sure to weatherproof them with a water-repellant spray, or else you’ll ruin them, and all your trendy friends will stop talking to you. Unless you’re super-duper skinny, don’t tuck your jeans into your knee-high boots. It makes you look like you’re gonna go horseback riding. Plus, it’s better to get your washable cotton jeans soaking wet than your expensive leather boots. Think about it. Just because people are doing it in fashion magazines doesn’t mean you should. Trying to copy starlets makes most of us look like complete asses.
Portland is famous for its rain. What fewer people mention is the wind. Oh, the wind. It penetrates even the thickest of sweaters, and makes umbrellas absolutely useless. What you need is a parka! Not one of those cutesy-poo cropped numbers that show a bit of tummy, but a real, keeps-you-warm parka. Try this test. Put the parka on. Zip it up. Now raise both arms above your head. Does your tummy show? Then you need a longer parka. Many stores sell winter coats at vastly discounted prices after Christmas. I got a cute, knee-length Calvin Klein parka for 80 percent off last January, so keep your eyes open for deals. If all else fails, shoplift. You’d be surprised how small parkas pack down if you try hard enough (Shhh, don’t tell).
A good pair of gloves can change the way you feel about winter. Keeping the hands and feet warm aids in keeping the rest of the body feeling toasty, and a nice pair of gloves can add a sophisticated air to any outfit. Be sure that there isn’t a gap between the end of your sleeve and the beginning of the glove, or your wrists will feel comparatively icy. Knit gloves are cute, but the wind and rain soak through pretty easily. Better to go with leather, and remember to treat them with a waterproofing spray.
The winter wind and water can sap moisture out of your skin very quickly. It’s important to change up your moisturizer to something a bit heavier, and be sure to use a mild soap or you’ll get scaly, red patches on your gorgeous face. Be sure not to neglect your hands and feet. Don’t slack on your pedicures just because no one can see your toes. Pampering is even more important in the dark, depressing winter months. Hair might also need some extra love, so invest in a more hydrating conditioner or some hot oil treatments.
Lastly, don’t be afraid of color. Wearing bright shades can help improve your mood and keep those around you cheerful. Try to wear styles and colors that make you feel good about yourself, or at least give the illusion that you’re not on the brink of a seasonal-affective-disorder-inspired suicide. Maybe maintaining the appearance of cheer will trick your brain into thinking there’s something to live for. It’s worth a try.