Ask Our Stylist

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by Heba Elorbany

Q: Madison is so cold in the winter, and I don’t want to blend in with every other girl wearing Uggs and North Face coats. What are your tips for staying warm, yet chic, in the cold winter months? 

A: Great question! Many of us find ourselves sacrificing our typically stylish taste in the winter months for the sake of staying warm, but this absolutely does not have to be the case! While there is nothing wrong with wearing Uggs and North Face coats (except for the occasional risk of being called a “coastie”…), there are definitely more options out there. First, look for a boot that is both functional and stylish. My favorites are the Teva Jade Cove High Boot and any Anne Klein boot. Both are available at Zappos.com. The main goal here is to find a boot that is warm, good for walking in snow, as well as a match with your taste.

As for outerwear, if you are avoiding the North Face look, try to find coats that are classically tailored but still warm. To avoid a bulky look, go for belted coasts. If you can’t find a winter coat that is appropriate for the weather and stylish, remember that layering underneath your coat is always a good option. Also, don’t forget about winter accessories. If you hate your coat, sometimes adding a cute scarf or hat is all you need and it will keep you extra warm!

Q: How much is too much when it comes to dressing up for class? I want to look presentable and not like I rolled out of bed, but I also don’t want to look like I’m trying too hard! What are your suggestions on great looks for class?

A: There is definitely a fine line between well done and overdone when it comes to putting together an ensemble for a typicalschool or work day. First of all, stay away from the sweat pants and baggy tees. This will get you away from looking like you just rolled out of bed. As a rule of thumb, if you feel like you could probably wear it to sleep, never wear it outside. At the same time, step away from your glittery makeup, hairspray, and favorite pumps. Another rule for this end of the spectrum is if you would wear this outfit on Friday night on the town, don’t wear it to class. The main goal here is to look both put-together yet casual. Find basics that are both flattering and comfortable, jeans that are well suited for your body type, and skirts that are easy to pair with casual shirts. Also, find comfortable and chic boots and flats, and effortless everyday accessories. It takes a lot of practice to find a good balance, but eventually your eye will get used to what is appropriate to wear on what occasion.

Q: My class schedule this semester doesn’t allow me to go home at all during the day, so I’m carrying around all of my books and school things at once. I don’t want to wear a big backpack, but I’m afraid I might have to. What are some great bags for school that are functional too?

A: If you’re trying to avoid typical backpacks and are looking for a more stylish solution to fit your busy schedule, I would suggest designer backpacks, which made a big splash this past fall, or oversized totes. When shopping for this bag, make sure that it’s both comfortable, durable, and a good fit for your aesthetic taste. I would even go so far as to suggest bringing some of the things you carry around with you when you go shopping to ensure the right bag. Some of my favorite bags for this are the leather and canvas backpacks sold at Urban Outfitters, Marc by Marc Jacobs’ “Pretty Nylon” totes, and the collection of oversized bags from ASOS.com. Happy shopping and congrats on finding an excuse to buy a new bag!

Wardrobe woes? Don’t stress! Ask our stylist at elorbany@wisc.edu. 

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