By Erin Foley
HottyToddy Fashion Contributor
With winter nearing, the Ole Miss campus has been getting colder and colder every day. I will say that I did not expect such low temperatures in Mississippi. One of the main reasons I came to Ole Miss was to enjoy the warmer weather and lack of winter, but it seems that isn’t the case this year.
Unfortunately, Mississippi is already getting too cold to manage without a couple of layers of clothing. Not many of my Southern friends have experienced the cold this early in the year. But I recall snow on Halloween some years ago in Massachusetts.
Due to my peers’ lack of experience in the cold, I thought I might offer them a guide on how to dress for the cold weather. Here are my top three tips on how to survive the chilling temperatures:
- Get fully dressed before you leave the house: You may be thinking “Well, obviously!” But trust me, failing to do so can be a very common mistake. Put on your gloves, mittens or hats before you go out into the cold. They won’t help if you put them on when your body is already cold. Many people assume that gloves and hats will warm your body from its cold state. Unfortunately, they do not or, if they do, it is slow and barely noticeable.
- Wear more layers than you think you need: If it is freezing out, you can expect me to be wearing undergarments, tank top, turtleneck, T-shirt, sweatshirt and big jacket with leggings underneath jeans (or fleece leggings) and at least two pairs of socks. Remember, you can always take a layer off but you can’t add a new layer if you don’t have the clothes with you.
- Find and invest in quality winter clothing: Specifically, get a good winter jacket. You might need to spend a pretty penny, but do not discard a jacket just because it is cheaper. I love my Costco winter jacket, which in my opinion was very affordable. The most important thing when buying a winter jacket is to buy what’s warmest and most practical for the environment you will be living in.
- Here is me in my favorite winter jacket from Costco! I wore this to the airport with a matching set of sweatpants and mock-neck sweatshirt.
- It is also important to invest in good layering basics. This would include making sure you have good leggings, warm long sleeves or turtlenecks, and socks. Investing does not mean spending a ton of money, it simply means making sure these items are not only comfortable but warm.
- Here I am wearing a turtleneck beneath a blue sweater. And although you cannot see this, I am wearing leggings under my jeans to add another layer of warmth! This is my favorite trick with layering as it is invisible but really helps with preparing for the cold.
Let’s now discuss how to follow trends and keep in fashion even with the cold. I’ve learned over the years in the Massachusetts winter that it is always best to dress for the weather and not for fashion. However, now that I’ve grown up a little more, I realize that you can keep in fashion while still being warm.
Some of my absolute favorite items for this winter include:
- Cropped puffer jacket — This one is for those whose environment does not require committing to a long and extra-lined coat but does get chilly sometimes. With these coats getting extremely popular now, they are also being made in more and more styles, which gives you tons of choices. A cropped puffer jacket is one of the most fashionable versions of a winter coat.
- Leather blazers — These not only provide another layer but also elevate an outfit instantly. These are often being paired with loungewear to create a comfy, warm look.
- Shackets — The lighter versions of a jacket are especially great for Mississippi weather when it is cold in the morning but warm in the afternoon. Shackets can be found in solid colors or flannel patterns. They are great piece for those times when you don’t want to wear a full puffy jacket but also need more than a sweatshirt on.
- Beanies– The modern alternative to knit hats comes in so many colors that it’s very easy to find one to match an outfit.
- Turtlenecks — They are perfect for layering.
- Fleece-lined anything — Leggings, pants, jackets and just about anything else are fine in fleece.
Whatever your choices, my biggest tip is this: Never forget that warmth comes first. I have often dressed for fashion over warmth and always regretted it. I’ve never had regrets for being warm instead of fashionable.