Eight ways to make your winter outfit less boring

We’re doing it wrong

Apparel design senior Laura Shaefers collection featured breezy hats at Align, the 46th Annual Apparel Design Fashion Show at Rapson Hall on Saturday.

Chelsea Gortmaker

Apparel design senior Laura Shaefer’s collection featured breezy hats at Align, the 46th Annual Apparel Design Fashion Show at Rapson Hall on Saturday.

by Melanie Richtman

By February, it seems like the entire University of Minnesota campus is in a style rut. It’s cold, snowy and everyone feels defeated. Getting dressed in multiple layers each morning can make fashion go by the wayside. But there are eight simple things you can do, without much effort, to make your winter outfit less boring. Now, let’s all pray for spring.



Any color will do! For some reason, everyone is afraid to wear lipstick to class, probably because it looks like you might actually care (and obviously no one wants to look like they have any interest in anything — that’s what makes us millennials).

Bright red and dark purple are perfect for winter. You can even wear blue lipstick, which is appearing on runways around the world. Actually, maybe avoid blue lipstick in the winter. People might think you’re dying of hypothermia. Moral of the story? Lipstick is your friend.


Ornamental hats

Knit hats are nice and all, but when everyone wears them, it’s easy to blend into the crowd. There are many other hat options that are so much better.

 Fedoras will make you instantly look like a street style star. And turbans are an awesome way to keep your head warm while also looking super chic. Everyone should try wearing one at least once.


Statement coats

Dramatic jackets were all over the runways this year, so throw your black puffy North Face into the back of your closet (note to self: Throw black puffy North Face into the back of my closet) and save it for polar vortex days when looking boring is allowed and even encouraged.

 Fun colors, unique textures and captivating patterns are exponentially more interesting outerwear choices. Fashion is supposed to be fun, and boring black coats are the opposite of fun.


Mixing patterns

Stripes, plaid, leopard print, florals, polka dots, herringbone — you name it. Patterns of all varieties can be mixed — which is a simple way to add visual interest to your outfit.

Make sure the patterns are in a similar color palette and are contrasting sizes. Tiny polka dots and a tiny floral print will look too busy, but a large floral print will look normal when paired with small polka dots.


Interesting layers

The typical ‘cardigan over a t-shirt’ look is a classic, but it’s not necessarily exciting. Play with new layer combinations when you get dressed in the morning. Wearing a long t-shirt over a billowy dress so just the bottom of the dress is showing is a cool way to alter the shape of an otherwise basic piece.

One particularly interesting combination is a blazer underneath a cropped leather jacket. It seems like it wouldn’t work, but it does.


Giant scarves

This one is more obvious, but adding a scarf to any outfit will make it more dimensional, and by default, more interesting. Chunky knits, faux fur and bright florals are all great options for mixing up your look this winter.


Tall socks

Over-the-knee socks are great because, let’s face it, tights are never enough to keep your legs warm. We pretend that the thin layer of fabric (if we can even call it that) will protect our bare legs from the elements. We’re in denial; it doesn’t.

Layering tall socks over your tights is a super cool way to keep warm and stand out among your peers. They look best when your tights and socks are the same hue. Keep your hemlines short, too. You’ll want to see some of the tights; otherwise you may look frumpy.


Colored hair

You don’t have to be Katy Perry to rock colored hair. Whether you go for a few streaks or your whole head, coloring your hair has never been easier.

Hair chalk and hair paint are great, non-permanent ways to brighten up your hair with a pop of color. They’ll wash out the next day, so you can still find employment. (Bonus: Freak out your parents).