Pillbox

Campus chic

Karen Branick adds a flash of color to her look by wearing a bright orange winter coat.

 (credit: Courtesy of Eddie Wong) Karen Branick adds a flash of color to her look by wearing a bright orange winter coat. (credit: Courtesy of Eddie Wong) Jee Hye Lee goes for a more subtle look by combining different pieces in white. (credit: Courtesy of Eddie Wong) Jee Hye Lee goes for a more subtle look by combining different pieces in white. (credit: Courtesy of Eddie Wong)

Believe it or not, there are still two months until spring finally comes tumbling around. As winter treads on, it is difficult to feel motivated about getting dressed, and more so about dressing well. After all, with trying not to fall on a sheet of ice on a sidewalk and bundling up in thick sweaters to survive the Pittsburgh winter, it becomes hard to concentrate on keeping your wardrobe trendy.

But why make it dreary? Just because it’s cold, there’s no reason to succumb to looking sluggish in sweatpants and give up looking unique, sophisticated, and refined. A glimpse of the attendees at winter’s Paris Fashion Week will reveal stunningly dressed men and women from all walks of the fashion industry. Vogue editors, assistant buyers, models’ agents, and even the photographers who crowd around to take these stylish pictures are dressed to perfection often craftily layering the season’s most desirable pieces, and looking like they’ve just stepped off runways themselves. Looking at these photos, it would be hard to tell that it’s winter in Paris as well. These people are arguably the most influential when it comes to commercializing trends, as they smooth avant-garde, hyperbolic runway looks into wearable pieces of art.

With that in mind, it should be comforting to know that even if it is a record-setting freezing day in Pittsburgh, there are still ways to look collected and stay cozy. Karen Branick, a junior architecture student, looks flawless in a bright poppy orange wool coat, one that shows off her silhouette well, and adds on a perfect flash of color. Her black leather boots, which have a tinge of toughness, are winter-ready and contrast well with her feminine coat. Another bright piece, her white headband, completes her outfit with just the right amount of glamour.

A trend that is being heavily pushed through the fashion world is having a neutral palette and mixing and matching other neutral tones to keep the look light but interesting. Khaki is no longer a “don’t,” and instead has been revamped into elegant tops and silky loose pants. Jee Hye Lee, a visitor to Carnegie Mellon from Connecticut, showed off a terrifically asymmetrical jacket in a structure heavily resembling a menswear blazer. Lee layered on different textures in white, with a fringe scarf, cardigan, and tunic. Her beige pants were neatly tucked into brown leather boots, giving the look the edginess of spring without compromising her warmth.

Whether you’re a fan of bright colors, prefer to keep a clean, neutral look, or like dressing head to toe in black, it’s the effort that counts. Snow and winter should not automatically be equated with sweatshirts and Uggs; rather, it’s a much more fun time to experiment, perfect layering skills, and mix up unconventional pieces.