McAlevey serves up sassy style advice

Sophie Weinstein

By Isabelle McAlevey ’13, Contributor

As winter continues to mercilessly close in, the most pressing question on everyone’s mind is obviously, what to wear. Now for men a sturdy flannel and one nice pair of cords seem to do the trick just fine, but for the ladies, things can get a little more complicated. Whereas sweats may be considered a viable option in times of desperation, I like to think winter is no excuse for general standards of passable clothing to slip. When it comes to school, cute, but practical, basics

seem to be the way to go, so let’s break this down.

It is all too clear that Cincinnati weather is the unpredictable, reckless cousin of all normal weather patterns, and recently people have really needed to plant their feet in something a little more water-resistant. You heard me, wellies! What Country Day student doesn’t love to slide their feet into a pair of cozy Hunter’s, or whatever other preppy galosh they can get their hands (or feet) on? Whether it’s sopping wet outside, or just mildly disgusting, you can never go wrong with rain boots. Although, disclaimer: always wear socks; rubber shoes are a double-edged sword.

The next step on the journey through shoe-land plants us on a winter favorite: boots. Leather, suede, tall, short, basically you can’t go wrong. Fringe is fun, studs are sassy, and zippers are….cool. When it comes to boots, you will almost never run out of options. Also – moccasins are your friend. Be careful with shoes, you never want to be the girl with sopping wet, muddy flats and hypothermic toes. You look stupid and whiny.

If you are shamelessly sporting a skirt sans tights and boots in this weather, you probably have greater issues than just wardrobe choices for punishing weather. Essentially, jeans, cords, and relatively any other kind of pant is suitable this time of the year. But let’s be honest, very few students are looking to work a pair of casual slacks at school, so I like to think dark wash jeans, or perhaps black, maybe even an auburn hue denim is the premier choice of fashionable girls in chilly environments.

As far as tops, layers are literally lovely. But seriously, almost nothing is cuter and screams “Hey, I care about the way I look, but I’m also a laid-back gal” quite like the way a basic t-shirt looks under a cozy sweater and a flattering jacket. For a more bold and simplistic look, one might even select a chunky knit sweater to throw over a pair of fitted skinny jeans. But let the wearer beware: when layering, stick to similar, preferably dark colors. Also plaid shirts are an undisputed “yes,” and despite some argumentative and seriously confused individuals, there is no shame in casually dressing like a lumberjack. If you’re feeling extra bold, try belting some kind of simple sweater dress over a pair of tights and some classic boots.

Yay! No winter look is complete without the (usually functional) accessories. If you are debating on a scarf, whether it’s that borderline cool one your grandma hand-knit you for Christmas (love in every stitch, guys), or that other one with a metallic tint or fun color, I say: go right ahead. Not only are scarves a cute and easy way to pull together an outfit, it will also keep you warm, something every student values on the long walk to the back lot after school.

The idea of staying warm ushers in our next go-to addition to any winter outfit: hats. Listen: if you’re wearing earmuffs, stop. I prefer a trendy hat to keep me cozy when it’s not so nice outside. Whether you are keeping things spicy with pom-poms or earflaps, you’re getting the last laugh as you walk briskly from school to the CCD boondocks. On a related note – no one ought to fear the beanie; at the risk

of being labeled a hipster, these trendy chapeaus provide the perfect amount of coverage as well as style.

Fur must be done responsibly and in moderation. Looking like you were just on an episode of Pimp My Hat is seriously not doing you any favors. Even if said fur maintains a faux status, who really wants to be looking over their shoulder for the local chapter of PETA who may or may not be following you in hot pursuit. Not this girl.

Despite winter being a time for general reclusiveness, people somehow manage to sometimes be coaxed from their hibernation by the promise of good times. All in all, there is still a fairly prominent party scene despite the weather, and if you are going to go out, when it comes to the outfit, you are going to want to go hard. Considering you probably are more concerned about feeling warm than anything else during these

months, when you get a chance to show off the fact that you miraculously did not gain that much holiday weight – seize it. Black skinny jeans, some variation of a dressy top, followed by a blazer or leather jacket is always a foolproof option, and high-neck, and or long-sleeve dresses always have great potential for a night on the town.

In conclusion, this season, for the most part dark colors are your best friend. Not to mention layers, and the overall omnipresence of boots. While preventive measure should always be taken to avoid looking like the Michelin man or Bigfoot or some other creature of legend, don’t be afraid to take control of your winter style and be bold but selective about the choices you make. It is no real challenge to look adorable despite the weather, so slip on those wellies, toss on a flannel, pull on that hat and send one big “come at me, winter” message to the world. Because when you are warm and cute, people know it’s game on. Learn to love winter; after all, “cool” and “chill” probably wouldn’t have positive connotations if there wasn’t at least something good about them.