Every Girl Should Own: An exotic twist on winter classics

It seems like almost every girl on campus can put together a winter ensemble. And it’s a well-deserved skill, seeing as Mount Pleasant is just a short two and a half hour drive from Canada. However, many CMU girls don’t understand how to put an interesting twist into their winter staples so that they stand out of the crowd. Michigan may seem like a winter wasteland this time of year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t import the latest fashions and trends that warmer fashionistas are sporting. Exotic patterns, unique styling and bright colors lend an unexpected twist to any outfit that make you stand out of the crowd without turning your outfit into a getup.

Here are a few of my favorite strategies for ‘exoticizing’ your winter wardrobe:

Look for fun prints when you go to pick out clothing. Many girls stray from prints in their winter wardrobes because it is difficult to find winter appropriate items in flattering patterns. I suggest finding a common pattern that flatters your figure and isn’t hard to track down, or layering sweaters or other winter pieces over an exotic summer piece to give your look depth and interest.

Don’t be afraid of bright colors. A lot of people think that bright colors are inappropriate for winter, which in some cases is correct.  Don’t be fooled  into thinking all bright colors are ill-suited for cold weather months, though. I recommend looking for bright colors with deep undertones; avoid pastels, which are too springy. Pair these bright pieces with neutral dark colors to create an interesting contrast that will allow the color to be the center of the outfit.

Keep an eye out for interesting embellishment, especially when looking at accessories. Adding unique accessories can save a bland ensemble and give almost anything a subtle exotic vibe. I’m loving big beaded and mixed metal pieces, and you can never go wrong with a tribal accessory. I recommend looking for these items online—try ASOS or Dannijo—because you can find great items that aren’t available in Mount Pleasant.

Strive to achieve a unique silhouette. Anyone can throw on some jeans and a jacket and call it a day, but an interesting silhouette can really make an impression. I love a loose top with tight bottoms or a wide-led pant and a fitted top because the contrast in volume creates an interesting tension. I’m also a huge fan of untraditional cuts and hemlines because they garner interest without having to work at styling; you can just throw them on and be fashionable.

There are tons of great pieces and amazing strategies that will give you an fashionable and interesting winter wardrobe. Next time you look in the mirror and feel boring or bland try out one of these strategies to brighten up your wardrobe and help you make it through the long Michigan winters.

Photo credit: Will Boleman