Fashion Week Finale

The Montecito mansions are glowing with lights, eggnog has somehow appeared in your refrigerator, and your roommate is already stressed about finals. Winter at Wesmont is well underway — as much as it can be in Santa Barbara. We all know that you are tired of wearing the same flannel every day. You want to elevate your winter style, but don’t know how to add a little spice.

Winter in Southern California is tricky to dress for. Most of the time, Californians just opt out and wear some slightly modified version of what they wore in the summer. Since the weather does not change too drastically, we tend to forget that style should adapt to the seasons. If you are going to wear Grandma’s sweater, I applaud you, but there are three easy and tangible ways to elevate your style and still feel cozy in California this Christmas.

The iconic puffer.

Ah, yes. The puffer. I had to start with this one because the puffer jacket is one of the most classic staples of winter. Brown North Face puffers have made an especially popular comeback in many Instagram influencers’ closets this season. I would argue that it should be taken a step further: you should go for a leather or cream-colored puffer. You can layer these jackets over lighter clothes that fit the California aesthetic and make you look like you are going for a morning coffee run in New York. Given that they’re perfectly capable of dressing you up or down, Santa might feel extra generous this year and leave you one under the tree.

The outfit you can wear to class with friends.

We have all heard the fashion term ‘layering,’ but I think our layering techniques could use a little brushing up. We need to get the image of a cardigan over a tank top out of sight and out of mind. My favorite layering look this season is long, oversized boyfriend jeans with a sweater and accompanied by either a collared shirt or turtleneck. If you want to look even more casual, you could do your favorite vintage sweatshirt instead of the sweater. I love to accessorize this look with gold hoop earrings, platform sneakers and a baguette bag. It is easy, and has a great day-to-night flexibility. The accessories are important because it makes the layering look intentional.

Leather everything.

Faux leather has been a season favorite since fall. Aside from the leather pant look I cannot get enough of, I have been obsessing over oversized leather jackets. Brown, green, black — I love them all. Paired with a pop of color or your favorite patterned pants, this jacket can be worn so many ways and pulls an outfit together effortlessly. Extra points if you wear it with a dress and sequined tights.

BONUS

The shoes to tie it all together.

Slim-ankled, wide-soled boots. Need I say more? With everything mentioned above, these are the shoes that could be worn with everything. We all need a pair of boots that are so fabulous and functional that we never want to take them off.

A winter wardrobe does not have to be redundant or boring. Knowing what to wear in California’s confusing weather can be tough, but these looks are a great start. Fashion should feel like a creative outlet, not a restrictive mandate. Step outside your usual cold weather habits, and find new ways to dress your favorite turtlenecks and sweaters this season.

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