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Layering 101: How to Stay Warm and Still Look Fashionable in the Cold Weather

Because I am originally from Arkansas, the biggest thing I learned after moving to Indiana was that Winter is no joke. In the south we get colder temperatures, but it is nothing compared to the climate that comes with going to college in the north. I found it so hard during my freshman year to dress appropriately for the weather, because I had never really had to worry about being outside in freezing temperatures. After my first winter here, I realized that layering is the key to everything! Building layers on top of each other provides extra warmth and makes sure your body is protected from the harsh temperatures. These additional layers will maintain your core body temperature and actually can provide more heat than one single, thick layer.

I always start with a base layer underneath everything. I normally choose to wear a form-fitting black turtleneck underneath a lot of my sweaters because I like how you can see the top peeking out of my main layer. A lot of times this is strictly a fashion decision, which is why it is great that it is acting as a cute addition to the outfit and something that is helping keep me warm. I don’t normally worry about what kind of fabric my base layer is made from since I am only bundling up to walk to class. However, if you plan to be outside for a longer amount of time, it would be a good idea to pick something that is made out of a material that won’t retain moisture. If it is extremely cold outside, I will also wear a pair of leggings or insulated tights underneath my jeans to protect my legs. However, I don’t always find this necessary.

Next, I choose my main layer. This is typically a large, chunky sweater for me, but you can choose anything. Even if you are going for a super casual outfit, you can still layer a hoodie over a base layer and be comfortable. This layer for me is not as important to keeping me warm, because having that base layer underneath is super helpful. So, a lot of times, I will pick something that is cute over practicality.

Lastly, put your coat on! What kind of coat you buy is completely based on your own preference. These can get pretty expensive, so finding something in your price range is most important. The main advice I have is pick a neutral color! I have a black coat and a white one, which can match any outfit I put together. Especially if you are trying to put together a really cool outfit, it can sometimes ruin it by layering a huge, oddly colored coat on top. Adding a chic and simple, neutral-colored coat is always the way to go.

Although I don’t claim to be an expert on dressing for freezing weather, I have learned a few things over the past four years, which will hopefully help you the next time you get dressed and it is snowing outside. Stay warm!

Andi Baker is a Campus Correspondent and Senior at Purdue University, majoring in Actuarial Science and Applied Statistics with minors in Management and Art and Studio Design. Originally from Manila, Arkansas, Andi loves to drink sweet tea, read, and make art. You can follow her on Instagram @andibaker
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