How to Look Hot When It's Cold: Fashion Advice for Going Out in the Winter

In addition to holidays and hot chocolate, the winter months also bring a unique style challenge. Campus bars and frat parties are still sweltering hot inside, but we can no longer walk around wearing just our sequined minidresses (unless you’d like to have a permanent cold for the next few months). In Boston, freezing winds whip through the buildings on our campus and these days, it takes a whole lot of determination to bundle up and head outdoors. Yes, you do have to bundle up! But don’t fret – there are ways to stay warm without sacrificing your fabulous style every weekend. 

Cold Weather Closet Essentials

With help from the HC team, I’ve put together a list of essentials to keep you warm all winter. Many of them you probably already own but just haven’t thought to combine with your blank tank and stilettos. Looking cute while staying warm is all about creative layering and stylish accessories.

  • A cute pair of gloves, a hat and ear muffs
  • A stylish (but warm!) coat
  • Thick tights and socks
  • Scarves in fun patterns and textures
  • Heeled boots and booties
  • Small, resusable hand warmers
  • Thin cardigans and sweaters to layer together

The Look: A Minidress

Short dresses are a closet staple for most college girls. You don’t have to worry about matching a top and bottom – you just slip on one piece and you’re good to go! Unfortunately, when the temperatures start to drop that easy process gets a little bit more complicated. The most important body part to cover when you slip into that dress is your legs. When the temperature dips below 50 at night, it’s time to add a pair of tights to the ensemble. If you’re farther north, Cara Chase, the owner of Apparel Therapy, suggests investing in an extra thick pair. Her top three favorite go-to retailers are Hue, Spanx and Wolford. They’ll keep your legs covered but won’t distract from your ensemble – plus dark tights are flattering for any body type!

Product Information: Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, American Eagle

If your dress also exposes your shoulders and chest, throw on a pretty scarf and wrap it around your neck a few times. Colby College Sophomore Kassy Sullivan agrees, explaining that scarves are “so easy to throw on and they instantly add to any outfit.” If you pair “a fuller scarf with a sexier dress [it] ups both the warmth and class factors.” Cathy O’Brien of agrees: “Instead of wearing a necklace, wrapping a fabulous scarf around your neck can add warmth and style on a cold day or night. Sparkle is huge this holiday season and many wool scarves can be found with metallic accents woven into the scarf or sewn on.” She also cites Old Navy as a favorite retailer for fun scarves (that won’t break the bank).

Product Information: Charlotte Russe, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters