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Mix Up Your Winter Wardrobe

Mix Up Your Winter Wardrobe

By Valerie Burn

Remember how excited you were for fall? Sweaters, layers, scarves, the whole nine yards? And now look at you. Your skin is ashen, you've worn that hoodie for three days in a row, and your socks don't even match.

You need to mix it up. But first, you need to take a good look at yourself and de-winterize.

Action item numero uno is to take some time to take care of yourself and your skin. When you feel better, you'll look better. Or vice-versa. I don't know. After your next shower, slather on a handful of lotion. Yes, it will take a few minutes to dry, and yes, you might feel a little greasy. But your skin will look much more luminous. Baby oil works for this too, if you have some around from little siblings.

Next, get a haircut or do something to freshen up your style. I like to get highlights or bangs—something temporary that makes me excited to get dressed again. You can cheaply do this at home with a box of hair dye (if your parents are cool—mine let me go blond, red, brunette, whatever I wanted) or scissors (if you are feeling risky). If you are going to do this, do it with a friend, watch some YouTube how tos, and don't do anything crazy. Oh, and buy proper scissors.

Now, we are ready to move onto the wardrobe part. Jeans, thick socks, sneakers, and sweaters are comfortable. I get that. Tights and boots and shirts with buttons (buttons!) are less so. But life isn't a pleasure cruise, my little Sparklette. And sometimes we are mildly less comfortable in the pursuit of looking good.

First, swap out jeans for tights and a skirt, or a tunic. I do not recommend this for, like, sledding, but for the average school day with approximately 5 minutes outside, you will be fine. You can keep your flats (not those salt-stained sneakers though!), or switch it up with almost any kind of boot. Even tights + snow boots are more fun than jeans + sneakers! Leggings also work, or consider colorful and/or patterned tights. If you must wear Uggs or sneakers due to weather concerns, bring a pair of cute flats to school to change into. You'll feel so much chicer.

Boy Sparklers, please ignore that advice. Unless you're feeling saucy. But read on for more ideas.

Consider cute layering. Remember how excited you were for layering?! Sweatshirts are fine for sleeping and sporting and hanging out, but for school or work try something a little different. Wear a collared shirt (even a polo!) under a sweater. Or wear two contrasting-colored long-sleeve tees. Just anything with a little pizzaz, panache, whatever. Visual texture is great for making covered-up-looks feel new.

Then, add color! Outside is so gray, the sky, the ground, the salt on your mom's minivan... Find a bright pink or green sweater that can be your go-to. Layer with a chambray (denim) shirt underneath, or a patterned scarf. I am a firm believer that as long as your look is grounded in black tights or jeans, you can wear as much color as you want.

Finally, have a clothing swap with your friends! You all have things in your closet you like but never wear, for whatever reason. (Past reasons have included: this makes my butt look weird, I hate this color on me, and this shirt reminds me of that terrible ex-boyfriend.) Or ,things you hate in your closet and sometimes wear, as if you are in some sort of  sad, wear-hate relationship. (Past offenders have included: questionably/supposedly trendy overall-skirt combo, rainbow tights, lace shirts, and anything neon, which makes me look dead.)

Round up your things, invite some friends over, and hopefully get a few new things to spice up your 'drobe. This is also a great opportunity to eat junk food and watch a bad movie. Everything else can go to Goodwill or the Salvation Army or whatever charity is nearby.

Another upside of the clothing swap is that it forces you to go through your whole closet, so you might discover some things you forgot you had/forget to wear/didn't think fit but do. Seriously, try on everything you have, movie makover montage style. You can even put on some peppy Natasha Bedingfield or something. It's a pain in the keester to re-hang/re-fold everything, but it's worth it to expand your wardrobe for free. Plus, it's January. What else are you doing?

There you have it. A few simple steps to mix things up. It won't save the world or bring peace to the Middle East, but it will make getting dressed each morning a little more fun—and thus, each day a little brighter.

Do you get stuck in a style rut in the winter? What do you do to combat it?

Topics: Fashion
Tags: fashion, depression, hair, winter, clothes, dressing up

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About the Author
Valerie Burn

Valerie Burn is a very cool Midwestern lady. She has lived in tons of exciting places, such as Wisconsin, Illinois, Minnesota, and Michigan. She spends her free time snuggling her beautiful, perfect dog Teddy, and reading the entire internet every day. Valerie enjoys eating things, buying things, and writing things, as well as watching terrible TV.

Wanna contact a writer or editor? Email contribute@sparknotes.com.