Bundle up, don't bulk up

How men and women can avoid frost bite this winter without sacrificing style

	<p>Abigail Kirk models a layered, winter look. Layer a blazer over a sweater and chambray button-down in exchange for a coat. DN <span class="caps">PHOTO</span> <span class="caps">COREY</span> <span class="caps">OHLENKAMP</span></p>

Abigail Kirk models a layered, winter look. Layer a blazer over a sweater and chambray button-down in exchange for a coat. DN PHOTO COREY OHLENKAMP

Kourtney Cooper is a junior journalism major and writes the column “Fashion Fix” for the Daily News. Her views do not necessarily agree with those of the Daily News or its Unified Media affiliates.

It’s about that time of year again. Students roll out of bed for their 8 a.m. classes to realize the pajamas they wore to bed won’t suffice in the below-freezing weather. They throw another long sleeve shirt, a hoodie, a coat and an extra pair of sweats over flannel pajama pants and they rush out the door.

Then the unwelcome sensations of freezing and burning hit at once. Ears and fingers are freezing because they were too hurried to remember a hat or gloves, but their cores are sweating profusely only five minutes into the cross-campus walk.

Once they run into the bathroom to see why everyone has been making weird looks, they take a good look at themselves in the mirror.

The image is like a marshmallow. A giant, mismatched marshmallow. The kind people accidentally blow up in the microwave.

We’ve all had those days.

The cold Muncie weather is never an excuse for looking like the Michelin Man.

Dressing comfortably and stylishly in the winter is an art; it takes thought and planning. But people can stick to a few guidelines.


Invest in a coat, hat, glove and scarf set that coordinates. The goal isn’t to match head to toe — there’s a reason those neon snowsuits aren’t sold anymore — but to at least stick to a simple color scheme. A bright colored coat adds pizazz to a bland outfit, but a muted color allows you to spice it up with a printed scarf. On hectic days, throw on the set and instantly look put together without any effort.

Somewhere along the line, people mistook North Face skiing gloves for a fashion statement. As a general rule, don’t mix work with play. Get two separate pairs of gloves. Slimming pleather gloves are the perfect way to incorporate the current leather trend and make gloves seem like an accessory, not a necessity. Keep the bulkier gloves for snowball fights and wrestling with the car scraper to de-ice an icy vehicle.


Unless a person is actually trucking across Antarctica and facing hypothermic conditions, ditch the baggy snow pants. Actually, ditch baggy pants period. Cold weather is no reason to sport tattered gray basketball sweats from high school. Stick to everyday jeans and wear leggings underneath to keep toasty without looking sloppy. The extra layer makes all the difference.

The key to bulky clothing is balance. Women can wear an oversized sweater or coat with skinny jeans or leggings. But remember: leggings are not pants. If the top doesn’t cover the tush, please put on actual pants. Pair baggier boyfriend jeans for a more fitted top.


Women already understand the need for boots in the winter in the form of fashionable riding boots and booties. They are the solution to any winter outfit. Just remember to keep pants tight around the calf to tuck them into the boots. Add tall boot socks for a little more texture.

And for the record, Uggs went out of style with jean miniskirts and Abercrombie polos, so please just stop buying them.

Men, embrace boots. Duck boots and lace-up boots are not feminine, they are stylish and functional. But, to wear only tennis shoes, find a pair in the brown suede lace-up variety. Running a marathon in them isn’t possible, but they will look far less tacky than New Balance sneakers.


Winter fabrics make a world of difference. Tweed jackets and corduroy pants instantly winterize an outfit and help keep people warm because they’re heavier materials. For the really gutsy, try a pair of velvet pants.

Flannel, flannel and more flannel. Flannel has gone from hoedowns to the runway in no time. Any smart man knows flannel is the way to a woman’s heart. Layer a flannel with a V-neck sweater and a blazer. This look works for both sexes.

Puffer vests are layering gold. They keep your core toasty, but they allow free use of your arms. And somehow, they manage to keep the entire body warm. It’s basically magic. Vests can be expensive, so look for sales or invest in one for the holidays. For women worried about looking too bulky, try one that cinches at the waist to add the extra curve. Layer the vest over any staple winter top: a sweater, flannel or chambray button-down.


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