Freezing winter not always dreary for fashionistas

By Bethie Girmai

The start of spring semester signifies many things for a college student. It inspires the… The start of spring semester signifies many things for a college student. It inspires the preparation of travel plans for spring break, marks the countdown to summer vacation and provides a chance to repair the damage done to our GPAs during the fall semester.

Above all, the beginning of the spring semester in Pittsburgh is tainted by unbearable amounts of snow, rain, blizzards, tundras, monsoons, tsunamis and Zeus’ wrath. Yes, the weather makes it difficult to walk to class, drive and do anything outside, but the most unfortunate side effect of this weather is the cramp it puts in our style.

Cold weather can seem impossible to dress for, especially for women who might lament the loss of warmer weather garments like skirts. In the summer, picking out your daily garb seems almost effortless. On the contrary, during the winter months, dressing to go to dinner seems akin to suiting up for battle.

But where there’s a will, there’s a way. Winter is a great time to take advantage of accessories and outerwear that are aesthetically pleasing and practical.


Bundling up is no excuse for dressing like a slob. There are plenty of options for coats and jackets that will keep you warm and looking chic.

The puffer is great because it’s made with insulating material like down feathers and covers you from head to toe. Many styles are also waterproof, so they ensure you stay warm while keeping you and your outfit dry. If you don’t want to be compared with the Michelin Man, a subtler alternative is a puffer vest. It’s versatile because you can layer it over a heavy sweater or fleece coat.

Pea coats are great if you want to dress up your winter ensembles. They instantly add class and a finished look to an outfit. They’re also a great alternative to ski jackets and down coats, if you’re looking for something a little more dressy and clean cut.


Scarves have become more popular in recent years and have earned their staying power. They are one of the fashion multitaskers — acting as accessories while also serving a practical purpose. They are also one of my favorite accessories because they can be worn all year.

When it comes to scarves, there’s a style for everyone. You can drape them around your neck, wear them on your shoulders like a shawl, or tie them around the handles of your handbags.

A new trend with scarves that I’ve taken a particular liking to is the circular, or infinity scarf. The closed loop scarf offers comfort, warmth and style because the wearer can easily manipulate it for maximum effect.