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? la Mode: Style Guide

Fall layers for the changing weather


Morning coffees and lattes take on a whole new meaning when chilly fall breezes sweep through campus. No longer do we just need caffeine to get through class; we need the comforting warmth and scent of a flavored coffee drink to calm us.

We also need is warm layers that keep out the whipping winds on the Promenade or the random rooms with the air conditioning still on.

Certain pieces of clothing are key for keeping warm and looking as cozy as possible, even if you’re sitting in those terrible rotating chairs in the Knox lecture halls.

Slim turtlenecks

Here, I’m wearing a black turtleneck from Ann Taylor, a thick ponte black pencil skirt from Ann Taylor, a vegan leather blazer from H&M, black tights with tiny orange polka dots, a tartan scarf and black combat boots.

This slim fit black turtleneck is a perfect layering piece for under dresses, with skirts, pants, blazers, jackets, sweaters – everything. Turtlenecks, particularly in neutral colors, are extremely versatile and inherently warm.

If you know you’re stepping out into a chilly world one morning, toss a turtleneck on underneath whatever it is you’re wearing. Don’t think about it too much.

I particularly love the look of a black turtleneck under dresses, whether they are long-sleeved, slip dresses, mod shifts or shirtdresses.

Tall Socks

One of the staples of my personal style for the past couple of years is wearing tall socks, usually knee-length, over tights when wearing skirts or dresses.

Over the past few months, this has become a major trend on campus. Girls can often be seeing pairing black socks with combat boots and easy dresses for a grunge look reminiscent of the 90s.

I am often sad to read on fashion websites that fall and winter means it’s time to push your summer clothes to the back of your closet. I firmly believe that anything you own should be wearable throughout the year.

Sometimes, being able to do that requires quite a bit of creativity.

Tall socks are your saviors during the cold months. Don’t fear wearing a strappy, floral dress once it gets cold outside, simply add some tall socks that go with the colors and patterns of the dress.

If you’re new to the trend, check out Target. They have a consistent section of socks for $2.99 in the plain neutral colors everyone needs, but also a selection of fun colorful and patterned varieties.

Remember, you can never have enough black knee-highs.


Yeah, wearing scarves as a warm layer is child’s play.

The way you wrap them, however, is not.

The one loop is getting old, so try looping your scarf as many times as possible to create a European, battling-against-the-wind-in-the-city look. Or, grab a scarf that is significantly longer than your typical style. It looks easy, and yet coolly dramatic.

Silk scarves, although they are not as warm, look elegant when piled on top of a neutral outfit. They typically are adorned with sophisticated patterns and you can use them as a head wrap or tie them on your purse for a 50s revival look. Think Peggy Olson in Mad Men.

Oversized sweaters

Oversize sweaters are not only extremely comfortable, but they give you enough space to layer underneath, say with a slim turtleneck. You can pop it over a dress, wear it with a skirt, or kick it in jeans and a T-shirt.

From ugly Christmas sweaters, do grandpa cardigans from Amvets or the inauthentic wares of Urban Outfitters that look they something from a thrift store, there are thousands of options out there.

Personally, I like laying a white Oxford underneath a sweater for a classic, academic look.

Oversized sweaters can work with any other layering piece – try a big sweater, a slip dress and tall cable knight socks for a fall chic look. Or, do a big sweater, tight acid washed jeans and combat boots for the 90s grunge trend that has taken hold of campus.

Layering is a creative venture and the more you experiment, the more fun you’ll have. Pick pieces out of your closet that you think won’t go together at all and put them all on. See what happens.

You can always take it off.


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