The morning air is crisp. With tears in your eyes and a leaky snout, you make your way to your 10 a.m. class. The walk seems to take longer with every drop in degree. Every day, you wonder if there is a secret tunnel that can take you from the Victoria building to the RCC, but you settle for strategic shortcuts through alleys to cut down your time outside–even if it’s only by a little.
With recent temperatures averaging at a dense -7 C, many are forced to decide between dressing well and dressing warm. Consequently, more and more of our mornings are being spent in our closets rather than in makeshift cocoons in our beds. There are just so many elements to consider when putting together a practical winter ensemble: gloves, a coat, a scarf, comfortable shoes and headwear. This season is quite possibly the most expensive for snappy dressers and perhaps the most arduous.
Although, from the knee high boots to thick patterned scarves spotted on campus, it seems many chic students are not forfeiting to the dreadful winter freeze. We took to the streets of Ryerson to see how students have been dealing with the cold days and maybe even help those of us struggling to make sense of it all. Results showed that there is no cut-and-dry rule to creating the smartest winter look– everyone has their own formula for keeping warm and looking put together.
We tend to see a lot of black during the winter. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it can be quite underwhelming to go through your day passing herds of students in a uniform colour evocative of dreariness.
Why not turn a winter essential into a fashion statement? Much like a necklace or a polished pair of wing tip oxfords, the fabric you wrap around your neck every morning has the potential to bring life to your look. A statement scarf, like this red and black leopard print scarf paired with a tan trench coat, or this gold paisley scarf draped over a grey parka, can be the pièce de résistance.
Coats with belts are a great way to keep your look flattering. Many winter coats such as parkas and puffer jackets tend to fit like a foam finger—stiff and not true to form. Keeping warm shouldn’t have to mean getting lost in mounds of layers. Cinching at the waste eliminates the boxy silhouette straight-cut coats may produce. The last thing anyone wants is to look like the tin man of Oz while they gallantly brave the elements.
Less Brrr, More Beret
The toque, whether adorned with a pompom or pattern, seems to be the headwear of choice for the majority of Canadians. It’s become a “Canadianism” of sorts, worn throughout the year. Though, wearing it often can sentence you to a season with hat hair. Not to fret, there are alternatives to the fitted knit cap. The student pictured above showcases one of them—the beret. The quintessential French garment turned beat era trend provides the same services as any toque, but does not have the same tight fit. The softness of the crown-like wool piece sits pretty atop your head.
Denim for Winter
Denim is a closet staple, regardless of the season. From distressed to oversized, or light and dark wash, we’ve seen them – and perhaps own – them all. Denim is quite a thick, impenetrable material and its tough construct plays into its grungy appeal. This student took the item further and repurposed it as winter outerwear. To keep the warmth in, he made sure to pair his acid-washed jean jacket with a green scarf. However, the denim jacket is not a conventional winter coat, so it does not have the proper lining to provide insulation. Therefore layering is key if you intend to try this look.