Leggings and Sweaters: How to Dress Up Winter’s Go-To Pieces

Hi! My name is Rebecca and I’m a Junior at Boston University. I have always loved all aspects of fashion- design, merchandising, shopping, etc. While my style evolves with my life, I would call my general preferences classic with a preppy twist. I look to Chanel, Burberry Posum, and Elie Saab mostly for inspiration. My favorite accessories are a smile, a plaid scarf, and pearls. Rachel Zoe says “style is a way to say who you are without having to speak,” and I take this motto to heart every day.

For those that are located in a climate where the temperature drops below 50 degrees, winter means putting away your cutest shorts, dresses, and tank tops in favor of things that tend to be a little more frumpy: sweaters. For me, the shorter days encourage me to opt for warm and cozy over cute and stylish. Fortunately, I’ve found ways to take the go to winter classics of sweaters and leggings into looks that seem to come straight out of fashion’s favorite magazines.

The first way to dress up your look is to invest in pairs of leggings that aren’t just black. Classic black is great, but you can really stand out if you find a pair that has some detailing. My current favorite pair cost $20 from Forever21 and embraces the current trend of leather detailing. This small amount of detailing works on all figures and is just enough to make any outfit feel fierce and fabulous. For those that are a little more adventurous, I recommend a patterned legging. Leopard print and dots both offer a wilder pant option that pair well with a classic cable knit sweater while embracing runway trends. If you pair it with a chunky heeled black boot you can even go out after class without changing (convenience is key in college!).

2. Embrace the Unusual Knit and Layer
A classic plain sweater is invaluable in any wardrobe, but when you want to wear it three days a week it’s time to think of branching out. Sweaters that offer subtle prints in the knitting allow for some variety. Urban Outfitters offers many options including subtle cable knits, mixes of cable knit, ribbing, and plating, and even less subtle floral patterns. Chunky sweaters are nothing new in the winter wardrobe, so the way I like to make a sweater into an outfit is through layering. By wearing a collared shirt under a cable knit you’re able to add an extra layer of warmth and an extra pop of color! While I love layering black collars and white sweaters, adding in button downs of red, green, and camel colors gives you variety and seasonal color.

3. The Ultimate Answer: Accessories
As fashion icon Iris Apfel has said, “more is more and less is a bore.” When you feel like your current outfit is boring, or is more comfort than style focused, an accessory is the perfect way to take it from lounge wear to street chic. The two best accessories I can think of are scarves and necklaces. I recently purchased a giant, soft, plaid blanket scarf that I have found was well worth the $25. While big scarves are my personal favorite, any ones that you have already will add some excitement to a boring outfit. Furs and fluff were a major trend in the Autumn/Winter fashion lines, making a fun furry scarf a perfect way to stay warm and trendy. Statement necklaces, like ones from J. Crew, allow for the opportunity to pack on the jewel tones without going overboard. Short necklaces can be difficult to wear with chunky sweaters due to the high necklines, so I often prefer longer necklaces. While you can never go wrong with classic gold chains, look out for fun chevron pieces and charms to dress up your look.

In the winter my daily uniform is leggings and sweaters, but the way that I keep it interesting is through patterns, pops of color, and accessories. If you ever feel that your outfit needs something extra, but find yourself lacking any of the things I mentioned earlier, a fun lip color adds excitement without adding anything to the outfit itself. Another great tactic is to add a heeled boot, or even a pair of pumps if you’re comfortable, that really take a basic outfit to the next level. Don’t be afraid to add to your sweater collection either! Everything can be used in the spring with skirts, and black leggings never go out of style.

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