The Last of the Cold (Hopefully!)

By Jasmin, age 17, Indiana
Sweet Designs Featured Writer

Featured Gold Star Writer Bio

Hey guys! I know all of you are purely fed up with this cold weather by now - I know I am! There's only so much snow, ice, and harsh freezing temperatures I can take. Plus, there's only so many boot, coat, and sweater combinations too, right? Well, of course not! Didn't think I was gonna let you off that easy!

As there are what seems a very limited number of outfits you can wear in the winter, there is always a way to mix a little spring preview into your day-to-day wear. For example, maybe instead of putting on a chocolate brown sweater in the morning, go for a little pastel, possibly even a floral cardigan or something a tad bit more exciting than boring ole dark winter colors. You see, a lot of people think that you can't wear bright colors in the winter, that you must stick to black or brown or navy, but the thing is, why not wear something that makes you feel like spring will come eventually? It's much better than being stuck in 'forever-winter-land.' Trust me, if you brighten it up a bit at this dreary end to winter, you will definitely be more likely to see yourself coming out of this cold-weather funk. Now, of course, I am no psychologist, so don't go and put on a pink shirt and think you'll be cured! That time will only come as soon as that first pretty little petal pops up from the ground and the grass turns green again. But, as long as there's white icy snow covering the streets and the temperatures make your teeth chatter, we just have to deal with Mother Nature and bundle up.

All of which brings me to the point - bundling up does not have to equal looking like a stumbling Vienna sausage coming down the street! Although it is toe-curling cold outside and you may want to put on every item of clothing in your closet just to stay warm, there are a few tricks of the trade that make what you wear look good and make sense, both indoors and out.

First of all, let's cover the coat catastrophe. As everyone should know, puffy coats are out and pea coats are in, again. However, it's not just pea coats. Trench, military, toggle, faux fur, wool. They're all very fashionable for the season! Now, the key is how to wear them. Of course, I'm not telling you that you need to run out and buy every single kind of coat I just mentioned, but I am telling you to explore your various coat options, since clearly there are many. Especially now, since winter is practically over, the sales are out and about, cheap for sure. The reason I mention coats just now, in February, is not to keep you cold in an out-of-season coat all winter, but to help you save money! I'm guessing, depending on where you live, that you did wear a coat through maybe part of November, all of December and January (I'm also praying it wasn't a puffy coat), and now it's time to retire that one for an upgrade. This way, if you see ahead of the trends, you'll wear this new one for a month, max, put it away in your closet for most of the year, and then bam, in November, you'll have long-forgotten about the new coat you bought this season. So not only do you have a nice new one that has barely been worn, you don't have to rush out and buy one at the same time everyone else is!

Now, let's get into the specifics of what coat is your type and will keep you the warmest through this cruel, cruel wintry season. First off, if you're the type of person whose legs get the coldest outside, definitely go for a longer pea coat that zips up, to ensure that your warmth stays inside. Also, if you're the type of person who always seems to be in a rush to get their coat on and go, zipper for sure. I know you hate hassling with those buttons when you need to be on the move.

If maybe your top half gets the coldest and your legs are fine with your boots on, then you can go for a warm wool coat that has a big collar and goes all the way up to your chin. These coats which have a giant v-neck don't make any sense to me, seeing as they're certainly not keeping your chest or neck warm. If you like to have as much face coverage as possible with a coat (without having a ski mask on) I'd suggest one with a large hood, preferably fur-trimmed so that it will keep your face warm. Size and shape-wise, if you like that you have a tiny waist and want to accentuate it, even with a coat on, there are plenty of coats with a waist-tie or belt to do that. If you just want something purely loose and comfy (as I sometimes do) go for those long, straight-cut trench coats.

Coat is available for $49.80 at or your local store. This looks quite warm!

A neutral-colored trench coat you could wear with anything - this is a classic!
Available for $49.95 at or your local store.

Coat is nice and long, with a fur collar to keep your neck and chin warm.
Available for $39.80 at or your local store.

Next, is how to bundle up without literally bundling up! You don't necessarily have to wear two shirts, a sweater, coat, jeans over leggings with leg warmers and boots, along with your mittens, hat, and scarf! Sheesh, it makes me sweat just listing all of that unnecessary clothing! Obviously, it is a good idea to wear more than just one layer, but don't get too crazy and pile 'em on until you can't see your toes. The key to layering is putting things together that not only make sense fashionably (of course) but that also make sense when you start taking them off. For example, you wouldn't wear a button-down oxford underneath a hoodie and then your coat, when you know you have gym first period, would you? Or, if your school is perpetually cold (as mine is), you surely wouldn't wear a tank top with a fleece over the top and that's all, would you? This is why what you wear in the winter all has to make sense. Even if it seems like it makes sense to wear this before you leave in the morning, as soon as you leave the house you're already re-thinking your decision. Hmm, these flats look really good with these jeans, but once you head outside, the snow and ice on the ground surely do not agree.

If you are someone who gets really cold easily but can also become very warm just as easily, layers are the most important to you. I am one of those people whose body just doesn't want to make up its mind on what temperature it wants to be, so I am constantly flipping back and forth. It doesn't help that my classrooms' temps don't stay consistent either, so either way, I'm always either too cold or too hot. But, since I know it's so inconsistent, I practically always carry a jacket around. So, for a day when there's snow on the ground, I have no choice but to wear my extremely warm furry boots, and I try to dress a tad bit lighter underneath my layers. I'll maybe wear just a t-shirt instead of a long sleeve, but still wear a nice hoodie or fleece jacket over the top. When my boots shoot my body temperature upward during the school day, I can take my jacket off and cool off a bit in my t-shirt.

The main point here is to make sure you balance out your daily wear. When you wear super warm boots or maybe jeans over leggings, it's probably a good idea to stay basic on the top half. This is all unless you are constantly freezing all day; then, in that case, stick with long sleeves and a jacket every day! And vice versa, if you wear something a little thinner on the bottom, like leggings (hopefully the warmer wool ones), and stick with either a long sleeve Henley on the top, or maybe a sweater, and keep a scarf on all day to keep yourself warm. Either way, your temperature will balance out if you keep your top and bottom nice and cozy during the day.

Moving on, blazers are back in force! And even though it's not warm enough yet to wear them by themselves, with just a cami or tank underneath, you can still wear a cute sweater under, or a long sleeve tee to mix and match. They also look really good with dresses and bandage skirts. You can definitely add a bit of a sophisticated vibe to your outfit with a nice, form-fitting blazer. Or, better yet, you could turn it into a rocker chic edge, with heavy necklaces and rings, some super skinny black jeans, and biker boots.

Leather jackets can also take the place of a blazer for that rock 'n' roll outfit. They are still in - maybe not for much longer, though. I sense a new trend moving in ... but you'll just have to wait and see if my predictions are true! I'd stick with classic black, brown, and sometimes gray leather jackets; as much as I love bright colors, leather jackets are just not where bright colors belong. But, weather wise, both blazers and leather jackets still will keep you pretty warm, so no worries! And don't forget about fleeces! They are still appropriate if you wear them with a thick hoodie underneath and a scarf!

A pretty simple and classic cropped leather jacket.
Available for $39.99 at or your local store.

Adds a 'berry' sweet accent to an outfit that could use a nice plunge of purple.
Blazer is available for $39.99 at or your local store.

Lastly, when it comes to shoes, it's everybody's favorite: biker boots! This is simply because you can buy them anywhere for any price, and here's the best part - the more beat up they are, the better! They're more commonly known as combat boots or hiker boots, instead of biker, but anyway, you get the picture. They are rugged and ready for a spin! Plus, they can go with any outfit imaginable. Even a sweet girly pink dress! Yes folks, I have seen it done and pulled off nicely. So you don't have to be a true bad-to-the-bone rough and tough gal, you just have to know how to rock 'em :)

Biker boots are available for $32.80 at or your local store.

These have a little heel to make you extra fierce!
Boots are available for $29.99 at or your local store.

Okay everyone, remember, don't walk out looking like a giant sausage 'cause you're bundled up so much! I will be watching! ;) Stay warm and think SPRING! 'Til next time! :)

Thanks guys - I love ya!

- Jasmin C.K.

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February & March Magazine Issues

March 15, 2012

The February and March issues of Sweet Designs Magazine are now online, featuring a combined 53 new articles and features!!

- Cover: Stephanie Lynn reflects on 5 years
- Cover: India (of Darn-licious knitwear)
- Life in the dumps (moving in with my bf)
- The difference between men and women
- Angels among us (parts 1 and 2)
- Arts graduates & the dark night of the soul
- Triple threat (how I survived my teen yrs)
- Dating isn't easy (my true story)
- How to turn not-so-great gifts ... (fashion)
- Ten reasons to love being single
- Taking the big leap (college)
- Valentine's Day (not what you'd expect!)
- The last of the cold (hopefully) (fashion)
- A month full of love
- Ten tips for successful airline travel
- Reasons I love writing for SDM
- Who needs love?
- They're not all the same
- The life I'm glad I don't have (fiction)
- Professional dress/ finding Fendi (fashion)
- An airport anniversary: a true story
- Inappropriate Facebook photos
- The perks of a big city (college)
- A night(mare) to forget (part 2)
- The Anita Blake series (book review)
- Saving June by Hannah Harrington (book)
- Under the Mesquite by GG McCall (book)
- The Lullaby by Sarah Dessen (book)
- If I Stay by Gayle Foreman (book review)
- My sweetheart (original poetry)
- Isn't it funny (original poetry)
- The stranger (original poetry)
- A winter wonderland (original poetry)
- One night valentine
- The thick envelopes (college acceptance)
- Southern love
- Healthy hair and vitamins
- It's a date (dating idea alternatives)
- The 30 hour famine
- School's out forever!
- Marching right back into spring? (fashion)
- Dear John
- When TV shows depict your life
- 3 Fun ways to rock spring's hottest trends
- Neglected teeth
- Starting something new
- Guy movies
- To hesitate or dive in?
- Deadly, by Julie Chibbaro (book review)
- Beastly, by Alex Flinn (book review)
- I don't care (poetry)
- Together, alone (poetry)

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