Winter fashion. To those residing in middle America and the East Coast, this means nothing short of a below the knee winter coat, insulated gloves and a scarf wrapped in mummifying loops up to the ears.
We, however, live in the wonderful land of California, populated by palm trees, Oprah Winfrey and reasonable temperatures year round. Davis provides the perfect climate for the fashion forward and weather conscious. The weather dips low enough to require a full cold weather wardrobe without the necessity of meat freezer attire.
January has descended upon Davis and winter fashion is in full swing. The surprised froshies hailing from southern California embrace their still fuzzy UCD hoodies in a bewildered attempt to combat the gloom and rain. The more prepared Davisites expertly whip out their sweaters, coats and scarves, and quickly assemble winter wardrobes with the ease of mix and click Tupperware.
Although there are some new trends every winter season, some cold weather staples are always reliable.
For example, the peacoat. A major player in both the male and female’s winter wardrobe, it is extremely functional and extremely flattering. The double-breasted buttons, slightly reminiscent of a more nautical style, add instant class and style to your outfit, be it jeans or a dress. The peacoat is also highly varied. Although the classic double row of buttons is always present, there are a million elements that can be changed. Plastic buttons may be swapped for brass, a hood may replace a collar and wool may be interchanged with fleece. I also love the unisex nature of the peacoat – it lends ladies a fashionable finish, and really adds polish to a guy’s jeans and vans.
Once everyone has their jacket locked and loaded, the next concern is footwear. Guys wear sneakers through every season; their footwear doesn’t have much room for variance. Girls, however, have only one thing on their mind, and it is boots. I swear I wake up saying the word sometimes. And although there are boots out there to satisfy every girl (Doc Martens, equestrian, cowboy, lace-ups, ankle booties and even rain boots), lately I’ve been thinking not about the boot, but what goes under them; the socks. High socks have always been a necessity for boot sporting, but this season they’ve hit a growth spurt and can now be frequently seen visibly rising higher than the boot, and sometimes even up and over the knee. These extended toe cozies add extra warmth and an opportunity for extra style. Forever 21, capitalizing on trends as it usually does, sells a variety of these thigh high socks for the fashion friendly and wallet conscious. Target, on Second Street, also recently started carrying over-the-knee socks.
Another winter favorite is hats, because no one enjoys bright red, freezing ears. Winter hats, although most prominent on the slopes of your favorite ski resort, can be found in abundance on the UC Davis campus, happily warming the ears of boys and girls as they bike through the frosty air towards another long, gray day on campus. Earflaps are the best feature of a hat and are commonly found on knitted numbers with fair isle prints and pom-poms adorning the top.
And of course there is always the beanie. Available in many prints and patterns, this knit hat usually sits snug on the skull, except when worn with extra flair, lopping off the very back of one’s head and providing little to no actual warmth. Berets have made a solid comeback for girls this winter, presenting again the challenge of how to coerce the knit hat to stay effortlessly capped on just the back half of the head without falling off. I feel this is more of a challenge for those of us with slick, straight hair and usually results in an army of bobby pins attached at all angles to ensure security. Some may forgo the top area of a hat all together and just wear ear warmers. Ear warmers have come a long way in the past few years, originally only available in brightly colored fleece with nylon trim, they have evolved to now be available in chunky and fine knits with an array of embellishments.
If you feel left behind in the hat trend and wish to make a purchase, Ground Zero, in Downtown Davis, sells a variety of different styles alongside other winter weather gear.
Whether you want to want to try out some new winter trends, or just stick to thermal underwear, let’s be thankful we don’t have to dress in heavy winter gear, because it really just makes everyone’s limbs look like sausages.
BRITTANY NELSON enjoyed the irony of writing this column while in southern California, reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.