Locals give winter wardrobe advice


Marisa Vasquez

Garza, an independent fashion blogger and UT alum, suggests wearing a collared shirt underneath a sweater to add interest and versatility to a winter outfit.

Jessica Lee

When you think of the winter season, a picturesque white winter wonderland with its snow flurries, frosted windowpanes and the constant longing for a warm cup of hot chocolate comes to mind.

But winters in Austin are nothing like that. A snow flurry sighting is merely wishful thinking. What starts off as a frostbitten morning often turns into milder weather more commonly associated with autumn.

So it’s no surprise that dressing for a Texas winter proves challenging. The cold mornings call for a heavy coat, but what do you do with that all that bulk when you emerge for lunch at noon and the weather has since undergone a complete metamorphosis?

Mallory Hublein, manager of Feathers Boutique in South Congress suggests rethinking how we layer.

“Take your favorite summer maxi dress and add a nice chunky sweater over the top to make a perfect cold weather outfit,” Hublein said. “Or take your cotton summer dress and add tights and a long cardigan.”

Tights prove to be one of the simplest ways to transition a cold weather outfit into a warm weather outfit, and with a variety of colors and designs, they can be fashionable and unique as well

Fashion blogger and UT alumna Natalie Garza has been known to wear a dress with tights in the morning and quickly slip out of the tights in between classes in the afternoon. The change allows her to feel comfortable, but also tends to go unnoticed by those around her.

It is also important to be a smart shopper. When entering a store, be sure to not to only buy pieces that you know you will wear, but also to invest in pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways.

“Figure out your basic wardrobe color scheme and buy your winter accessories to match,” Hublein said. “At the most basic level, ask yourself if you are more of a black/grey or brown/cream type of person and invest in pieces that you will get the most wear out of.”

And forget about purchasing more than one heavy coat. Though heavy knits are appealing on the hanger, one basic colored coat is all you really need.

“Since the really cold days are few and far between, it does not make sense to have a full blown winter closet unless you have the storage space,” Hublein said. “Make sure your core winter look goes together before you start investing in more pieces.”

Lightweight pieces such as cardigans and sweaters are great transitional items that can be worn year-round. They are no-brainers for the winter chill, but during the summer, they prove to be a great asset in air conditioned places, such as movie theaters, that always seem to be kept at freezing temperatures.

“Wear a collared shirt under your sweater,” Garza said. “The collar and sleeves peeking out add a little something to your outfit, and you can take off the sweater if you need to.”

But don’t forget about the winter accessories. Scarves, hats and mittens are generally inexpensive, and their small size makes them easy to throw into your backpack or purse when the weather warms up. Since winter wardrobes tend to be a uniform of basic dark colors, a colorful scarf is a great way to liven up an otherwise one-dimensional, monochromatic look.

Even though Texas weather may be unpredictable, your look doesn’t have to be.

Printed on Thursday, January 19, 2012 as: Locals advis on winter wardrobe