Nothing beats NOLA’s year-round warmth, sunshine and the ablility to wear jean shorts in December. However, sometimes I feel a void in my fashionable heart for cozy, cute sweaters and fun fur coats. It can be difficult to dress for the winter season without the usual winter weather, but here are a few tips on how to spice up your wardrobe this month! Let’s bring the cold to the warm!

Choose one statement piece.

Shopping Zara’s Winter collection was extremely hard as a NOLA girl; seeing all the amazing jackets and faux-fur accessories made me want to bundle up for cold weather. Even though it may seem like these types of pieces are impractical for school, you can make a lot of them work in your wardrobe. When dressing for Winter, you can incorporate these seasonal items by choosing one statement piece that fits the season and then pairing it with clothing that fits the warmer weather.

For example, in this look, I paired a leather jacket with fur (totally wintery, especially with the blue accent), with a denim skirt, a T-shirt and funky booties. This jacket is absolutely perfect because it screams winter, but it is thin, so it doesn’t feel too heavy in the southern humidity. The skirt and tee help the outfit fit the climate, and the booties are the ideal accessory for bringing the two seasons together.

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In this next outfit, I chose this fuzzy pink sweater top as my statement Winter piece. The cozy fabric mixed with the T-shirt cut makes it the perfect item for NOLA. Pairing it with black and white hound’s-tooth pants makes the look more seasonally appropriate and comfortable for a chillier day. The sneakers keep it casual and funky to fit the typical Tulane style.

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There are so many other ways to get creative with a statement piece: a winter hat with a cute dress and jean jacket or a turtleneck sweater with jean shorts. But this idea of choosing one Winter item helps to incorporate all the fun of changing your wardrobe each season.

Wear winter colors/patterns.

NOLA’s Winter weather can be very unpredictable; on some rare days we actually have to break out a jacket, but other days, it still feels like Summer. On the days where you still feel like you have to wear more warm weather clothes, wear Summer styles that have more wintery patterns/colors. For example, switch out your white and light denim jean shorts with black ones. Switch out your gingham patterns with plaid and cheetah print. Wear darker based florals. Wear a velvet bodysuit instead of a cotton one. All of these tiny adjustments not only make your wardrobe more appropriate for Winter, but help you to change it up a bit and branch out from the same outfits you’ve been wearing.

This is especially true for going out at night. It can be hard to avoid wearing the same outfits you wore back in August. Make a basic look wintery by wearing black jeans instead of blue and wearing a new texture on top. I absolutely love the top in this look below because it is sleeveless (keeping cool for those sweaty Boot nights), but the black and silver metallic fabric makes it festive for the holidays. Other looks I like for going out in the Winter are long sleeve mesh tops, and pieces in colors: burgundy, navy, blush pink, and dark grey.

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Switch out your wardrobe.

Packing for breaks can be difficult as you try to figure out what clothes you still need at school and what you want to bring home. I never know if I should bring back my shorts and Summer dresses because based on the warm weather, we can still wear them. Here are some helpful guidelines on what to bring home and what to bring back to school when Winter comes:

Bring Home:

-Summer dresses and tops

-White denim

-Sandals and espadrilles

-Flowy shorts and skirts

Bring to School:

-Light Winter coats (leather, jackets with accents of fur, bomber jackets, etc.)

-Black/dark jeans

-Long sleeve tops/light sweaters

-Booties and sneakers

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Stay cool AND warm this holiday with these fun fashion tips. Choose your Winter pieces wisely, have fun with new colors and prints, and recycle and reinvent your wardrobe to keep your style current and seasonally appropriate!

PHOTOS: Rachel Wine

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