Deb JanskyBy Deb Jansky, coordinator, fashion/retail marketing associate degree program

When the temperature plummets and the snow flies, it’s human nature to want to hibernate. But for snow country regulars, that isn’t an option. Most of us don’t want to run around looking like Nanook of the North. Thankfully, there are plenty of fashionable ways to stay warm despite the Wisconsin forecast.

One way to combat the polar effect is layering with cozy knits. The always-classic turtleneck makes a big encore performance as a full-on fashion must-have this winter. Overall, the trend this season harkens back to a 1970’s inspiration. The turtleneck is a key wardrobe essential to support that look. Try layering one under a dress for added warmth. For a menswear version, substitute a fine gauge (thin knit) turtleneck sweater for a dress shirt under a suit or a sport coat.

The sweater dress is a key staple this season. Solid neutral hues, graphically inspired and classic cable knits are always great choices, but you can impart that 1970’s retro feel if it has a little fringe. For the guys, graphic knitwear says “go bold or go home.” The trendiest look would be multi-colored. If you want to be more subtle, opt for a graphic print in a more monochromatic or neutral palette. Men’s prints this season are swapping digital print patterns for subtle checks that work as lumberjack flannel shirts or as tailored checked separates.

Other chill-killing layering includes knit vests and oversized sweaters for the ladies. If the top is oversized, the bottom piece should be a slimmer silhouette for the proper balance. If you really want to knit-in a 1970’s look, a Boho-fringed cardigan or poncho will wrap you in an extra layer of warmth.

Outerwear Trends

Living in Wisconsin gives us the right to own multiple coats without feeling guilty. If you are an extra trendy girl, choose from:

  • Faux fur is “faux real” and Today’s non-animal-harming choices can be amazing replications of the real thing. Or embrace one of the bold, playful patterns such as a graphic-inspired Chevron stripe or zigzag design.
  • Shearling is shear genius this season if you choose it in an oversized coat silhouette, a cropped jacket or a vest. Animal prints are a mainstay of the cold weather season in wool or faux fur.
  • Leather moto (biker) jackets with or without fur or faux fur trim.

If you prefer a more classic outerwear option, choose from:

  • Wool coats that are pencil slim or a slightly roomier version such as an ankle-grazing duster.
  • Tartan plaid car coats are a great casual choice.
  • Reefer coats, with their double-breasted, military-inspired style, cut a more menswear-inspired look.

For the guys:

  • A shearling jacket paired with a simple T-shirt and jeans is a perfect blend of “Northern Nights” meets Soho. For a slightly less casual approach, the guys can take the shearling jacket and marry it with a button-down Oxford and sweater.
  • Faux fur trim on leather bomber jackets, wool car coats and Anorak parkas. (Okay, so maybe you are Nanook of the North in the latter!)
  • Military-inspired wool peacoats.
  • Wool parkas (without the fur trim for a more sophisticated version).


Fashionable Footwear

When dashing through the snow, one must think about protecting the feet. Women can keep toes toasty in boots that are:

  • Ankle high, with a slight heel.
  • Midi, also with a slight heel.
  • Over-the-knee and thigh-high are especially nice with a sweater dress.
  • Embellished leathers, with studs or buckles.
  • Western-inspired.
  • Lace-up.

As the guys slog through the precipitation, their footwear choice should include:

  • Ankle boots – either sleek and streamlined or given a moto influence via the use of buckles and straps.
  • Brogue boots – think wingtip meets lace-up combat boots.
  • Hiking boots – the traditional laces this season are incorporating a strap add-on over the top of the laces

Trendy Colors

When making your seasonal clothing and accessory selections, the gals should start with the season’s biggest color, brown, which is especially wonderful if accented with maroon or copper. Other hues in the Winter 2015-16 palette are head-to-toe black, forest green, burgundy, navy, winter white, sky blue, scarlet, moss green, mushroom, salmon and soft pink.

The big color story for men’s seasonal trend is grey…as many shades of grey as possible! The second big color choice should be in the green palette, with olive drab, fern or artichoke being at the top of the list.