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It is cold outside. And I don’t mean “oh, it’s a bit unpleasant” cold, I mean the kind of cold that makes me reschedule my day so I spend as little time outside as possible. Sticking to your fashion guns can be difficult when it feels like you are prepping for a day trip to Siberia every time you leave your room. Indeed, these are the dark, cold days in which dressing with style may seem but a distant, summer fantasy.

Pish posh, I say. We can’t let Mother Nature win out over our fashion sense. I’d like to make a case for neck accessories as the most efficient statement-makers to incorporate into a winter wardrobe and no, that does not just include necklaces. I’m talking scarves, snoods, collars, bow ties, neck ties, even bolo ties if you’re feeling particularly adventurous.

The winter fashion scene can edge on the side of color and textural minimalism. I myself feel like I have infinite numbers of black and grey sweaters with the occasional show-stopping navy blue. The best part of these accessories is that they are marketed in more shocking colors and patterns so they can easily play off of the muted winter color palette.

For those of you who don’t know, the snood (hooded scarf) is a term that was apparently coined this season, and the style is now popping up everywhere. I think the charm of it is its ability to walk the line between functional cold-weather staple and statement accessory. I think it best to purchase one of these in a color like a mustard yellow or a firetruck red; basic enough to work with many pieces and yet still a stand-out amongst the usual winter shades.

As far as neck ties and bow ties are concerned, I think they kill the two birds of collegiate chic and boy-meets-girl look with one stone. They may seem like the most difficult to get your hands on, but be thrifty about it. Ask your dad to send you old ties he doesn’t use, steal them out of your boyfriend’s closet when he isn’t looking or literally go thrifting. I firmly believe the wackier and more dated the tie is, the better. This may seem like it would require a collared shirt, but I don’t think that is necessarily true. Wearing one with a basic tee or cardigan would certainly be a welcome change.

Speaking of collars, thanks to a craze started by Miuccia Prada (“Miu Miu”)  a year or so ago, buying collars as separates to add under a blouse has become a “thing.” The collars Miu Miu created were in pastels with almost nursery-like animal patterns, which are perhaps a bit too spring-oriented for our current season, but the idea is there. What Miuccia Prada did was introduce the stiff collar as a feminine option, tearing it away from its association with corporate attire and stuffy business dress. It becomes more of a flirty option when paired with a dress, as it had been occasionally in the runway, more as an accessory than a hint at layering.

To tie everything up, if you’ll excuse the pun, I was going to touch on silk scarves, which seem to me in an entirely different department than the winter scarf or the snood. While the concept may be stepping into a pre-spring mentality, I think it’s still practical for some “warmer” winter days. Whether tied close to the neck or long, thin and draped, the silk scarf is a simple homage to the ‘70s moment the fashion world is having, and simultaneously an effortlessly chic option that will add a certain lightness to any bulked-up and weighed-down winter outfit.

Burritt is a member of the class of 2013.



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