Winter Essentials

I apologize for going dormant for a couple of weeks. After winter break, I had a week of school, filled with hours of studying, then finals week (which I don’t even need to explain why I could barely keep my eyes open, and therefore, had no time apart from studying). This past week, though, I just didn’t get around to much at all.

Anyways, I think its safe to finally get around to posting about winter essentials. We all are fully aware (especially those who live in Colorado, like me) that winter is in full swing. Here in Colorado, winter is characterized by zero degree mornings, ice and snow that never melts, and bruised backsides from the fatal slips by simply walking to class (luckily it hasn’t happened to me…yet). Needless to say, I somewhat enjoy winter for about 2 weeks (Christmas time) until I start loathing it with all my being.

So, if we have to deal with brutally chilly temperatures, why not look our best? I love the individuality of the clothing preps typify with for every season. Although winter is despised by quite a few, it tends to be a season, in my opinion, where all preps can show off their layering abilities. Layers are one of the keys to the preppy style because it gives us the ability to mix and match the basic pieces. Preps tend to have a wardrobe full of  what looks to be all the same pieces, but are seen (in the eyes of the beholder) as completely unique. Without further ado, we all have clothing that we designate to each season, and here are what mine look like!

1. Peacoat or Duffle Coat (or any wool coat)

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Wool Coats are the best way to look snappy while staying exceptionally warm! Mine is from Old Navy and is camel colored (almost half-off now!) Wool coats wear well and are the epitome of preppy outerwear. Peacoats look best with classic layers like button downs, sweaters, riding boots, Bean boots, etc.

2. Vest

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J.Crew, Gap, Old Navy, Loft, etc. are perhaps the best (somewhat) affordable makers of plain, patterned, and/or quilted vests! Vest are great layering pieces because the can be dressed up or down. Pair over a sweatshirt, tshirt, or sweater for a casual look. For a more dressed up look, vests look great with warm wool skirts (or dresses), button ups, and boots.

3. Field Jacket

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As much as I want a Barbour, I don’t think I could spend $370 on a coat. I’ve made it a long term goal to own a Barbour Beadnell. To better suit my budget, the three field coats/utility coats I own I found at Goodwill! The utility coat is a moss green color (similar to the picture) and from J.Crew, while the field jacket is orange and quilted from a brand called “O’Kief & O’Kief”. Lastly, I have a LL Bean Field coat in light blue with a brown corduroy collar and cuff lining. Field jackets match anything, but I like to stay simple and let the jacket do the talking.

4. Riding Boots

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Riding boots are owned by almost every woman, but few are made of real leather and hold true to the real riding boot silhouette. Riding boots are versatile and every pair is unique. Wear riding boots with jeans, cords, leggings, dresses, and skirts. The picture shows the boots I own and LOVE (Enzo Angiolini Ellerby Boot). The are sold out pretty much every where, but I’ve recently seen a couple pairs at Nordstrom Rack, where I bought mine from.

5. Ballet Flats or Loafers

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For the less slippery days, flats or loafers are my go-to. Loafers are typically patterned and ballet flats look best in a simple neutral leather (navy, black, nude, brown, etc). Flats and loafers are the perfect way to dress up any sort of skinny pants (I prefer jeans or cords). The loafers on the left are from Sole Society, which have some amazing designs (sadly most are sold out from the fall). The flats on the right are from Tory Burch, one of the most loved footwear brands for preppy shoe lovers.

6. Skinny Jeans

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Skinny jeans are a year-round essential, but they really prove their usefulness in winter because they can be quickly tucked into boots. Skinny jeans (or cords, or chinos) look classy with flats, loafers, wellies, riding boots, Bean boots, sneakers, etc. I thinly cuff mine (as the picture shows), as it seems to elongate the legs more than no cuff because of the more exposed ankle.

7. Button Downs (Denim, Oxford, or Tartan)

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Button downs are the preppy essential, whether it be in summer or winter. The key difference in summer button downs and winter button downs is the pattern and material. Brands like LL Bean, J.Crew, (usually) Old Navy, Brooks Brothers, Gap, Madewell, etc. cater to provide classic tartan, oxford, and denim button downs that look put together with anything from vests to under sweaters, and so many more combinations. The one pictured is from LL Bean and its made of a beautiful classic tartan plaid.

8. Bean boots or Hunters

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I technically can’t be saying that Bean boots are an essentials because I don’t own any yet! It was really the end of last year and the beginning of this year that I began to realize how ugly some of the trends that surround teenagers are. I’ve always enjoyed classic clothing but found the trends to be somewhat intriguing. Now that I’ve transitioned into ignoring the trends and sticking with the classics, I finally realized I needed a pair of LL Bean duck boots. As many of us have sadly discovered, Bean boots are backordered until some outrageous time in early spring. Despite the depressing fact, I decided to order them. They still haven’t come but I’m anticipating them to be as versatile and preppy as they look in pictures. I had a pair of black Hunter wellies, but I decided to sell them because they were too small. I haven’t repurchased a pair yet, but when I do, I plan to get the short ones, because they are more flattering on me. Enough with the rambling; Bean boots and Hunters are great for casual outfits. Bean boots would look great with skinny jeans and thick (wool) socks, like J.Crew’s camp socks). Hunters can be worn with skirts and dresses but are most commonly worn casually with outfits such as leggings and an oversized t-shirt.

9. Sweaters

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Again, the colder months are the best to layer for the frigid weather. I consider it necessary to own a basic sweater (1//2//3), a cable knit sweater (1//2), and a cardigan (1//2//3, I have #3 in grey stripe; it looks similar to J.Crew but I bought mine for $10). Cable knits are ideal for the cold months. I usually wear a cable knit over a button down, with jeans or cords, riding boots, and a vest, field coat, or peacoat. You could bet if I had Bean boots I would wear them with sweaters of all kinds! With basic sweaters (I own only crew necks), I really enjoy wearing them with either skirts or skinny jeans. In the case that I wear pants, I love the looks of the basic sweater with a scarf (I love my blanket scarf), a vest, and ballet flats or sneakers. I have recently fallen in love with and expanded my supply of simple cardigans. A crewneck cardigan is the most classic, but v-necks are nice as well. Cardigans pull together any outfit! My favorite cardigan is a blush, cashmere blend crewneck cardigan from Gap.

10. Watch

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Watches are a year round way to accessorize any outfit! Not only are the convenient, but they instantly make a simple outfit look “high-end”. I own a tortoise watch, but I really hope to own a gold chronograph watch or a simple leather strap watch (like the Daniel Wellington one pictured above). Kate Spade tops the list, in my opinion, for designer watches because they are girly and unique, while still being classic.

11. Blanket Scarf

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I’ll admit, the blanket scarf has become more of a fad recently. They have always been a favorite for winter, but they’ve skyrocketed in their popularity this fall and winter. It depends on how the scarf is styled and the person to determine whether it’s a classic essential or a trendy vogue. The Zara blanket scarf is what started the obsession among bloggers, but there is many similar, cheaper options. I bought mine from Forever 21 (linked above in sweater section) and love it! I hope to add more to my collection soon.

12. Longchamp

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I wouldn’t consider a Longchamp tote as a necessity, but I do think they accessorize a winter outfit perfectly. I use the one pictured above (large Le Pliage in “New Navy”) for school and I’m in love with it! Santa gave it to me for Christmas because he knew that I wanted a durable tote for school without sacrificing style. While they aren’t the cutest bags out there, the have become a favorite among the preppy community.

I hope y’all enjoyed my exceedingly lengthy post! I wanted to make “winter essentials” a long post because I love reading essentials list with something more than pictures. My goal was to make a list that would be helpful and engaging to read. Let me know ideas for a blog post and your opinions. Be sure to check out my Polyvore for outfit ideas!

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