Winter Fashion Favorites

Winter Fashion Favorites

These accessories are the main reasons that winter fashion is the best.
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I'm sure a lot of girls will agree with me when I say that the winter season is, by far, the absolute best when it comes to fashion. In my opinion, I wish I could wear layers, scarves, boots, beanies and leggings all year long, but, at least, we have the winter months to look our best in winter fashion.

1. Scarves.

Scarves are beautiful accessories. First of all, they keep your warm and cozy while you freeze to death while walking to class during the winter months. However, that's not why we love them. We love them because they can spice up any simple, comfy outfit and make it so much more. Not to mention the fact that the scent of our perfume stays on them all day long. Scarves are so important.

2. Boots.

Oh, how us girls wish we could wear boots ALL YEAR LONG. Boots are, by far, the absolutely best part of winter fashion. You can wear them with your favorite pair of leggings, pair an oversized sweatshirt with it, and you're done. Whether it's knee high, thigh high or ankle booties, boots are versatile and an absolutely staple in your winter closet.

3.Leggings.

You're lying if you say that leggings aren't the favorite piece of clothing you own. Let's face it, it's every girl's dream to wear a cozy pair of leggings every single day of their life. However, in the winter seasons, you can do just that. Leggings are, not only pretty warm but extremely easy to work with. You can pair them with a warm sweater or jacket and you're ready to go.

4. Oversized Sweaters.

Oversized sweaters don't have to make you look like a boxy, homeless man. During the winter months, head out to a thrift store, and stock up on a few cute, comfy oversized sweaters. I promise you're going to end up wanting to wear them every day. Take advantage of the cold months to look adorable and stay warm, because these are being shoved under your bed come summer.

5. Beanies.

Snooze your alarm too many times and find yourself late for class? Don't stress. Luckily, since it's freezing outside, you don't even need to worry about not having time to shower. Just throw on a beanie and it'll look like you meant to look this cute...(when in reality, you haven't had time to wash your hair in the past few days.)

Take advantage of the next few months. It's your chance to wear leggings and boots every single day -- who doesn't love winter fashion?

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What Does An 8 Mean? A Look Into Women's Pants Sizes

Finally, an answer to one of life's most important questions.
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In case you didn’t realize, I am a woman. Specifically, I am a woman who likes to wear pants. Most of that has to do with living in a place that’s known more for cold weather than warm weather. A lot of it has to do with the fact that I can do more in pants than a dress without fear of being indecent. Unfortunately, this means I actually have to know my pants size, and that’s perhaps the biggest battle of them all.

Often when I go shopping, I find myself asking “what the hell is an eight? Eight what? Eight cats? Can I fit eight cats in these pants? Or are these pants good for cuddling with eight cats at once?” Unfortunately, I don’t know anyone with eight cats to find the answer to those questions, so I settled for asking the first two. I decided to start with someone who has more experience shopping for women’s pants: my mom. Turns out, my mom is just as clueless about how they determine women’s pants sizes.

This left me with no other option, but to investigate. It turns out that sizing standards didn’t develop until the 1940s. Before that, women’s sizes were based off age for children, and bust size for adults. Not exactly the most accurate way to measure clothing. However, manufacturers soon realized that they were losing millions of dollars using this system, and so the U.S. Department of Agriculture launched a study in 1939 to create sizing standards. While the sample included 15,000 women who were each measured in 59 different places, the study only focused on white women, which is a problem since studies have since been conducted proving that body types vary by race.

One might think that this would settle it. That the fact that I buy pants that say eight on the tag is a result of some almost 80 year old study. However, I would not be doing my job as a researcher if I didn’t dig deeper; especially when it comes to using information from a study that’s older than most people I know.

It was then that I discovered vanity sizing. Unfortunately, vanity sizing has nothing to do with actual measurements, or even the amount of cats that one can comfortably fit on their lap. In fact, vanity sizing is the complete opposite of helpful. Simply put, vanity sizing is the practice of giving a larger physical size (such as my size 14 Disney costume pants) a smaller nominal size (such as my favorite pair of size 8 jeans).

So what’s the answer then to my original question? Turns out, it doesn’t matter! Women’s pants sizes are pretty much completely made up at this point. So, next time you’re out shopping for some pants, don’t get hung up on the number it says. Instead, go find a comfortable pair of pants that make you feel like you could take over the world, and then go out and do it. Maybe, you’ll be the person who will figure out a sizing system for women’s pants that actually makes sense.

Cover Image Credit: Unsplash

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Discovering Minimalism Is A Way To Prioritize Things That You Value In Your Life

Learning to prioritize sentiment over material.
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Over the past few months, I have been dabbling into the world of minimalism, or trying to live a more decluttered lifestyle, as best described by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus on their website, "The Minimalists". I, like most middle-class Americans, have a lot of "stuff", anything from clothes, and shoes, to stuffed animals and decorations, to books, DVDs.

When I was younger, I was a collector- I liked to look at my collection of snow globes on my shelf, despite not having an actual use for them, and I was proud of my ever-expanding forrest of stuffed animals, though some I hadn't even looked at in years. I saw my material items as things that had to be gathered to improve my life and when my storage space got too small, I just had to do some reorganization and there, problem solved.

I discovered, however, during the winter break after my first semester in college that the problem, in fact, was not solved.

I remember it was a few days after Christmas and I was trying to find places to store the gifts I had gotten. They mostly consisted of clothes and a few books, but as I shuffled around my bookshelf and forced more hangers into my closet, I felt my stomach turn. I couldn't possibly continue to keep shoving new items into small spaces without getting rid of old items first. I even felt a twinge of guilt at the realization that I had been placing so much emphasis on simply collecting material objects to occupy space instead of using them to their worth.

I remember then sitting on the edge of my bed, unable to sway my fixation on all of my "stuff". That's all it was, "stuff" that I had somehow convinced myself that I absolutely needed to survive. Now instead of feeling comforted by the mountain of stuffed animals in my closet, I was haunted.

I suppose I have always been very sentimental. Every trinket that had ever been gifted to me, every notebook, every birthday card, I always felt guilty or sad when I tried to throw something out or give something away. I was confusing material items for non-material feelings, somehow convinced that if I lost one than I would no longer have the other. Clearly, I had been conditioned by a society that so carefully emphasizes the importance of material goods into this incorrect line of thinking.

So now, even though I'm still far from considering myself to be a true minimalist because I still do love my collection of t-shirts that are actually being worn and I can't quite bring myself to sort through my beloved books just yet, but I'm getting there. Every break that I have from school, either in the summer or winter, I make sure to set aside a few days to go through what I have and evaluate how much I really "need" these items. I make a whole day of it and turn on my favorite Spotify playlists, treating myself to a little piece of mind.

It can be difficult throwing away stuffed animals that I used to spend hours playing with, so while I've still got a long way to go, it's teaching me how to prioritize what's really important in life. Not the material possessions themselves, but the good times and people that I associate with them can live on in my brain space instead.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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