Photo: Kim Wiens.
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The Fulcrum helps you stay warm and fashionable, no matter what the weather

It’s that time of year again. The ground is white, the wind is bitter, and half of the campus staircases are blocked off—yup, it’s winter!

And with winter weather comes winter… well, I’d hesitate to call it fashion. Style seems to grind to a halt throughout the winter months, which is unfortunate in a city that’s cold for almost half the year. Fortunately, the Fulcrum has a few tips for you to stay warm without sacrificing style during these next few chilly months.

Layer it up

First, let’s talk about layering. Layering an outfit should be strategic—don’t just match your colours and prints. You also have to consider the textures and silhouettes of each piece you put on. To keep an outfit interesting and stylish, don’t layer too many pieces with similar fabrics and lengths.

For example, try pairing a basic t-shirt with a slightly longer plaid shirt, a cropped chunky knit sweater, and your favourite faux fur winter jacket. It sounds like a lot of clothing, but the varied textures and lengths break up the lines of the outfit, and keep it from looking overwhelming—and, most importantly, this kind of look is incredibly warm.

Beanies, and mittens, and scarves—oh my!

Now that we’ve talked layering, let’s move on to accessories. Every Ottawan knows that a hat, mittens, and scarf are necessities, but that doesn’t mean you can’t use them as a style statement.

For hats, bigger means warmer, and they’re the first thing people notice about you in the winter anyways, so go big or go home. Think thick beanies with huge pompoms, fur trapper hats, and other statement toppers to insulate you in an eye-catching way. With most hats, it’s best to wear them a bit further back on your head than you did as a child—showing a bit of your hairline keeps you from looking like a bald egg.

Since mittens cover your hands, it’s best to go truly practical here. You can get warm, cheap, tech-friendly gloves almost anywhere these days, so you can keep scrolling through Instagram while staying warm.

For scarves, your best bet, like hats, is to go big. Blanket scarves, a definite trend this season, is the way to go. There are a few ways to wear blanket scarves (folded into a triangle, draped poncho style, wrapped around your neck like a giant fuzzy boa constrictor, etc.), but for maximum warmth, tuck the ends inside your coat.

From your head to your toes

In terms of shoes—honestly, don’t even try to be creative here. Just buy the warmest waterproof boots you can find, and in a neutral colour. No one can see your feet through a foot of snow anyways, and you’ll thank yourself later when your friends are complaining that their more fashionable boots are ruined by the excess salt on the ground, and barely keeping their feet warm.

Hopefully these tips help you stay warm while braving the cold for the next few months. Failing all that, just avoid going outside. I wonder how long I could live in the U of O tunnel system?


  • Spring 2022: Desiree Nikfardjam Fall 2021: Zofka Svec 2020-2021: Aisling Murphy 2019-2020: Ryan Pepper 2018-2019: Iain Sellers 2017-2018: Ryan Pepper