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During winter, it’s what’s on the outside that counts

Now that we’ve had the first snow, it’s time to break out those puffer coats. Although extremely practical, these jackets can make you look more like a snowman than a standout. But we’re all in luck, this season’s trendiest outerwear is all about fashionable functionality.

Some of us swear by our puffer coat in the dead of winter. If you’re sticking to that, then try finding one with a belt, which will help define your waist and give you the more feminine shape you’re looking for. A longer coat will keep the top of your legs warm; pick one that ends just above your knees. I recommend GAP, Old Navy, J. Crew and American Eagle.

If you prefer to wear a peacoat, try new colors. Red is the new black for this style. Three buttons with a belt tends to be the most flattering style for nearly all body types. Find a peacoat with accessible pockets if a handbag is not your thing or you tend to forget to wear gloves. Keep in mind that you might need to layer underneath these coats. Some great brands are Delia’s, Forever XXI, Victoria’s Secret and Target.

Winter is still all about the military look. These coats come in all shapes and sizes. Longer coats will protect your lower body from the frigid Ohio wind, and shorter coats can show off a cute mini-dress or skirt. Usually, these jackets have tons of buttons and cinch at the waist for an instant figure. The structure of these jackets will flatter everyone and usually come in neutral colors, meaning you can wear them with just about anything.

If you’re a peacoat fan, military jackets are a great alternative because they are the same style but different shape. And practical puffer coat wearers will find military jackets keep them warm and show their form. Affordable brands are BB Dakota, Forever XXI, Tinley Road and Victoria’s Secret.

For all the trendsetters out there, this winter’s newest craze is fur. Faux fur coats are all the rage among stylists like Rachel Zoe and designers like Dior and Burberry.

There are a few things to consider when wearing a fur coat. First of all, no on wants to look frumpy. If the coat reminds you of something from your great aunt Suzie’s closet, it’s probably not the best outerwear option unless you’re going for a vintage look. Second, keep all other animal prints to a minimum. For example, try not to pair animal print shoes with a leopard print fur coat. I suggest wearing basic black leggings or dark jeans. Plain black boots will keep your look chic and classy. To try out this trend, shop stores like Forever XXI, Charlotte Russe, Tulle and Asos.

When you’re shopping for outerwear, don’t forget about the local weather. For example, as an Ohio State student, you might want to consider a high collar on a jacket to protect your face from the ferocious Columbus winds. No matter what you decide, make sure you’re warm because Jack Frost is coming to town.

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