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Winter fashion

Tired of winter? Who isnít -- except maybe pro-snowboarder Shaun Palmer and pro-skier Shane McConkey. Even people who make their living off of winter, like tire salesmen, chimney sweeps, and snowplow drivers, canít seem to wait for the frosty days to end. Fortunately thereís one good thing about cold weather: winter fashion. Itís just fun, with all the layers and bold colors, not to mention the furry lambskin boots. This time of year, every glossy cover of Elle, Vogue, and Mademoiselle makes me dream of looking like one of those glam girls wrapped up in a delectable sweater and plush boots. Unfortunately every time I try to mimic one of those magazine looks, everything goes astray.

Just this week I tried the tight jeans-bulky sweater-chunky boots look. It looked winter, but it didnít work for winter. I fought with every jacket in my closet, trying to cajole one to button over my new oversized turtleneck sweater. I was relieved when I finally got my pea coat to close, but the relief washed away when I bustled over to the mirror to see that I looked about 7 months pregnant. All the layering would be great -- if I was studying polar bears in the Arctic for the day.

I wasnít. I was on my way to work. I made a quick stop at the coffee shop, and the second I walked in, I started overheating. By the time I got to the counter, I could smell my perspiration starting to mix with the wool of the sweater. I like the natural beauty look, but Iím not fond of the smell. I was waiting for my mocha and madly fanning myself with a menu, when I glanced down to see that my new furry boots had nearly been ruined by the rock salt scattered on the city sidewalks. After all the time I spent buying, planning, and putting on my new outfit, my sparkly chandelier earrings were the only thing that survived the morning. They were the least expensive part of my attire, and I got compliments on them all day. Apparently a little twinkle makes people feel good. Like any smart woman, I resort to black in the wintertime despite what the houses of haute couture scream at us about wearing more color.

Black looks good day or night, and for a girl on the run, it doesnít require much thought. The best thing about black is that it hides all types of flaws, like those caused by eating an entire pumpkin cheesecake on Thanksgiving. But black is not only thinning; itís a great palette for accessories. This year, women have a lot of jewelry options. You can fall back on the old basic of diamonds. Or you can try this winterís exciting new collections of colored pearls and shells. They look fabulous with black, and they can be as dressy as a diamond necklace, while offering more personality and flare. You can also highlight your eye color with a similar colored necklace. Nothing is more beautiful than a pair of sapphire blue eyes with a matching necklace. Rhinestones are always a holiday favorite.

This season, designers are using them with fiber optic glass and silver. Itís a new take on a jewelerís staple. Red stones can highlight the flushed skin and rosy cheeks of winter. And the fiber optics in the glass makes the necklaces, earrings, and bracelets glow. The combination creates a look that no one will forget. And something that will always go with black, more black. Onyx is a gorgeous stone that when highlighted with silver can make a simple black sweater and slacks into a classic cosmopolitan look. Dangly onyx earrings are stunning with pulled back hair. Onyx is great because it can go with almost anything. It makes red more refined, pink more subdued, and white more exotic.

So donít let gray skies and stale snow keep you from feeling beautiful. Next time you go to your closet and feel bummed out about having to squeeze your outfit under your jacket, toss on a gorgeous pair of earrings. Everyone will notice them, even with your jacket on. And unlike that oversized sweater, you can keep wearing them when the warm spring days finally return.


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