Moderate LA winter inspires statement fashion pieces

Winter fashion in Los Angeles is its own entity. When temperatures barely scrape below 60 degrees and the sun is still shining, it can be difficult to indulge in trends popping up on the East Coast.

Once the holidays come around, the city sets its own course for the season. Here’s what to expect trend-wise both in Los Angeles and on USC’s campus this winter.

Statement outerwear is a key player, making bundling up to face the gloomy California skies more of an occasion than a chore. In women’s runway fashion, the resurgence of the cape creates an elegant addition to the bulky coats that dominate winter outerwear.

Lightweight trench coats and anoraks are gender-neutral alternatives to this cape coat trend. Faux fur, decorated denim and bombers have also surfaced as staple items for tying together a quintessential L.A. winter ensemble. Light layers are critical for the fluctuating Southern California weather, and a statement jacket is an essential final layer to create a visually interesting outfit.

Despite the white low-top sneaker trend that graced the glossy covers of last fall’s fashion magazines, ankle boots are a necessity for the rainy winter months. Whether they’re suede, leather or even velvet, boots are a perfect finishing touch for any outfit this winter.

Paired with cuffed jeans, ankle boots create an instantaneous fashion statement. Or maybe slip them on with a dress for an “I just threw this together” feel when having a night out.

As is the case with every winter, cozy, loose knits in subdued neutral tones remain the go-to for Angelenos. This staple is the perfect way to keep up beachy vibes even in the California cold, for both men and women.

Embrace the slouch of the sweater and let a delicate bralette in a complementary color peek out underneath to complete the L.A. look. For men, knit jumpers are a clean and casual staple that is stylish and warm during wintertime.

Or try experimenting with a cowl neck. This style achieves the appearance of wearing a scarf without actually adding an extra layer that may be too much, depending on the weather.

Fashion trends seem to always have a way of coming back into style and ‘70s flared jeans are no exception this winter. Shake up a wardrobe of mostly skinnies with this classic cut. Not only do they fit in with the typical boho sensibility in Los Angeles, but they’re  also figure-flattering, eye catching and comfortable for a full day of lectures.

Not sure about committing to a full-on flare jean? Teen Vogue has been singing the praises of the slightly, more subtle kick-flare, which shows off one’s shoes while adding a subtle rocker feel to any outfit.

Looks that can easily transition from day to night can be difficult to come by, but the off-the-shoulder-top is this season’s simple solution. Choosing to show off the shoulders is a classy, effortless and slightly flirty way to embrace the fact Los Angeles never gets too cold for showing a little skin. 

A modified, yet equally cool version of this trend is the shoulder cut-out, which has the added benefit of being a little more secure. For guys wanting to add a similarly versatile piece to their wardrobe, look no further than the ‘70s comeback. Try a button-down in a retro print or a suede jacket to complete an outfit that works for both the classroom and the club.

Velvet tops, slip dresses, hats or — as previously mentioned —shoes are apparently the way to go this winter, and what’s not to like? Velvet instantly dresses up any outfit, looks amazing in the seasonal jewel tones and is oh-so soft, making it completely wearable, even on the laziest days.

As always, dad caps, leggings and sunglasses — staples in any USC wardrobe — are fair game. Those three pieces are basically necessities when putting together a casual outfit for class.