Hello everyone! I apologize for my lack of blog posting recently (to catch up with what I have been working on, visit the Kentucky Kernel's website, I'm a staff writer!), but I am back with a post detailing my favorite clothing and skincare products from the past few months. Winter in Kentucky is almost the exact same as winter in the always lovely Toledo, Ohio, except we get significantly less snow, making it less than enjoyable to walk to class in 20 degree weather. However, we have had a few days that don't require a parka and winter hat. On these not quite bone-chilling but still not quite warm days I have been able to wear my absolute favorite pieces from my closet. Almost everything I own falls into the gray/blue/navy blue category, so I can throw together an outfit for class or for a day of errands pretty quickly. The pieces I'm going to talk about today are my most-loved, most-worn and most versatile in my closet when it's cold enough for long sleeves and pants. In addition to these winter staples, I included some skincare products that get me through the coldest, driest months of November through February.
1. An Oversized Denim Jacket
Mine: Thrift store find, Gap Denim (thank you to Bobby Lowerre, the name on the tag, for donating this to the Goodwill and sharing the love)
Similar: click here
Why you need it: Yes, I am aware that every person everywhere is trying to get their hands on a denim jacket right now, BUT if you can find one that is perfectly oversized and perfectly worn-in buy it as quickly as you can! They work over hoodies, t-shirts, sweaters, to dress up or dress down. Basically whenever you need an additional element to an outfit to make it photo-worthy or just to protect yourself from wind (denim is great for that), reach for a denim jacket.
2. A chunky sweater
Mine: H&M, Black Friday sale
Similar: click here
Why you need it: A chunky sweater can solve all your problems. Need something nice to wear with jeans to dinner? Got it. Need something casual and warm to wear with leggings to class? Perfect. Vans? Great. Boots? Even better. If you ask anyone who is around me a lot, they will tell you I need to stop wearing this because I definitely wear it too much, but it's the best sweater I've ever owned (and it's stretchy).
3. High-waisted jeans
Mine: Levi's 721 Vintage Hi Rise Skinny (click here)
Why you need them: A good pair of high-waisted jeans are the beginning of every great outfit. Like the jean jacket and chunky sweater, you can easily dress them up or down. I roll my Levi's, but they're long enough to come down past my ankle, which I sometimes struggle to find. They also fit me perfectly through the waist and hips, another difficult thing to find. The seam down the front of the legs makes them a little dressier, and they don't have any rips, so they're perfect for colder days. The color is a lighter wash and provides the perfect contrast with darker tops.
4. Long-sleeved, striped t-shirts
Mine: H&M, American Apparel and TopShop
Similar: click here and here
Why you need them: Continuing with the theme of versatility, long-sleeved t-shirts can literally be worn with anything, and the stripes are the best part. Navy and white is my favorite color combination, but I recently purchased the pink and white tee from H&M and have been really into the light colors (especially under the jean jacket). The American Apparel tee is cropped, making it perfect to wear with the high-waisted jeans or even shorts in the summer, but the other two can be tied in a knot to achieve the same look. I love the "garçon" one especially because it's reminiscent of Comme des Garçons (which I so desperately want to own something from).
5. A GOOD pair of joggers
Mine: Adidas light gray, striped joggers
Similar: click here
Why you need them: Some days leggings are even too much. I get a ton of wear out of these joggers because I can wear them intentionally with a track jacket and Adidas shoes for an athletic outfit, or I can wear them with a hoodie and boots if I just want to be as warm as possible. A good pair of joggers don't look as sloppy as, for example, wearing pajama pants to class, but they're just as warm and almost as comfortable.
6. Black boots
Mine: from DSW, can't find a brand on them
Similar: click here
Why you need them: I initially purchased these while looking for black boots as just another option to wear to work with my all black outfit at Ulta, but once I had them I ended up wearing them with every outfit. They hit above my ankle perfectly, so any pair of jeans or pants I have that used to be too short I can wear again. They have a Dr. Martens look on the bottom, but the top is almost fuzzy, and the zipper makes them easy to slip on and off. They're also practical; the semi-platform rubber bottom makes them the perfect winter boot for snow or rain.
7. Daily moisturizer
Mine: Clinique Moisture Surge Extended Thirst Relief (click here)
Why you need it: The key to keeping your skin from getting dry and flaky during the winter months is exfoliating and moisturizing. I use a different moisturizer for morning and night, and this is the one I use every morning. It's a gel-cream formula, making it perfect to use right before makeup application because it doesn't leave a heavy layer on the skin. It sinks in immediately while still being intensely hydrating.
8. Nightly moisturizer
Mine: CeraVe Moisturizing Cream (click here)
Why you need it: Before I started using this product I purchased a Garnier moisturizer that I thought I loved. I used it for two weeks before I started to realize that my skin was breaking out like crazy. I'm used to acne, but this breakout was different, and I hadn't experienced something that bad in a while. I decided to try to switch out my moisturizer and see if the Garnier was the issue. While talking to the lady at Ulta in Lexington, she told me that the Garnier one had a heavy fragrance in it, and the fragrance was probably causing my issues. To replace the Garnier, I found this. It's very thick, but fragrance-free, so I haven't had any issues with it breaking out my skin. It does leave a residue on the skin, but I like that type of moisturizer for nighttime use because it leaves my skin softer when I wake up. It comes in a huge container and can also be used all over the body.
Mine: Clinique Exfoliating Scrub (click here)
Why you need it: Exfoliating a few times a week is important all year round but especially in the winter. Dead skin cells build up on the skin's surface and can leave your complexion dull and flaky. I use this scrub by Clinique around 3 times a week to prep my skin for a face mask. It is a physical exfoliant, but the texture is not too rough to the point where it hurts to massage into the skin. It also leaves a minty, cooling sensation on the skin when you rinse it off, which I always prefer from my scrubs.
10. Soothing face mask
Mine: Mario Badescu Healing and Soothing Mask (click here)
Why you need it: I'm obsessed with face masks, but I usually tend to lean towards the charcoal or pore-clearing variety. I picked up this one by Mario Badescu because I was dealing with a lot of redness from acne and being in the wind all the time. This mask does exactly what it says it will do. It calms the skin, delivers hydration and settles redness. It dries down and requires a washcloth to remove, but I genuinely see a difference when I take it off.
Thank you for reading! If you have any suggestions for future posts, or questions or comments about any of the products, please feel free to contact me on any of my social media (@laurynhaas on everything).