Collage by Jao San Pedro.

Collage by Jao San Pedro.

Help! I totally splurged on tons of different types of shorts when I went shopping for school! But since I live in Pennsylvania, I can’t wear them into fall and winter. I’m picturing wearing them with knee-high socks, and in winter with tights and Docs, but how do I pull any of this off? —Toria, 15, Pennsylvania

Shorts can seem like a tricky wardrobe piece to pull off once the weather gets chilly, but I COMPLETELY co-sign the shorts and tights trend. It’s not much different than wearing a skirt and tights where coverage is concerned; however, you’ll need the right kinds of shorts—and tights—to stay fashionably warm. Denim and other thicker materials should be fine, but counting on silk, thin cotton, or jersey to keep you cozy is risky!

I see you scratching your head like, “How the heck do I style this, Miss ’Rie?” Well, luckily these friendly bloggers have tested the shorts-and-tights-waters for us. Let’s take a gander at their inspiring findings:


Top row, left to right: Jamie of Petite Panoply; Bianca of The In Between Girls; and Aramide of The Sassy Peach. Bottom row, left to right: Natalie of Natalie in the City; Kasmira of What I Wore 2Day; and Jessica of What I Wore.

I love the sweaters, scarves, boots, and faux fur these style goddesses incorporated into their shorts-and-tights looks. Of course, you’ll also need a good jacket or coat. Waist-length jackets and coats would look awesome with some tights and Dr. Martens boots, and longer coats would be so fly with tights and knee-high or thigh-high boots. (For more coat-spiration, look no further than last month’s Damn Girl.)

As for tights, the key is to find a pair that will actually keep your stems warm. To that end, nothing beats fleece-lined tights and/or leggings. Anthropologie carries some in a few different colors. Target has fleece tights in a ribbed design, plus these gray ones. I would totally trust the warmth-factor in Muk Luks’s fleece-lined tights because the same brand makes really warm winter boots.

Wool tights tend to be pricier, but will provide much-needed warmth and protection if the temperature drops to booty-freezing degrees. ASOS makes a chevron style that I like. Hansel From Basel makes a bunch of cool ones, which can be found here. SmartWool also makes a few different styles of tights. I haven’t worn them, but they have gotten pretty good reviews. (I mean, they ARE called SmartWool, right? I feel like I could trust those.) The wool tights at Topshop are less expensive than the others. And if wool’s not your thing, perhaps these cashmere tights at Topshop are worth a try? Stay warm! —Marie

Hi! I have been looking for a fabulous turtleneck for winter for quite a while, and I just cannot seem to find one that is not itchy, super expensive, or an acrylic/polyester material. I was hoping that you would be able to help me with this problem? —Anonymous

Turtlenecks are my #1 go-to in the winter. I love how they keep you looking put together, while also giving you the option of tucking your mouth and nose into the neck to elegantly say to the world, “Please leave me alone.”

Like Cher or the classic party appetizer pigs in a blanket, turtlenecks know no age or socioeconomic background. People of all sorts love them. My most worn turtleneck is a black cotton sweater my mom bought at a J.Crew outlet and then gave to me. Actually, I’m not sure she gave it to me. I might have borrowed it and never given it back (SORRY MOM).

Synthetic and itchy materials can look super cool, but I agree that they aren’t ideal for everyday wear. For comfier sweaters, I’d recommend avoiding fast-fashion stores and looking at places that cater to a more adult, preppy crowd, but that also aren’t super expensive. Today, we’re going to venture out of the fun part of the mall, where they’re always playing Ariana Grande’s current single and it smells like Cinnabon and body spray, to that quiet block of stores where they’re always playing smooth jazz and “clubwear” men’s sweaters are tied around the shoulders of mannequins wearing oxfords.

Let’s start with J.Crew Factory:


I’m pretty sure my turtleneck is nearly identical to this one (above, left), which, at $37.50, won’t set you back too much. This rolled-neck sweater (above, center) is a nice option, too. These cotton turtlenecks (above, right) are great, especially if you want to layer them underneath a dress or a jacket!

L.L. Bean offers cotton and cashmere blend turtlenecks for under $40. And, for $25, Lands End can hook you up with these turtlenecks made of “supima cotton,” which they claim is the finest cotton in the world! Only the best natural fibers deserve to grace your lovely, angelic skin! —Gabby

I’m nonbinary and currently attempting to rework my wardrobe, debating a new haircut, et cetera. I’m fairly comfortable being read as feminine most days, but very (very) interested in the possibility of looking more like a genderless enigma. Any tips on presenting as androgynous for those of us with rounder, feminine faces? —Ennis, 16, Richmond

My face has always read as very typically feminine, and because it is rounded and naturally blushed, presenting myself as more androgynous and agender (as I feel comfortable) has always been a struggle. So I feel you, Ennis! I wasn’t blessed with a good resting bitchface, so while I want to come off as a moody, aloof angel-boy, it is a look that is easier said than done. There are a few tricks I’ve learned, though, and hopefully they can help you feel more true to how you want to present, too!

Since you’ve been considering haircuts, I suggest that you go to a barber. Hairdressers, in my experience, tend to femme up even the shortest of haircuts, simply because they are used to feminine styles. The barber will have more experience cutting more masculine hairstyles and (also in my experience) will have fewer reservations about cutting your hair the same way. Alternately, you could do it yourself; I borrowed my friend’s buzzer and buzzed my hair in her dorm room. (If you go with this method, make sure you lay a garbage bag on the floor first. Otherwise, you’ll be picking hair out of the carpet for months!) I cut mine so that it’s very choppy and messy, which I would suggest for you, too, because a more structured haircut can come across as more feminine. Cutting your own hair is easier than you might think, and you won’t have to worry about any miscommunication between you and a stylist—it’s all you!

While the androgynous look is often associated with wearing grown-up, streamlined suits (sorry, Tilda, I still love you), you can also take femininity and shove it by dressing in a fun, sloppy, boyish sort of way. Layer a lot of clothes, go baggy, and don’t be afraid of bright colors. Wear a funny sweatshirt with striped overalls. Pair a printed button-down shirt with bright pants. The best part is, you don’t have to sacrifice fun to get the look you’re going for. Embrace the goofiness! Here are some style inspirations to help you get going:

Clockwise from top left: Chloë Sevigny, Ralphie from A Christmas Story (my celebrity look-alike), Beck, Shamir.

Clockwise from top left: Chloë Sevigny, Ralphie from A Christmas Story (my celebrity look-alike), Beck, Shamir.

Good luck! —Lucy ♦

If you’re looking to bless up your dressing up, please send questions to Marie and her team of flossy experts at [email protected], and include your NAME/NICKNAME/INITIALS, AGE, and CITY.