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Fashion by Felicia

Felicia Caponigri | Monday, September 27, 2010

There is no factor more challenging in any fashionista’s quest for the perfect outfit then the weather. There have been many occasions upon which this element of our ecosystem has seriously cramped my style.

I remember quite clearly one particular day of heavenly sunshine during an olive grove outing in the Tuscan countryside, which quickly turned into a disaster thanks to rain and my decision to wear a pair of suede flats instead of high boots.

Or the day of unexpected wind in Paris: While exiting the Metro I gave quite a fright to the poor Parisians surrounding me when my fedora flew off and I proceeded to chase after it with the zeal of a woman possessed.

For a time this semester the weather was my friend — and not a fair weather one (pun fully intended), but then last week happened. Blustery winds, unexpected changes in temperature, sporadic rainstorms, not to mention the constantly changing classroom temperature in every building on campus. Why is it necessary to blast the air conditioning when it is clearly freezing outside? Or the heat when it has naturally risen to unexpected temperatures? Let us regulate our own classroom temperature!

All this uncertainty has induced serious wardrobe stress. What to do when you are dying to wear those fall trends, but need to factor in the unexpected 90-degree temperature outside? Once again, our friends across the pond can provide inspiration to this style challenge.

A staple of the European fall wardrobe, the quilted vest is a perfect alternative to a bulky jacket or flimsy sweater. While acting as outerwear, it allows one to comfortably layer a T-shirt, sweater and scarf underneath without proving too protective. It can comfortably fit, when folded, into one’s bag next to a multitude of books, and during this storage will not wrinkle.

The quilted vest also creates a lovely silhouette. Pair it with a pair of jeans, oxford shirt and smart boots and you are ready for the day. It can also give a continental edge to a smart evening dress, keeping you toasty against the chill of the evening breeze as you wait to be swept into its nocturnal festivities.

Currently, Kohl’s has a lovely variety of this fashion must-have in various colors at the great student price of $20.99. For a bohemian vibe, try a pattern. For a more minimalist statement, choose a monochrome color: red or black can be easily paired with a multitude of complimentary colors. Weather, we fear thee no more!

The views expressed in this Column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

Contact Felicia Caponigri at fcaponig@nd.edu@nd.edu