Cold weather cool

Experts, teens in the Tri-State weigh in on winter duds

Experts, teens in the Tri-State weigh in on winter duds

November 11, 2005|by KRISTIN WILSON

The fashion word for this fall and winter season is "cropped" - as in the cropped jacket.

And when those fashion folks say "cropped," they mean cropped, says Jennifer DeBarge-Goonan, fashion expert for Marshalls stores.

This year, the bottom of girls' jackets are falling to about middle of the torso, ideally somewhere around the last rib, she says.

"Think of your traditional denim jacket but the bottom of the jacket falls a couple of inches above the waist," DeBarge-Goonan explains.

Such styling isn't exactly ideal for winter weather, she admits, but Marshalls is finding the cropped, fitted jacket or blazer is a big seller.


Teens in the Tri-State area are opting for more practical, comfortable winter apparel fashions, The Herald-Mail found.

"Everybody pretty much wears hoodies," says Chris Thomas, 14, a ninth-grader at J. Frank Faust Junior High School in Chambersburg, Pa. "Hoodies" are pullover sweatshirts with an attached hood.

In order to be cool in Chambersburg, a hoodie should have a brand name like Nike or Adidas, says Chris and fellow ninth-grader Nick Tornetta. Cool sweatshirts-as-outerwear could also advertise professional sports teams. Socially acceptable teams at the Chambersburg Junior High School include the Philadelphia Eagles, Pittsburgh Steelers, New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox.

As the winter months wear on, there will be days when a thick hoodie sweatshirt doesn't provide enough warmth. Nick is in the market for a multipurpose jacket that he can wear both to school and for outdoor activities.

He's looking for "a heavy jacket so when the snow comes I can go skiing and not have to buy another coat," he says. Snowboarding-style jackets are popular for teen boys. The coats are loose and somewhat baggy, hanging a few inches past the waist.

Morgan Sipes and Jasmine Branche, both eighth-graders at Faust Junior High, say puffy coats are still the way to go for teen girls. Jasmine just got a Baby Phat puffy jacket that is cropped and tight at her waist. The coat is cream and includes another season style - a fur-trimmed hood.

Morgan says she wants "a big, puffy" coat from South Pole. The coat would ideally be white, black or pink, the three colors that are most "in" now.

"Puffy" coats get their name because they are filled with a high-volume insulator like down feathers. They are then stitched in horizontal, vertical or patchwork lines. The stitching and filling makes the coat look puffed up like a cotton ball.

This year's "puffy" coat isn't as bulky as in years past, DeBarge-Goonan says.

"Instead of looking like the Michelin Man, they are much closer to the body," she says.

Teen girls at Clear Spring Middle School agree. If they wear a "puffy coat," they don't want to look "like a marshmallow," says Mandi Crowl, an eighth-grader.

Girls also are going for faux sheepskin-style coats reminiscent of the 1970s, says Ashlyn Powers.

Ashlyn, Casie Robertson and Damara McDonough are all wearing that style right now. They got their coats last year and plan to wear them again this year.

"It goes with everything in the fall," Damara says. The tan and brown coats blend well with jeans, sneakers and clog-style shoes as well as the browns and pinks that are popular this year, the girls say.

And by the way - it is important that outerwear matches school outfits, they say.

The biggest winter hat fashion is the "beanie." These tight caps are popular with both girls and boys and can be found at almost any teen or youth clothing store. Beanies from Aropostale, American Eagle, Hollister, Pacific Sun and Abercrombie & Fitch are particularly cool.

Teens from Faust Junior High say getting the right gear is quite important since clothing often separates kids into social groups.

"Most people judge you on what you're wearing when you're walking down the hall," Morgan says.

"It's all about dress to impress," DeBarge-Goonan adds. "You go to school, it's a fashion show."

Stylin' for the season

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