Winter is a hard time for fashion. It’s cold, and we really want to stay in bed for those few extra Zs (even more than usual, I mean). This makes it all the more difficult to try and think of a cute outfit. The moment the temperatures drop outside is the moment most of us are running for the sweatpants and pulling on the Uggs. Yet here I am, trying to convince you to think twice before rocking the unofficial college uniform of sheepskin boots and yoga pants.

Why, you may ask? Because for a fashion-obsessed girl like me, no matter how crappy the weather is and how lazy I am feeling, the only way I can wake myself up is by having a cute outfit to wear. The better you feel about yourself, the better day you are going to have. With a great dress, you can conquer the world!

The most important investment to make in the winter is a pair of fleece-lined tights or thick leggings. The easiest outfit is to grab your favorite summer dress, with a pair of warm tights and a comfy sweater. Let’s face it – in the winter, college fashion is always about comfort. You can look cute and comfortable at the same time, ladies! If black tights seem too basic for you, switch it up! Funky colored tights brighten up any outfit and mood instantly.

As my roommates can attest to, my favorite outfit is a button-up with a sweater. It’s geek-chic and it’s warm. To up the ante, mix patterns. Wear a plaid flannel with a striped sweater on top for a look that’s as stylish as it is practical. With this combo on top, even normal jeans seem a little more chic.

Now on to the coat … when it’s negative 10 degrees outside, believe me, I’ll be donning a gigantic puffy coat that’s about as fashion forward as Crocs. However, as it has been slightly warmer this week, it’s time to rock a jacket that doesn’t resemble the Michelin tire man. Since it’s the end of the winter season, every store has its coats on sale. This is the time to stock up! It’s not hard to stand out in a crowd of long, black North Face jackets, but when looking for the right coat, it can be easy to go for the simple black choice. Sure, black goes with everything, but coats in bright colors or fun patterns make such a hot statement that not even the temperature can bring down. Coats don’t have to match the rest of the outfit. In fact, a random pop of color on a jacket is a look that will keep your spirits high.

Of course, the easiest way to bring some sparkle into this cold and drab winter is with the accessories. Winter is the time to let your accessories shine, from a fabulous necklace to those adorable ear cover/headbands. Adding an extra item, like a pair of long dangling earrings can really put the finishing touches on an outfit.

I also recommend getting your warm winter gear, like gloves and scarves, in fun prints and colors to brighten up the entire look. Target always has a ton of cheap options for gloves in more colors than Crayola. Gap is currently carrying the warmest scarves on the face of the planet. I’m talking electric heater warm. They come in tons of cute plaids and stripes. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest Gap (State Street, everyone) to grab yourself one of these magical items before they’ve decided February is the perfect time to buy a swimsuit and switch out all of the current merchandise.

All right, now here’s the part about Uggs. Yes, I get it. They are comfy. I own a pair myself. But are they really good snow boots? No. Do they add anything to an outfit? No. Are you making a statement? No. So my suggestion is a pair of practical – but fashionable – snow boots. There are so many cute options now you’re missing out if you don’t have a pair. J. Crew has done a crazy cool collaboration with Sperry Topsider that takes duck boots to a whole new level. And honestly, snow boots are way warmer.

Karl Lagerfeld, the genius behind Chanel said, “Sweatpants are a sign of defeat.” I am not trying to (and won’t ever) argue against the comfort of a trusty pair of sweats. I will, however, argue until the day I die that a good outfit can change a person’s entire day. How to keep fashion hot in the drearily cold months of a Wisconsin winter should be a class all on its own. But until that day, remember color and layering are a girl’s best friend.