March 29 2013 12:00 AM

Don’t fool around with fashion

Photo illustration by Marisol Dorantes/Rachel Harper

Friday, March 29 — In all my years of fashion appreciation, I have never come across a more distinctive or versatile style than the recent “walking sleeping bag with furry boots” look popular with young women. This trend seems to be more prolific than questionable rashes on a college campus.

The endless possibility for variation makes it an instant seasonal must-have. The classic look of black puffy coat and neutral boots is probably popular because of the risqué uniformity to which the colors lend themselves. But occasionally a fashionista will risk a social coup by choosing an outlandish boot color, such as green. There seems to be an unspoken agreement that the length and bulkiness of the coat should meet the requirements of a wilderness survival sleeping bag.

To feel like you’re on the just-got-out-of-bed-and-I-have-no-craps-left-to-give runway, you need but two pieces of wardrobe — a North Face quilted down coat ($300-$500) and a pair of Uggs ($200-$1,000). But it’s not just about looking chic — this look is practical, too.

“It’s like being inside a toasty furnace,” said Abigail Bruins, a fashion-savvy Michigan State University student. “It leaves you sweaty and gross by the time you haul ass to class.”

Some girls go for the sleek look by buying multiples of this frugal outerwear per season, but that’s not where Bruins’ aesthetic lies.

“Natural wear and tear gives my outfit a vintage feel,” she said. “My boots are pretty salty but I can’t wait ‘til the soles are really worn down — that’s how you can tell that you're a committed veteran of the look.

"Unfortunately I walk pretty straight so my boots will never get that awkward incline that gives the couture illusion that I’m only walking on the inside arch of my feet.”

While this is primarily a winter look and adopted by women, it’s not unreasonable to think it could branch out to men or that it could become a year-round phenomenon.