Ladies of The University of Michigan, this winter is your time to shine. Literally. Winter 2005 announces a season of indulgence in the glitter and tinsel once reserved for after-school craft projects. Festive sequins and sparkly fabrics are draped on racks of local stores, producing constant excitement for eyes that have been dulled by hours of studying. Forget the understated trends of past seasons; this year is all about releasing your inner star through luxurious tops suggestive of our solar system’s celestial bodies.

Beth Dykstra
(Ali Olsen and Shubra Ohri/Daily)

Of course, glitter and shine are not your only options. Traditional wool sweaters, cozy hats and scarves are also filling up the stores as winter snow makes its way to Michigan. Ann Arbor’s stores offer a range of styles, catering to the variety of University students’ tastes and desires.

In preparation for the onset of winter and a new year of fashion, I spent an afternoon discovering what local stores are offering for the upcoming winter season. Staying close to home in order to avoid the cold (and my face’s resulting transformation from its usual color to a shade more similar to that of Rudolph’s nose), I didn’t wander to the upscale shops lining Main Street, choosing instead to peruse the stores on South University Avenue, State Street and East Liberty Street.

I began my adventure at YCI on South University. YCI’s collection of designer jeans consistently attracts many University students. Shelves lining the walls overflow with the popular denim brands, ranging from Sacred Blue to Juicy Couture. Directly below the rows of jeans, I noticed that YCI is celebrating the Lacoste phenomenon, selling numerous polo shirts and sweaters bearing the classic alligator logo. As displayed in the storefront windows, the glitter trend is in high swing at YCI. During my visit to the store, a woman bought a pair of sky-high silver stilettos — the same pair that had sold just a half hour earlier. Silver shoes are one of the many items jumping into the hands of students. For those still averse to sparkle, a Fray fern green halter-top with yellow corset style ribbon is one of the most unique and flattering items.

After browsing through the jewelry at Planet, I decided to see what Middle Earth is offering this season. Middle Earth boasts a large jewelry collection and caters to those living on a student’s budget. Amid jewelry imported from around the globe and brightly colored throw pillows is a petite display brimming with magical flora-inspired jewelry. The jewelry is inspired by nature, capturing original details in bronze, sterling silver or gold. Garnet raspberries, freshwater pearl blackberries and bronze lilac leaves are some of the representations of nature’s beauty in the form of delightful jewelry. These designs, by Michael Michaud for Silver Seasons, offer a choice for students tired of what are still the biggest sellers — chandelier earrings. Middle Earth also boasts thin, dangly earrings.

Always energetic and lively, Urban Outfitter’s glowing windows never fail to attract student shoppers. Once inside the door, I was drawn to a scarf adorned with sequins and velvet ribbon — a prime example of winter sparkle. Urban provides innumerable style options, but certain items shouldn’t be passed up. While the store creates trendy ensembles, Urban’s casual clothing is where the store really excels. Women’s crewneck short-sleeve T-shirts are made from an extra-fine knit that gives an incredibly soft texture. The shirts come in a variety of colors, and the shape is flattering on all body types. Continuing with the casual and cozy theme, each winter, Urban serves up a variety of wool, tweed and twill trousers — this year being no exception. These pants are perfect to pair with the nubby wool cardigans and sweaters sold in moss greens and earthy beiges. Urban is also one of the only stores in Ann Arbor to provide a large selection of winter coats for both men and women. Following the indie-emo trend, the men’s section displays blazers and layered T-shirts

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