Style is a dicey affair. The need to conform to the rules laid down by a nebulous group can be maddening, especially if you’re the kind of person who would much rather wear faded pyjamas outdoors if you could just get away with it.

But the good thing is that it’s possible to fit the bill when it comes to style while enjoying it at the same time, as NIFT student Neha Eashwar puts it. Come winter and clothing sees a sea change. There might not be snow or frostbite, but cold and chills can be equally threatening.

Pack away your flimsy cotton capris, spaghetti straps (unless you plan to use them as padding) and flip-flops. Cold weather doesn’t necessarily imply dull shawls and depressingly dark jackets. This season’s canon is colour, and the brighter the better.

It’s only November but the bounty is spilling out of stores. Shrugs, misconstrued by many as temporary garments that only hide too much skin or curves, have stepped up as the newest must-haves. “They come in brilliant colours like turquoise, purple and shocking pink and it’s so convenient because you can slip them on over t-shirts and tops,” says college student Shalini Philip. “It’s a warm and fun look.”

Jackets are also seeing new styles this season. The typical sporty jacket that you pull over T-shirts and kurtas comes in greens, purples and yellows apart from the standard greys and whites. Woollen jackets are also widely available: thick, soft material in cutesy colours, both thigh-length and to the waist, with whimsical tassels and floppy bows to soften the overall look. They might be slightly heavy on the pocket but they keep you snug.

Leather is also making an appearance. “A lot of people dismiss leather jackets for being pseudo-rockstar, but a plain leather jacket adds a little edge to your ensemble,” explains Neha. Some plain jackets are also perked up with faux fur around the collars.The simplest solution to weathering a nippy day is layering. Start bringing out the T-shirts and tops that you used to store away because they were too short to be worn to work or college. “Just wear a longer spaghetti top in a different colour underneath,” says 21-year-old Anusha Shivnarain. “I think the peek-a-boo effect is cute if you pick the right colours.”

Footwear may play only a secondary role, but the options are available for those who want to take advantage of them. “I think thigh-high boots are a bit much but ankle boots are a good buy,” says advertising executive Shikha Bakshi. “They protect your feet and they can pass off as both formal and party wear, so you can’t go wrong.”

’Tis the season to try new things. “The change in weather gives me the chance to change my wardrobe and experiment a bit,” says 26-year-old journalist Anjali Basappa. “It might only last a few months, but it gives me the opportunity to really dress up.”