Songs and poems about autumn leaves or snow-filled winters are not difficult to come by this time of year. Pumpkins will be carved. Wreaths will be hung. Families and friends will gather for large holiday dinners and gift exchanges.

But these comforts hardly mask a time we know to be, quite literally, cold and dark. For every poem that paints the season as vibrant and stimulating, there is another that portrays autumn as a time of slow withering, leading to the cold death of winter.

This year, why not leave poetry to the poets and decide for yourself what autumn will be?

Pack away the bikinis and find a style that expresses who you will be this season. Have no fear of mixing old and new. A fresh scarf or jacket may just be all you need to breath new life into your wardrobe. Function is the precursor of fashion. Staying comfortable and warm is the natural first step toward staying sharp and stylish.

Let poets say what they will of the cold. A little chill just reminds people with style of how alive they really are.

Dominic Zinn is a native of Anniston. He attended Sacred Catholic School and graduated from Depaul University. Now, he’s a freelance writer and musician in Los Angeles.

STYLE ANALYSIS by James Montgomery | PHOTOS by Ryan Sherrod

Special to The Star

1. This is a great example of implementing layering into an outfit. Layering doesn’t just feel good, it looks good. Here, the trench coat is worn over a denim jacket, allowing him to fight the cold while remaining stylish. The Clark Desert Boots are inexpensive and extremely versatile throughout the winter season.

2. Class is the top aspects of a good ensemble. Class brings all of the elements of style together to create a mature look. In my opinion, this is the apex of this photo shoot. All of the looks are great, but her dress and posture exhume the sophistication and beauty that are lacking in a lot of outfits today.

3. Wondering what type of sweater this is? Well, it’s a poncho cardigan paired with a pair of nice jeans and an elegant pair of leather lace-up booties. The poncho cardigan is a versatile and stylish piece to have in your wardrobe for the winter season. Ladies, you should certainly add it to your shopping list.

4. American Prep will forever be a staple in men’s fashion, and no one has mastered this look quite like Ralph Lauren. Here, we get a full RL wardrobe: shawl sweater, button-down, corduroys and boots. The boots and red pants are a great way to embrace fall and deviate from the traditional khakis and brown loafers.

5. Don’t worry about fashion trends — they’re fleeting. Robert Downing said it best: “Style will never go out of style.” It’s all about personal style. Delving into your wardrobe to create your ideal outfit is supposed to be a joyous endeavor without reluctance or insecurities. The outfit above is a quintessential example of exemplifying personal style. He redesigned his jeans by adding rips and sharpened the look with higher cuffs. The gold accessories illuminate his personal style while making the outfit more stylish. If you find a way to be comfortable in your own skin, your style will be impeccable.

6. Buying the most expensive pieces does not culminate in an outfit that stands out among others. Swagger comes from being comfortable in your own skin and reflecting your personal style. When audacity co-mingles with appearance, you’ve got swagger. So, take notes from this beautiful young lady because she isn’t modeling in this photo — this is all swagger.