Winter Style: 7 Tips for Looking Great When It’s Freezing
When the weather outside is icy, it’s preferable to hide out under a blanket with a cup of hot cocoa. But what to do when you’ve got to head outside and brave the cold? If you’re like me, you want your wintertime expeditions to be both comfortable and chic. But admittedly, it’s hard to feel stylish when you’re wrapped up like the Michelin Man. If the thought of many more weeks of layering bulky jackets and scratchy sweaters makes you want to run for the equator, never fear! Just because the weather is frightful, it doesn’t mean your wardrobe has to be! Follow these tips on savvy winter fashion and you’re sure to face the snow, wind, and rain with elegance and style.
Don’t forget the first layer. The first step to looking and feeling great during the harshest winter months is feeling comfortable in your own skin. No matter how beautiful your winter clothes might be, you won’t feel your best unless you look and feel great wearing them. Cold weather is notorious for wreaking havoc on your skin and hair, so it’s important to give them the care they deserve. If you haven’t already, incorporate head-to-toe moisturizing into your daily beauty ritual. It’s also a good idea to regularly use a moisturizing hair conditioner or mask to keep frizziness away. Also be sure to keep a tube of lip balm handy to protect your lips from the wind. I carry Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm with me whenever I’m out and about; it adds moisture, color, and a little shine. You can find it at Whole Foods or other retailers.
Build a good foundation. You don’t have to wear many layers of bulky clothes in order to stay warm. There are plenty of good options today for foundation pieces that are streamlined and built to keep you toasty. A great brand to try is Uniqlo’s HEATTECH line. This brand uses Japanese technology to produce tops, leggings, and tights (as well as socks, gloves, hats, jackets, and pants!) designed to keep you warm without a lot of extra material to contend with. They are thin enough to layer but also look great all by themselves. Find them at all Uniqlo locations or check out their website.
Put some thought into your fabrics. You’ll want to consider the material your clothing is made from—especially on cold days when it matters most. Materials like cotton, wool, and fleece are best for frosty temperatures because they are warm yet breathable. Keep in mind that synthetic materials like polyester tend to trap moisture and don’t block out the wind; that’s a combination sure to keep you cold and clammy. The same rule applies to your shoes, so try to focus on leather footwear, which tends to be warmer and more breathable than shoes comprised of man-made materials. Lastly, don’t get zapped by static electricity! Wear a slip with your dresses or invest in some anti-static spray to keep your fabrics from clinging and bunching in all the wrong places!
Keep an eye on the indoor temperature, too. It can be frustrating to bundle up and brave the cold outside only to find yourself sweltering as soon as you reach your indoor destination. Dressing in layers—and really thinking them through—is the key to staying warm outside and feeling put together and comfortable indoors. To do this, assemble an outfit consisting of layers that work well alone or together. For example, layer a long sleeve blouse beneath a warm sweater, and use this as the base for your suit at the office. That way, if you get hot during the day, your blouse will look just as great under your suit as the sweater does—and you’ll be comfortable no matter where you are!
Give rain and snow the boot! There’s nothing sexier than a pair of sleek, well-crafted boots. And fortunately, they’re also great for keeping you warm during the winter months. A pair of high-quality black or brown boots is a good investment—they last for years, and the right pair can effortlessly take you from work to the weekend. Wear your boots with thick cable-knit tights and skirts for the office, or with a great pair of jeans for running errands on the weekends. And if you live in a brutally cold climate, consider a pair that is fur-lined or even waterproof. When snow and ice have made the streets slick, leave heeled options at home and go with a stylish flat-soled boot for plenty of traction. Italian-designed Aquatalia boots are an excellent option for the colder months, especially in climates with plenty of rain or snow. They offer unparalleled protection against the elements and are beautiful as well.
Have some fun with accessories. Embrace the arctic temperatures as an opportunity to accessorize and display your personality while protecting yourself from the elements! Keep your hat, gloves, and scarf consistent with matching colors or patterns, but feel free to venture outside of your comfort zone and use them to add a stylish flair to your outfits. Try a bright red or purple for a punch of color, or select a fun pattern like paisley or houndstooth. And don’t forget to pair skirts and dresses with cozy tights that match your clothing or your boots to pull your look together and keep you warm.
Simplify your outerwear. The ideal winter coat will both keep you warm and make you look amazing. Invest in a warm coat in a classic cut that works with any outfit and can be worn for most occasions. A neutral shade, like black, brown, or beige, is usually the most versatile option and will look clean and neat throughout the season. Make sure your boots are complimentary in color and style. This way, when it’s freezing outside and you’ve got somewhere to be, you already have an easy formula that works with whatever you choose to wear underneath.
The gloomy weather doesn’t have to dictate your style. Suiting up for icy temperatures can be just as fun as dressing for warmer months. Gorgeous coats, boots made of creamy leather, and playful accessories are exciting and fun—not to mention they’ll keep you comfortable in sub-zero weather. Now it’s time to enjoy becoming a bundled beauty in the upcoming months and stay warm out there!