So you’ve finally realized that venturing out into public wrapped in a king sized comforter isn’t socially acceptable. Don’t worry, we’re heartbroken too. But we’re here to tell you that Winter fashion does not have to equal stiletto boots and wool crop tops. Because unless you live on a runway there’s a good chance you’re looking to avoid a broken neck and hypothermia this season.
Here are 6 tips for making sure your Winter wardrobe has all the essentials that will steer you away from bag lady status and keep you fashionably warm from head to toe.
Color is your friend
Yes, Winter colors are usually comprised of dark tones like navy, gray, burgundy, brown, and black. Lots and lots of black. But this small color pallette can immensely limit the versatility of your Winter wardrobe. This season, try introducing some jewel tones in the form of an emerald dress, deep purple overcoat, or ruby blazer. Soft pastels can also be used to brighten up your wardrobe and create a less drastic look if you’re trying to create a more feminine ensemble. Also, don’t be afraid of loud colors like yellow, electric blue, and hot pink which all work well as accent pieces (ie. hat and gloves, an oversized scarf, or thick leggings).
Fur, fur, fur, and more fur
Or, at the very least, one furry item of clothing. Faux fur is reasonable and becoming increasingly easy to find at stores like Target and H&M. We recommend a statement piece such as a cropped jacket, a vest, or a long coat. Fur hats are also a warm and striking option that can make any outfit more fashion forward. And for those of you that are looking for one piece to bring some oomph to your collection of grey and black Winter clothing, consider springing for a dyed fur which will instantly make any outfit visually striking.
Think floppy wool beanies, oversized scarves, dramatic sunglasses, and gigantic over-the-shoulder handbags. Pairing a large accessory (or 2 or 3) with a simple outfit can make a seemingly drab Winter coat become a lot more interesting. Your sensible neutral overcoat is the perfect backdrop for oversized accessories and can make changing your look as easy as investing in a couple of different scarves or stoles, and, if you’re feeling adventurous, some Princess Leia style ear muffs. And don’t forget the oversized handbag: the size is perfect for easily throwing on over all your Winter gear and will easily hold your outerwear when it’s time to shed some layers.
Okay, now that we’ve talked chunky scarves let’s talk about how to make sure you don’t go TOO big. The easiest way to make sure your ensemble doesn’t approach ‘wrapped in a comforter status’ is to use the 2+1 rule. The basic formula works like this: For every 2 big pieces you’re wearing: large coat and big scarf or oversized handbag and statement fur hat, you should add 1 smaller contrasting item, like a belt to cinch in your coat, a clutch, sleek leggings, or ankle boots.
Long and short skirts are a go
And we promise you won’t be cold. Remember that wool A-line skirt you bought but could never figure out the right time of the year to wear it? Or the high waisted pleated mini skirt that hasn’t seen the light of day since August? Now is their time to shine. Try pairing shorter skirts with long structured overcoats (ie. oversized blazers and drape cardigans) tall boots, and long socks over legwear (see below). If you’re hoping to stay just a touch warmer, consider incorporating a maxi skirt into your Winter wear. Unlike short skirts, maxis should be paired with short jackets and sweaters or coats that are cinched in at the waist. For a more dramatic effect, consider a flowing tulle maxi in blush or mint and pointed black leather boots.
Legwear (Practical and Necessary)
Functional and fashionable legwear is often the last thing we think of when considering Winter fashion. While you can certainly get through the season with a few pairs of fleece lined leggings, taking the time to find some standout pieces for your wardrobe can take your look (and your comfort) to a new level.
Legwear includes everything from stockings and leggings to socks and pants. Because of this, it’s important to figure out where your priorities will be during the colder months of the year. If you find yourself drawn to skirts, investing in a few neutral colored pairs of stockings and leggings is essential. To add some contrast to black leggings, play around with thick wool socks (in a variety of colors) that you can bunch up above ankle boots. Knee highs and thigh highs can also be used to break up a drab color pallette and provide additional warmth.
For the pants wearers amongst you, steer away from the skinny jeans. Yes, they look great with chunky sweaters but they will provide very little warmth. Stick to pants that have enough give to allow for an extra pair of leggings underneath. Leather (or pleather) pants are a great option for comfort and warmth and are a sleek addition to any outfit.