By Rachel Zavecz
Ladies, it’s that time of year again. It’s time to face cold weather fashion. While many of us may enjoy staying inside to curl up by the fire with a nice book and a cup of hot chocolate (or a peppermint mocha latte if you’re like me and survive on a diet that is at least 50% coffee), let’s face it… there are times when we must brave the weather to get things done. And whether it’s attending a class on nuclear physics, starting a job at a local law firm or even just walking your French bulldog Patches down the street, it can be fun (and empowering!) to look good while doing it.
Because it can also sometimes be difficult to put together the most fashionable and simultaneously warmest outfit possible, I’d like to talk about a few core outfit profiles that are: 1. Flattering on a wide range of body types, 2. Easily dressed up or down, 3. Easily made warmer or cooler, and 4. Easily tweaked to fit your own personal style.
This is an outfit suited for a variety of situations, for example- some less formal work settings, going to class, or just going out and doing every day things. Cinch your belt at the smallest part of your waist to highlight your natural figure. You can swap the shown jeans for tights or solid leggings for a more formal look, or layer tights underneath for greater warmth. If you live in a northern location like I do, just slip on your long down coat over top and allow that fur to peek up through the collar. A fur infinity scarf is a great accessory for any outfit and can be found in a variety of affordable stores such (check out American Eagle or Forever 21). And don’t forget the cute lace-up ankle boots – if you’re patient and don’t mind checking out and sifting through the profusion of clothing at your local thrift stores and Goodwill, you can find similar pairs in any size.
This is an outfit that can be worn by the more fashion-forward on any occasion, but for many might be considered “going-out” attire. Layering velvet underneath leather is a great way to create texture contrast, and could also be accomplished with something lacy or silky. The clunky shoes vibe well with the badass-ery of the jacket, and together these elements provide an interesting counterpoint to the elegant nature of the dress and fur hat (optional). Throw some tights or leggings on to warm it up, and you can even add some chunky boot socks if it’s cold enough. Keep your accessory colors dark and muted if you want to go with a boldly colored dress (your outfit centerpiece), or if you want to wear something darker, use a bright lipstick to create that boldness in a different way. This outfit is probably best suited to early winter or places that don’t get below zero.
This is the perfect go-to outfit on those days that you’re in a hurry or you just want to be comfortable. Layer a collared shirt (lace collars look great) underneath a large chunky “old-man” sweater and throw on some leggings. This outfit lends itself to layering and is therefore very useful in extremely cold weather. Throw on a heavy coat, a scarf and an ear-protecting hat and you’re ready to face a blizzard. Here the outfit is pictured with a pair of snow boots (although any type of boot goes very well) – if you’re not living in a cold climate for very long or if you just don’t want to shell out the near $200 for a pair of Sorel boots, check out discount stores online such as Overstock.com or even Amazon.com. It’s a great way to find boots that are of good quality and under $75.
This is another extremely versatile outfit. It’s great for school, work, or even fancy outings – depending on how it’s styled. Silky shirts with bow ties are always classy, and pairing one with a blazer adds to the effect. If attending a more reserved or work-related situation, you can swap the more playfully patterned blazer for a solid color (black is always flattering). Here I’ve paired the outfit with a pair of pink fur-lined rain boots just for fun, but knee-high boots of the lace-up variety (riding boots) are a great option sans rain. The green over the knee socks that are pictured can be removed, but they do serve to warm up the outfit and add a great pop of color if wearing brown or black boots. Keep tall socks in mind for many of your winter outfits, as they are a great way to continue wearing dresses and skirts through winter, or layer with leggings or jeans in very cold climates for maximum warmth.
If you’re having trouble building winter outfits, try keeping these core profiles in mind. Add your own spin and pull from accessories already in your closet to add your signature touch. Above all else – be comfortable ladies, and love what you wear!