Puffer jackets and snow boots don’t really scream fashionista, but you don’t want to sacrifice your comfort and safety for stylish clothes that leave you exposed to frostbite. So, what’s a fashionable woman living in a chilly climate to do?
Figuring out how to stay warm and stylish isn’t as difficult as it seems. With simple tricks like layering clothes and choosing warm materials, you can rock boutique women’s winter fashion without freezing. Here are 11 tips to follow to look cute while staying cozy this winter.
Focus on a Warm Core
Rosy cheeks and noses come with the winter territory, but keeping your core warm and cozy makes the wintery blast more tolerable. Sure, you want to cover your extremities — however, a nice warm core makes your entire body warmer. Focus on your base layer of clothes to ensure they help insulate you against the wind chill you face outdoors. One way to keep your core warm is by adding a vest to your outfit.
Start With a Foundation of Winter Staples
Winter is the perfect time to play around with different clothing combinations. Having a wide selection of warm clothes you can combine into cute outfits makes getting ready to leave the house easier. Neutral pieces are easiest to mix and match, but a few colorful pieces will also work for your winter clothing collection.
What should you include in your winter wardrobe? These options are versatile and warm:
- Skinny jeans to pair with boots
- Cashmere sweaters
- Chunky oversized sweaters
- Thin long-sleeved T-shirts
- Button-down shirts
- Thick, long-sleeved dresses
- Sweater dresses
- Knee-high boots
- A warm coat
- Wool socks
Start by looking through your closet to see what you already have. Think about how you can repurpose warm-weather clothes for use during the winter months.
For example, wear short-sleeved tops underneath long-sleeved pieces to create a winter-ready look that doesn’t leave your arms exposed. Skirts can serve as a layer over leggings to block the wind and give your style a feminine touch. Once you know which pieces in your existing wardrobe you’ll wear, round out your collection with new clothing items designed to keep you warm.
Layer Your Clothes
Layering to stay warm is an ancient principle that will always hold true. Plus, the layered look is always in, so you’ll look trendy when you pair your favorite tops with sweaters and your wintery dresses with leggings. Not only do you get extra insulation from your additional layers, but you can also take off a few layers when you arrive at your heated, indoor destination. If you find yourself in a chilly room or having to head back outdoors, simply layer back up with the pieces you removed.
Layering really is more trial and error than following an exact set of rules. You can test out different combinations until you find a good mix of clothes that also keeps you comfy and warm. Layering successfully means the outfit looks great and is comfortable, not restricting or bulky.
Most people start with the base layer, which serves as the foundation for your look. Remember — if you start shedding layers, it may end up being what everyone sees, so choose wisely. You want a base layer that can stand on its own. It’s also smart to choose thin, fitted clothes for this layer so you don’t start off too bulky.
If you’re really concerned about staying warm, you might start with long johns or thermal clothes. Long johns have come a long way over the years. New fabrics that are thin, soft and comfortable, making them practical to wear as a base layer under your everyday clothes. You can slip the bottoms underneath your favorite pair of jeans or dress trousers. The top thermal layer is so thin it can go under most tops, even fitted ones.
Once you have your base layer in place, you’re ready for your middle layer. This is where you can get creative with a mix of textures, colors and patterns to create a one-of-a-kind look. Sometimes your middle layer might include a few pieces. For example, you might have a tee as your base layer. In the middle, you might add a button-down shirt and a sweater. These layers not only establish the visual of your ensemble, but they also cover you in more material, which increases how warm you feel.
Your top layer is your outerwear. Even if you don’t spend hours outside in the winter, you likely spend a little bit of time in the cold during your commute or during various activities. Having a stylish outer layer protects you from the harsh winds.
Here are some additional tips for layering your winter clothes:
- Try a Monochromatic Look: Not sure which pieces to layer together? Going with a single color for a monochromatic look is a safe choice. However, don’t try to match the tones exactly. Pair different shades of the same color, such as greys, for a fashionable look.
- Work With Varied Textures: You might stick with one basic hue, but you don’t have to make everything too matchy-matchy. Pair layers with different textures and fabric types to give your outfit to life. You might pair sleek leather bottoms with a knit sweater and a faux fur coat, for example.
- Break Up Solids With Patterns: One patterned piece can become the focal point of your outfit and break up a large swath of solid color. Top a monochromatic outfit with a patterned scarf or jacket, for example.
- Look at the Lengths: Length matters when choosing your layers. Pieces that hit at different spots help create a textured look with dimension, but you don’t want everything to be long or baggy. Putting a cropped sweater or shirt over a longer layer gives you greater variation if many of your pieces are longer.
- Avoid Layers That Are Too Tight: You might think tight is better, but leaving a little room for air to flow between the layers can actually keep you warmer.
- Give Each Layer a Purpose: Too many layers can leave you feeling bulky and hot. Plus, it’s not always flattering to have lots of clothes piled on. Pick each piece strategically for both functionality and style.
- Stick to One Thick Layer: Most of your layers should be thin and lightweight to keep you from feeling too puffy. If you want a thicker layer like a chunky knit sweater, keep it to just one — and put it on top for the best look.
- Use a Belt for Shaping: You can add a belt to almost any layered look to instantly make an outfit more fashionable. Pair a belt with a bulky sweater, layered cardigan or jacket for a slimming effect.
Need some specific examples of how to create a fashionable layered work for the colder months? Try these looks:
- A button-down shirt, sweater, poncho or wrap coat and jeans
- An oversized sweater, belted coat and leggings
- A long-sleeved striped tee, pull-over sweater, skinny pants, full-skirted mini and a wool coat
- A T-shirt, cardigan, fur vest and skinny jeans
- A button-down shirt or long-sleeved tee, cropped sweater and skinny jeans
- A lacy tunic or dress, open button-down shirt, cardigan and leggings
- A zipped or buttoned blazer over a longer button-down shirt and pants
Wear Warm, Fashionable Materials
Think about your favorite pieces in your current wardrobe. Some just naturally feel warmer than others, right? Sometimes it’s not about the style of clothing you choose, but the fabric. However, not all warm fabric is as fashionable as other materials.
For example, fleece is cozy and soft, but you aren’t going to show up to a winter wedding or formal holiday party wearing a fleece hoodie. But that’s not to say fleece doesn’t have its place in your winter wardrobe. Fleece leggings can keep your legs toasty and make a fashionable addition to your winter dresses or layered looks. Making a winter fashion statement is about knowing which materials to choose and how to use them.
Some options include:
- Faux Fur: You can wear faux fur guilt-free, and it’s a warm, cozy addition to your ensemble. Faux fur accents on winter coats and accessories help you stand up to cold temps outdoors. You can also sport a faux fur vest or other items to stay toasty indoors while giving your outfit texture.
- Leather: Leather is durable, warm and helps protect you from the elements when you’re outdoors. You can find several trendy leather pieces for both outerwear and regular clothing pieces.
- Velvet and Velour: Velvet and velour offer a bit of dressier look than some warm fabrics — just be sure to look at the thickness of the fabric to determine how warm it will be.
- Silk: You won’t want to sport a silk top without a coat in the middle of a snowstorm, but the strong, natural fabric can help you dress up without freezing. It’s perfect for your middle layer.
Rethink Dressy Winter Looks
In the spring or summer, you reach for your favorite dress on special occasions. Winter makes dressing formal a little more challenging. Whether you have to dress up for work or a special event, nailing your dressy winter look takes some work.
If you can’t part with your dresses when you want to look your best, think about how you can make them winter-ready. Some of your summer or fall dresses may be appropriate for winter wear if the colors and patterns fit the season. Use the principles of layering for winter to keep yourself warm in your favorite dress. One way to do this is by covering your legs with warm tights or leggings and keeping your top half warm with a cute cardigan or sweater.
If you find yourself dressing up a lot in winter, invest in some long-sleeved dresses to stay extra cozy. Dresses with longer hemlines also protect your legs from cold winds while you’re outdoors.
Dresses aren’t the only way to jazz up your winter look — choose luxurious fabrics for your tops and pants too. Velvet, velour, silk and cashmere are a few options. You can also get a glam look with pieces that sparkle with dazzling accents.
Don’t forget about the power of accessories, too! A perfectly chosen necklace or pair of earrings instantly upgrades the look of your outfit — or a fashionable scarf or hat in the winter.
Choose a Warm Coat
Your winter coat is the cornerstone of your look while you’re enjoying outdoor winter activities, catching the bus to work or walking between shops on the weekend. Big, puffy coats can make you feel like a marshmallow, but you don’t want to sacrifice your warmth just to look trendy. Some people opt for two winter coats: one that’s thick, warm and practical and one that’s fashionable and trendy with a tailored look. If you dress up a lot in the winter, you may want a dressier coat to match.
Even if you go for practical with a super warm coat, you can find one that’s a bit trendier with features that keep you comfortable. Many jackets now have a thinner profile without sacrificing warmth thanks to advancements in the insulation and filling, which keeps you from feeling too puffy. A belt gives the coat some shape, so you feel a little more fashionable.
Length is important. A longer coat keeps your back side and legs warm, especially on windy days. Look for a hood to keep your neck and head warm. One with faux fur along it adds an extra bit of insulation and style. Another practical feature is a waterproof outer shell to keep you dry.
Always try on the winter coat while wearing the type of clothes you might wear on an average day. If the coat is form-fitting and snug when you’re only wearing a thin T-shirt, you may not be able to zip it up with your favorite cozy sweater and a few other layers on. At the same time, a coat that’s way too big leaves a gap along the bottom and may let chilly air inside. Find the right size to work for different outfits you wear.
Boost Your Boot Game
Boots are always trendy, and they’re the best way to keep your feet, ankles and calves warm. The higher the boot cut, the more warmth you get. Fashion boots work just fine under dry winter conditions, but when things get snowy, opt for a pair of fashionable snow boots with a slim profile and decorative detailing. Faux fur around the top helps keep the cold out and adds a stylish touch. If you don’t like the look of boots or work in an office that doesn’t allow them, wear a warm boot during your commute, then change shoes when you arrive.
When planning your winter footwear, don’t forget about socks. Wool is a smart choice for the cold months. Your feet will stay dry because the wool draws moisture away from your skin — you can even get thin wool socks that fit perfectly with your regular boots. Layer your socks if you need extra warmth. Long socks that stick out above your boots are a cute accent to your overall look. You can also get cozy shearling insoles for an extra layer of warmth under your feet.
Add the Right Cold-Weather Accessories
Three key cold-weather accessories are a hat, gloves and a scarf. The good news is that with so many style options available, you can find each of those pieces in a fashionable look that also keeps the chill at bay.
A hat can be one of the biggest helpers in keeping you warm. If you’re considering ditching the hat to avoid a bad hair day, consider that you could lose up to 50 percent of your body heat if you don’t cover your head in cold conditions. Do a little shopping to find a warm winter hat that makes you feel great and locks in that body heat. Choose a beanie with a huge pompom on top or a bright hat with a fun pattern on it.
If you love your technology, opt for a pair of gloves that are compatible with screens. You can swipe, scroll and type as much as you want without exposing your fingers to the cold.
Scarves are a prominent fashion accessory with the bonus of keeping you warm. Look for a thick, oversized scarf for the best results. The best thing about scarves are how many ways you can wear it. Drape it around your neck, tie it or let it hang straight down — the warmth is still there no matter how you style it. On frigid days, you can bunch the scarf closer to your neck and cover part of your face.
One winter accessory you might not consider is a pair of sunglasses. Shades won’t make you warmer, but they will protect your peepers on bright winter days. Plus, the sunlight reflecting off snow can be particularly harsh. Choose a fun pair with bold frames to add a fashionable touch to your ensemble.
Balance Your Pieces
It’s tempting to put on all the layers of all the clothes you own, but it’s important to make sure those pieces look good together, too. One strategy is to pair fitted clothes with loose or bulky pieces. For example, if you wear a cozy, oversized sweater on top, you should wear legging or fitted pants on bottom. If you wear a tailored top, balance it out with looser fitting pants. The same idea works for your outerwear. Pair bulky boots with a more fitted jacket.
Incorporate Fun Accents
Your key clothing pieces should be warm fabrics with practical designs, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun with accents on your clothes and outerwear. Choose some feminine touches to keep you feeling fashionable.
For example, you might choose a sweater with a lace overlay at the top, or you might wear a lace camisole that sticks out along the bottom of your sweater. A colorful belt is another option. These touches don’t necessarily help with the insulation factor, but they do heat up your style.
Complete Your Winter Wardrobe at My Sister’s Closet Boutique
Now that you know how to stay warm and look cute, it’s time to find those warm, stylish pieces to supplement your current wardrobe and help you nail the winter look. Check out the latest fashions at My Sister’s Closet Boutique. Our affordable women’s winter fashion options are trendy, cheerful and easy to wear every day. With the right pieces and a little practice, you’ll be a pro at dressing for winter fashionably.