Winter is upon us. Which means all the thought and planning put in to your Spring, Summer, and even Fall wardrobe is thrown out the window. Welcome to the season of bulky sweaters and chunky snow boots. Just because winter on the Palouse can be drab and bleak doesn't mean you need to be.
It may take a little more creativity when getting dressed in the morning, but even in the cold grip of winter there are ways to stay warm and still look great.
1. Master your layering game.
Not only is layering a fashion-forward move, it's also a simple way to keep warm. Don't worry about piling it on. Your guaranteed to stay warm when you have a jacket and scarf over a sweater which, in turn, is over a turtleneck.
J. Crew's head stylist, Gayle Spannaus, has a few quick tips on pulling off the layered look.
- Choose a color palette: She says, "[A]lways start with a color tone and keep it within that family of color." Developing color palates for your outfits help ensure that the outfit blends. Having said that, it can also be great to have a piece that pops out.
- Layer light and heavy pieces: “Wear something light with something heavy like cashmere and silk, but don’t wear heavy and bulky together.” The common problem with dressing for cold weather is the bulky, shapeless look. Pairing lights with heavies creates an interesting textural depth.
- When in doubt, wear a scarf: In short, a scarf is a fashionable way to keep warm. Scarves are one of the most versatile and easiest ways to add a little something extra.
Go ahead and give it a try; mix and match clothes you normally wouldn't. Wear a short jacket over a heavier coat or a pair of jeans with a short skirt. Spend your winter improvising.
2. Put your best boot forward.
Shoes can make or break an outfit. Nothing's worse than spending time getting ready then throwing on a pair of chunky snow boots like throwing a terrible metaphor at the end of a fine sentence.
You can pair over-the-knee boots with a shorter dress or even pull them on over a pair of jeans. Ankle boots look great with a simple cuffed jean. Winter boots can be a little more tricky. Hunter boots are a great choice to stay warm and dry. Invest in a few pairs of knee length socks or boot toppers. Another great option are the classic women's L.L. Bean "duck" boot. When the weather calls for snow boots build your outfit from the ground up; look around for inspiration.
3. Invest in a great hat.
It seems like a no-brainer, but hats are a fantastic item that blend fashion and utility. If you haven't yet spend some time figuring out what hat works for you. Beanies are almost a universal piece that can be used to either tie your outfit together or add a pop of festivity and color. Ear warmers/head wraps are another essential winter item.
4. Throw a belt around one of your jackets.
Add new life to your wardrobe by adding a belt. Instead of getting tired of wearing the same pieces, cinch the waist with either a subdued or bold belt to give your outfit a new dimension. This ridiculously simple trick works with just about any style of coat and will help shape that winter bulkiness.
5. Scarves are your best friend
As a friend once noted, "Scarves are a socially acceptable way to wear a blanket." Not only are scarves simple to style, adding depth to your layering game or a pop of color, they can be used in multiple different ways. You can wear it traditionally or, when the weather really turns nasty, bundle it up around your head for extra warmth.
6. Embrace your wild side
There are plenty of synthetic materials being used for winter gear. A lot of it is fantastic, but when in doubt it's hard to outdo the natural warmth of wools, down feathers, or even furs. Down jackets are guaranteed to not only be lightweight but extremely effective at keeping you warm; the puffy look is also in! For a different, but equally hot style, consider investing in some wool sweaters or shearling jackets. Fur is always an option; there are plenty of great vintage fur jackets at antique or thrift stores. Faux is also an option.