How to Dress Warm and Still Look Fashionable

| October 2, 2012

(My Daily Moments.Com) — Winter and the presence of cooler weather means trading in those sexy summer dresses and flirty cocktail shorts. But just because the mercury is dropping doesn’t mean you have to drape yourself in shapeless parkas that mask your assets and creativity.

There are plenty of practical, winter-friendly styles that will let you show your flair for fashion, all while protecting your tootsies from frostbite when you have to duck out for a mid-afternoon hot cocoa break.

Start With Fabulous Outerwear

Depending on the climate where you live, your winter coat may be the single most important part of your winter wardrobe. Invest in a great coat that is flattering, well-made and stylish, but not too trendy as to become passé by the first melt of spring.

Ideally, you want a coat that will carry you from year to year, so choose something that is classic in nature and consider having it tailored to your most flattering length. If it is within your budget, you may also consider picking up a more trendy, less expensive winter coat each season to mix up your daily options. This season, consider a winter coat in a bold color (greens, reds or even purple), a fantastic print, or something with embellishments (toggles, ruffles, bell sleeves, etc.)

If a new winter coat is not in the budget this year, use accessories to brighten up and refresh what you have. A skinny belt cinched at the waist of an otherwise boxy jacket will give you instant curves and flatter the figure. Artfully drape a colorful scarf or pashmina over your shoulders or around your neck for a warm look with European flair.

Textured gloves are hot this season, so keep your fingers nice and toasty with a pair in embossed leather or with a crocheted knit pattern. Even small touches like adding your grandmother’s vintage broach to the lapel can give a “blah” coat an entirely new look.

Opt for Warm and Comfy Textures That Are on Trend

Many of the season’s most popular looks are genuinely cozy and cute, and there should be no shortage of practical, wearable winter duds hanging on the racks at your favorite store. Look for chunky knits in a variety of colors and cuts, including long sweater vests (perfect with leggings and knee-high boots!) and belted cardigans.

Also in high demand this season is anything in fur, including oversized fur vests and petite fur neck wraps. Not to worry, animal lovers, there are plenty of faux fur styles to be had.

Another hot-no pun intended-look during these cool months is plaid. But forget the baggy flannels of your grunge yesteryears and look for plaid shirts in modern, feminine cuts or with some type of interesting detail, such as dark stitching or even ruffles. Pair that with a vest in a wool/acrylic blend and you won’t have to worry about shivering all day in a drafty office.

Layers are a Girl’s Best Friend!

There is an art to layering, but you don’t have to hold a master’s degree to pull this one off. As a modern fashionista, you are given more latitude to play with pairing textures, colors, patterns, shapes and styles to invent a look that is entirely your own. This is great news in the winter months, as a layered look will do double duty to keep you warm and looking cute. Choose cardigans (longer, slim cardigans with a “V” neck are particularly en vogue at the moment) and vests to layer over skirts, dresses and slim-fitting, long-sleeve tops.

Layering for the cold weather doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to run out to the mall to load up on a slew of new pieces. Shop your own closet by identifying some “key pieces”-a button-down white oxford, black pencil skirt, tailored jacket, long-sleeved jersey top, printed dress, striped turtleneck and so on-and set to work creating new combinations that will not only look great, but allow you to stay comfortable when transitioning from the cold outdoors to the over-heated conference room.

Again, scarves and pashminas are a wonderful way to keep warm and look oh-so-chic while in the office. Keep in mind that draping a pashmina around your shoulders is a much more flattering-and less cumbersome-option than having to wear your winter coat as you work at your desk.

It’s All in the Legs (and Feet)

With so many varieties of modern leg wear available, winter doesn’t have to mean kissing your skirts and dresses goodbye for a few months! Now is the time to stock up on leggings and textured tights that can be worn under your favorite dresses, skirts and tunics for a look that is comfortable and “now.” You don’t have to spend beaucoup bucks to add this staple to your wardrobe; retailers like Target are practically busting at the seams with fun and functional styles of thick tights and slim leggings that will keep your legs warm all winter long.

Nothing looks sassier and more pulled together than a dress and tights combo topped off with a great pair of boots. Since knee-high, slim boots with a heel are a fashion perennial, you will have no trouble finding a pair of boots this winter that fits your body type, style and budget. Be sure to pick a pair that is water-proof if you live in a snowy climate or invest in a sturdy boot that will get you from Point A to Point B where you can make a quick change into your “on display” boots. Remember that nothing is worse than walking around all day with cold, wet feet, so plan your footwear accordingly. If that means buying a pair of boots big enough to allow for a pair of cozy socks, go for it!

Topping It All Off

As mentioned, accessories-scarves, broaches, tights, gloves, etc.-can transform any outfit from ho-hum to high-five in an instant. Some other accessories to consider to brighten up your winter look include a bag or hat with a military flair, a chunky ring with an art deco cut, a faux snakeskin belt in deep green or red and anything with lace or pearls. Top everything off with a cute, cozy hat and you will be sure to turn heads and stay comfortable, even as the temperature dips.

 

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