When the mercury dips and the winds begin to bite, your first (and perhaps only) thought is keeping warm. However, there's no need to go about looking like the Michelin Man. Nor is there any reason to shiver all winter in the name of fashion.
Instead, revel in finally having an excuse to match a great pair of ladies boots with that flowing peasant skirt or those killer jeans that make your butt look like JLo's. Or covering your lessthan toned upper arms without fear of looking out of place. By employing a few savvy strategies, you will find that it is actually surprisingly easy to match style and fashion with practicality and warmth.
Think Layers, Not Bulk
Huge puffer coats may be warm, but they are, well, huge. Your fellow commuters on the bus or in your carpool will dread seeing you coming if you opt for one of those oversized numbers. Instead, opt for layers. You'll look leaner and actually be more comfortable. You can always add layers if you still feel chilly for instance, layering a sweater over a buttondown shirt. For those really cold days, a pair of long johns will keep you feeling toasty from shoulders to ankles. Once you are indoors, you can peel off unneeded layers to stave off boiling in overheated rooms.
Give Menswear a Feminine Touch
Women have been raiding men's closets forever, and with good reason. Men can look fashionable and practical with downtoearth classic styles that never really change. One of the best men's styles for women to steal during the winter months is the tuxedo. The tailored look will trim nearly any figure. To avoid looking too mannish, you're allowed to go a bit heavier with eye makeup or lip color but choose one or the other if you're headed for the office.
Embrace Bright Colors, Especially Red
There are few prospects more depressing than waking up when it's dark and coming home from work when it's dark. Gray skies and slushy snow make winter seem even colder and less inviting than it already is. You can provide a spot of cheeriness by splashing out in bright colors sunshine yellows, sky blues and fireengine reds. You will feel more awake and alive, and you may even bring a smile to the face of that cute fellow commuter that you're too shy to actually chat up.
Scarves, Wonderful Scarves
You're going to be wearing scarves all winter anyway, why not choose scarves that make a fashion statement in addition to keeping you warm? Big, bulky scarves can balance out skinny jeans and flat boots, while soft, wide cashmere scarf can double as a wrap over a festive evening ensemble.
A brightly colored scarf or a scarf with a cheerful pattern can add a splash of color to a monochromatic outfit. In a pinch, an extra long woolen scarf can double as a head covering that also keeps your ears toasty warm.
A Proper Coat
If you're headed for a weekend on the slopes, a puffer coat is perfectly appropriate. However, for the rest of the winter, you'll need a proper coat. Especially for those days when you have big client meetings where you're expected to break out your best skirted suit, you will be happy that you made the investment in a coat to cover your legs. A wool or camel hair coat, with or without a hood will keep you warm on the walk from your house or flat to your car or transit stop. Consider going up a size so that you can add layers underneath your coat when it is bitter cold outside.
Victoria Fleming has a passion for fashion. She enjoys writing about flattering and beautiful looks for the everyday woman.