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How you feel about winter has much to do with where you live. In Southern California, it’s just another mild season. To the folks in Boston or Chicago, it’s an often dreaded deep freeze. I have only ever lived in states where it’s cold in the winter. I grew up on the east coast, disliking the cold weather…always dreaming of warmer days. I think part of the reason that I couldn’t warm up to winter was the fact that my wardrobe was ill-equipped to keep me toasty and chic at the same time.
I moved to Colorado a little over two years ago. I’m happy to report that my outlook on winter has changed drastically. I now realize that winter in some places is eagerly anticipated…even celebrated.
It shows in a woman's style when she embraces winter. You've seen them...in your own town, on the silver screen or photographed in Telluride or Aspen...I’m referring to those women who rock winter with effortless style. They look weather-appropriate and fabulous even in bitter temperatures.
I might not be able to help you with your attitude about winter...but I can help you create a gorgeous, winter-friendly wardrobe. Here's what you'll need...
A great coat- This one is a must. There is no way around owning a good coat if you live where it’s cold. Keep in mind that your coat sets the tone
for your style all winter long. It's what people will see first...sometimes it's all they'll see. A super stylish outfit isn't visible under a bad coat. Make your coat a priority.
Choose a style that’s in keeping with the rest of your wardrobe. In really cold climates you might actually need two coats…one for cold days (something that's wool or lightly quilted) and one for frigid days (some version of the iconic North Face long parka).
Stylish boots with a traction sole- I know that most of the world has moved away from Uggs, but I’m still in the Uggs camp. I realize that they are not the most ‘fashionable’ boot, but THEY ARE WARM. Like ‘keep your toes from falling off while watching your daughter’s riding lesson in the barn’ warm!
I have purchased Uggs new (at Nordstrom Pre-Season Sale) and used at Plato’s closet for under $40. Truth is, I actually love the used ones more! Don’t write off this style because of price or lack of style…they will keep your feet warm so that you’ll hate winter less.
There are lots of other boot options for winter. Just be sure that whatever you choose has a lug sole that won’t slip on snow and ice.
Cold weather accessories:
Stylish gloves or mittens that are actually warm- There are tons of fun options when it comes to covering your hands…just make sure that the pair you choose will actually keep your hands warm. Cute doesn’t matter if your fingers are numb.
Worried about not being able to use your smart phone? Don’t be, gloves with sensor pads on the fingertips or mittens with flip-tops and half- fingered gloves underneath are available everywhere! So, you’ll still be able to swipe:-)
A fabulous hat- Hats come in a zillion styles, textures and colors. You might find it hard to pick only one…so don’t. Knit beanies are chic and modern. Try on a bunch and step out of your comfort zone a bit. This isn’t a huge investment. It’s a hat. Have fun with it.
Amazing scarves- Scarves are literally the icing on the cake. If you prefer to keep your winter ensemble monochromatic and possibly even all black or grey…a colorful scarf can be your signature for winter. Pick one that feels incredibly soft in your hands. No itchy yarns. Choose colors that are flattering with your face first, then your coat. Here, big is better. Your winter scarf should create a stunning ‘collar’ to finish your look.
Silk long underwear- Ideally; opt for 100% silk, as it’s uber insulating. Wear them under your regular clothing for an added layer of warmth without any bulk. Tops and bottoms are often sold together and are available from lots of retailers. Check out Amazon, Uniqlo and even Costco…
Warm socks- Give your boots and shoes some help by purchasing a few pairs of socks created to protect your toes from frostbite. Visit your local ski shop or sporting goods store…grab a pair that’s made especially for winter.
Ready to shop for your winter style survival kit? Here’s where I’d start…
Target- almost a ‘one-stop-shop’ for your winter wardrobe
Your local department store- a full selection of everything you need
Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club- you’ll be amazed at what’s inside…
Marshalls or TJ Maxx- for socks, coats and winter accessories
Plato’s Closet- for high-quality boots and coats at resale prices
Anthropologie and Forever 21- loads of interesting and stylish scarves, hats and gloves…at a variety of prices.
If you need some inspiration to gear up for the winter ahead…treat yourself to a dose of The Holiday. What a magical film! Even before moving to CO, this movie helped to change the way I view winter. Caution: You’ll become obsessed with finding a cozy, pastel cashmere sweater and possibly your own Jude Law.
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Thanks for reading. How do you stay warm and stylish in the winter? I'm always looking for tips. Please share!