With winter comes all sorts of weather that you have a dress for, and sometimes being stylish while dressing properly can be quite the challenge. How do you stay fashionable while at the same time keeping warm? Here is a brief list of winter essentials you’ll want to make sure you have in your closet this winter, along with tips for balancing both style and practicality.
Chances are you have a few passable winter coats from years past when you were looking to both save money and keep up with current trends; but if you don’t yet have a staple winter coat that was made to withstand the elements, you’ll definitely want to invest in one this year. You might opt for something more everyday, like a trench-style coat, or you might go for something more sporty, like a puffer-style coat—or even both, since both types of winter coats have their own particular uses.
As for an everyday winter coat that will stand up to winter weather, opt for wool over synthetic fabrics; that will really keep you warm. Be sure that contains more than just a small percentage of wool as well (a.k.a., check the fabric label). You have several styles of coats to choose from, but two of the most practical coat styles are duffle and parka because they often feature hoods. As for a sportier coat, quilted and down jackets are especially popular this year. A great winter coat should always have pockets.
When it snows outside, leave the short, thin-soled fashion boots at home. You need at least one pair of thick-soled boots that will give you good traction as you walk around outdoors on those icy and snowy days—especially as, according to this article, slips on ice are among the most common winter injuries. Thick-soled boots need not be unattractive to offer the ultimate convenience; historically outdoorsy brands like Bogs, Sperry, Sorel, and L.L.Bean are making fantastic winter boots that are both winter-practical and design-conscious.
As convenient as it might be to throw a winter coat on over your summer and fall tops, come January and February you are probably going to wish you had something warmer to wear under that coat. The warmest sweaters are more thickly knit—think chunky fisherman sweaters à la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. More lightweight sweaters have their place as well, but this is another area where wool rules over synthetic fabrics. And don’t forget about the transformative power of a good cardigan.
Lucky for you, warm winter hats have never been more in style. A solid colored knit beanie is perfect for pairing with a long sleeve tee for everyday wear, and a thicker knit hat featuring a pompom at the end is perfectly stylish and practical for those colder days.
Scarves are another winter accessory that are becoming more and more à la mode. A wool scarf will always provide more warmth than a synthetic one, and knit scarves are also great. Especially popular this year are chunky knit infinity scarfs and oversized blanket scarves.
There are different gloves for different occasions, so this is an area where you’ll likely want to invest in a few things. Leather gloves are great for driving and for completing a more sophisticated ensemble, and now you’ll even find them made with touchscreen capability. Knit mittens, meanwhile, are great for adding a more youthful touch to your outfit, and they tend to keep your hands warmer than gloves do. Whatever you do, just try to branch away from the cheap, standard stretch knit gloves that everyone is used to, and you’re sure to find something both stylish and practical.
Socks—the oft-neglected winter clothing item. Don’t assume that your standard cotton or trouser socks are going to serve your feet well this winter. Keep at least a few pairs of wool socks on hand for those colder days when you’ll be spending more time outdoors. You might even experiment with socks of different heights to see what looks best with your winter boots. Booties, for example, often look great with tall, thick socks worn with a cuffed pant leg.
Additionally, there are things besides clothing and winter accessories that can help you keep warm. Hand warmers are great for slipping into your pockets for an added measure of warmth. It’s always great to have a warm drink on hand, as well.