Stay Warm & Stylish This Winter
Even if you’re headed to an upscale social engagement or the executive suite at the office, you can still dress warm and practical during the winter without looking like you’re heading to the playground. Use our seven cold-weather dressing tips to make it more likely that you’ll dress smart for any occasion this winter.
Mix Your Fabrics
Fashion shouldn’t (and doesn’t have to) trump form for winter clothing. You can wear your favorite slacks, blouse or dress and still stay warm and dry by adding the right coverings. Put warm, waterproof socks or leg warmers on when heading outdoors for work, school or play – you can always put them over hose and take them off when you get to where you’re going. Make sure you choose fabrics for outerwear that repel water, including choosing waterproof gloves and mittens. Keep your head warm and dry with a hat or cap made for that purpose and keep several on hand to make sure you don’t opt to go outside in the cold without headwear because you don’t have what you need.
Don’t rely on a heavy outer coat to keep you warm. Cold air can get in through the collar, sleeves and bottom. You might also be more likely to get a chill that can lead to a cold or fever if you run outside without wearing your bulky coat because you just want to grab something from your car or pick up the mail. Wearing three or more pieces of clothing traps your body’s heat between the layers, providing more warmth.
Start with a light undershirt, then add a heavier blouse or shirt, a vest and finally an outer sweatshirt or coat, letting you take off one or more layers once you get inside. To protect your legs, consider keeping old-fashioned long Johns in your closet for game day or hours of errands. How about a poncho for a warm, stylish statement?
If you’ll be exercising outdoors this winter, check out our article on winter fitness tips for more ideas on dressing properly. (KRISTIN, INCLUDE A LINK TO OUTDOOR WINTER EXERCISE ARTICLE HERE)
Think about where cold air can enter your clothing and cover it up. This includes sleeves, necks and at the ends of jackets and coats. Use a scarf and longer gloves or mittens to plug holes and opt for a hoodie from time to time. Be careful to lower the hood when you’re driving so you can see behind you and to the side when you turn your head.
Winter footwear should help keep your feet warm and dry, as well as help prevent slips and falls. Have a variety of sock options for work or play, and keep an extra pair in your car, locker or desk at work in the event you end up in a puddle. Galoshes and waterproof boots should be part of your winter wardrobe.
Gloves or Mittens?
While gloves might look more stylish, mittens keep your hands warmer by keeping all of your fingers in one pouch, sharing their warmth. If you’ll need to use your hands, gloves might provide more dexterity. If possible, keep a pair of each at home, in your car or at the office to give you the best option for a particular situation. Knitted mittens from mom or grandma might be charming, but opt for waterproof hand wear if possible. Think about keeping hand warmers in your car, purse or work desk for added protection.
You’ll be out in the darkness more during winter. This means more ice on the ground and drivers who might not see you until the last minute. Buy or make a reflective armband to put on during early morning walks or nighttime outings. Keep a mini flashlight on hand to help you navigate your footing. Wear shoes and boots with treads that grip the ice.
If you think your budget won’t allow you to buy everything you and your family want or need to stay warm each winter, get clothing, gloves, scarves, caps and boots half price (or less) during spring and summer sales. Another way to get everything you need without busting your budget is to hit the thrift shops. You’ll be amazed at the selection, quality and prices at today’s re-sale stores.