DRESSING ON THE SIDE: Chic Without Chills

How do you stay warm and look wonderful at the same time? No need to dress like the Michelin Man.

Published January 18, 2015 5:55 PM
4 min read


layersHow do you stay warm and look wonderful at the same time? No need to dress like the Michelin Man.

By Maureen Mancini Amaturo

sweaterdressHow do you stay warm and look wonderful at the same time? No need to dress like the Michelin Man. We’re featuring enough bulk from the holiday calories, thank you very much. No need to burden yourself with fathoms of fluff, cumbersome pieces, or undefined silhouettes. No need to freeze, either. Cold weather doesn’t have to be a fashion challenge. Check out the options that serve as a fortress against the freeze with finesse. Cozy fabrics, chic colors, fun accessories, and trendy touches do double duty when it comes to blocking the big chill without compromising your sense of style. Snuggle up to a few of these ideas until spring changes everything.


Layering Secrets
• Wear a nude, fitted camisole under tops, sweaters, dresses. It won’t show, and it will add a layer against the cold without adding bulk.


• Put your cardigans to good use. They’re thin, lightweight, and look great over lots of tops and blouse styles. Cardigans work with skirts, dress pants, or jeans. Play down the preppieness by adding a wild, oversized, fun brooch or a statement necklace.

• Choose long-sleeved tops in stretch knits that will be comfortable and sleek under jackets and sweaters. Again, added warmth, no bulk.

• Look for skirts and jackets that are lined for double benefit: lining adds warmth and subtracts the potential for any scratchy fabric feel against your skin.


Winter Basics
• The sweater dress. It’s a go-to for an entire season of style. Comfortable, cozy, and great for office or out at night. Perfect with opaque tights and thigh-high boots. A fitted silhouette in a solid color is most versatile and can better handle the transformation to evening dress-up.


tights• Opaque Stockings. Thicker and warmer than tights or pantyhose. Comforting winter fashion staple that can go fancy or informal. Paired with boots, you can’t go wrong. Possible alternate: leggings, especially in solid black. The more substantial leggings create a great look under an oversized sweater, dress, blazer. Though leggings are thicker and not see-through, when wearing leggings, it’s wise to have a top/jacket /sweater/ dress that covers your derriere. Wearing opaque tights as pants is a no-no.  


• Long or Knee-Length Coat. Obviously, longer is warmer. From a fashion point of view, choose a tailored coat and style it as if it were a dress. Wear it with opaque tights, heeled boots, scarves, a statement bag, and try a waist-cinching belt.  

Toasty Trends
• Colors and prints on accessories to add spark to basic black, brown, and grey outerwear. Black and white, black and burgundy, a punch of red, and a blast of cobalt blue. Colorful sneakers, printed oxfords.


• Colorful handbags. The color of the moment is a chestnut brown and candy apple red combo, a brown-tinted maroon. Burgundy becomes one of the most popular reds of the season because: Pantone’s color of the year for 2015 is Marsala, “A naturally robust and earthy wine red, Marsala enriches our minds, bodies and souls,” says Pantone.

• Gloves in high-voltage color, especially leather gloves.  This will add personality and a thrill to traditional somber winter outerwear colors. Both Betsey Johnson and J. Crew (and others) offer styles that leave fingers free for texting.


hat• Fun and functional hats, like felt hats and beanie caps, birdcage netting over wool beanie hats. Hate hat hair? Grab fuzzy, colorful earmuffs.


• Blanket scarf or infinity scarf to keep the wind out and the warm in. Depending on the style and fabric, this could be an indoor-outdoor accessory. You could leave it on as part of your outfit. Check out the oversized, flannel scarf from Old Navy.  

• Fur/Faux fur collars, shrugs, or scarves over jackets and coats for instant style.  


• Knee-high, and more importantly for winter 2015, over-the-knee boots. You can wear knee socks under these to really keep toasty and no one would ever know. Check out the Chinese Laundry and Steve Madden styles on sale now at Nordstrom.


• Quirky mixes. Floral scarf with an army jacket, faux fur with jeans, leather biker jacket over a thick, cable-knit sweater.


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