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How to Dress Well in Cold Weather


Girl wearing a winter coat

With a few months still left in winter, dressing for cold weather is something we’ve all gotten used to. But showing off your style while still staying warm can be a challenge. After all, it’s tough to see your outfit when it’s covered up by a big jacket. What’s a stylish girl to do?

Don’t worry, you don’t have to forgo looking good to keep from getting frostbite this year. There are many ways to dress so you can stay warm and still show off your fashion sense, and none of them require breaking the bank.

Here are some tips for braving the cold and still looking hot:

* Invest in a classic and stylish coat.

Your coat is the most important part of your winter wardrobe, so invest in a fabulous one that will last you many years. I’ve talked about cute winter coats here before, so be sure to read the linked article if you’re coat-hunting.

If you just want something classic that won’t go out of style, I personally recommend a pea coat. A good quality wool pea coat will stand the test of time and keep you super warm. Pick one up in black if you want a basic coat that goes with everything, but don’t be afraid to invest in something a little flashier if you find one in an amazing shade of red or hot pink. Bold colored pea coats are fabulous!

If your style is on the trendier side, consider picking up a trendy winter coat like a plaid parka, swing coat, or cocoon coat. You’ll make a statement and stand out from the crowd with your funky style.

* Add interest to your winter look with accessories.

Winter accessories - hats, scarves, mittens, and gloves

Product Information: Gloves and Mittens – Topshop, Blue scarf – Aeropostale, Plaid scarf – Burberry, available at Nordstrom, Hat – Topshop.

Accessorizing isn’t just for regular outfits – you can (and should) accessorize your outerwear as well! Bright scarves, cute hats, and colorful gloves are your best friends during the winter months. Even better, they’re so cheap that there’s no reason not to buy a bunch in different colors.

Lately I’ve been in love with Pashmina scarves from Pashmina International – they’re really warm, come in so many colors, and go with almost everything. They’re perfect paired with a basic coat to add a pop of bright color to an otherwise dull outfit.

And don’t forget about gloves! Make a statement while you keep your hands warm with a bright pair of hot pink knit mittens, or go for a rocker vibe with an amazing pair of studded faux-leather fringe gloves.

* Switch it up with two coats.

If it’s in your budget, consider buying two winter coats this year – one for everyday, and one for special occasions. That way you can alternate them and keep your winter wardrobe looking fresh. For example, I have one basic black pea coat for everyday that I spent a little more on, and a cheaper cobalt blue “statement” coat for nights out or whenever I feel like standing out a little more.

* Rock fabulous winter boots.

One of my favorite things about winter fashion is that I have an excuse to buy cute boots. Boots are so versatile in winter, and if you get the right pair, you’ll have the perfect footwear for almost any occasion. A great pair of boots is a must-have if you want to be stylish in winter. For more on boots, here’s an article I wrote recently about cute winter boots for any budget.

* Remember that being warm is still the most important thing.

At the end of the day, no matter how cute your winter outfit is, if it doesn’t keep you warm, it’s not doing it’s job. That’s why it’s crucial to spend a little more money on a quality coat that will keep you toasty instead of going for a cheap yet fashionable jacket. Spending more now means you’ll have a quality piece you can wear for years.

What are you wearing this winter?

There you have it – my top tips for staying warm and looking great in cold weather. Now I want to hear yours!

How do you dress in winter? Are you a pea coat fan like me? Do you have a favorite pair of toasty winter boots? Tell us all about it in the comments section.

Posted on on February 2, 2009 / Filed Under: Fashion Tips / Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

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49 Responses to “How to Dress Well in Cold Weather”

  1. 1
    February 3rd, 2009 at 12:40 am

    I have a pair of fuzzy Sorel Boots that I love! They stand out and keep my feet cozy and dry!!!

  2. 2
    February 3rd, 2009 at 12:43 am

    I have a long coat for really cold days and a shorter coat for the not so cold days. Also just to stay warm in the dorm I buy lots of long socks! Oh and leather gloves are a must! warm, stylish, and comfortable!

  3. 3
    February 3rd, 2009 at 1:05 am

    Thank you! I requested this article a while ago, and now its here. Could you pair some cute winter outfits in a couple of different styles like how you did the party outfit article? Please :)

  4. 4
    February 3rd, 2009 at 2:41 am

    i have these fab pair of zip up boots that i would wear with jeans…and a pink coat to top it all up ;)…

  5. 5
    February 3rd, 2009 at 2:47 am

    Could you do one of these for warm weather please? It’s already hot here in Arizona :(

  6. 6
    February 3rd, 2009 at 7:51 am

    i agree with natalie =))) pls? =)
    and i love scarves, boots and mittens =)
    they just look so cute!

  7. 7
    February 3rd, 2009 at 7:59 am

    I wear my black swing coats and gorgeous, lace-up boots for winter over here in England. =)

  8. 8
    February 3rd, 2009 at 10:53 am

    i love pea coats – but its too cold here to wear them everyday!

  9. 9
    February 3rd, 2009 at 12:33 pm

    I live in my black peacoat, skinny jeans, and vintage Frye boots. If it’s real cold I wear a toasty sweater under the peacoat, like a fisherman’s knit in creme. On warmer days I wear my pink fur-lined hoodie. For dress I have a long leather coat with a faux fur lining that keeps my legs warm if I wear a skirt.

  10. 10
    February 3rd, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Ooh, thankyou SO much, I’ve been thinking about asking you for a post like this, it’s hard to know how to jazz up an outfit when all you’re doing is wearing the same coat day after day. This has been so helpful, especially with the recent downpour of snow over here in the UK =D

  11. 11
    February 3rd, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    im so thankfull for all of your usefull blogs!

  12. 12
    February 3rd, 2009 at 4:23 pm

    This is great! Could you do a post about winter clothes? I’m stuck in Minnesota and bored of wearing scarves every day to keep warm in cold classrooms. Any ideas to mix it up while still being warm is appreciated!

  13. 13
    February 3rd, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    My coat is just the same puffy coat I’ve been wearing for a couple winters now. It’s lasted really well, and it has a built-in snap belt too, so at least I have a little shape while wearing it. I’m thinking about investing in a wool coat, though. My puffy coat is black, but I’d like a wool coat in a camel color. It snows a lot here so heeled/leather boots are not practical. Instead, I’ve been wearing some really cozy (and warm! most important thing) BearPaw boots. Not sure if I’m the only one who does this, but I wear TWO pairs of gloves/mittens every day. It really is that cold. I usually wear gloves underneath a pair of mittens. A friend has these cool gloves she got from the website Perpetual Kid. You plug them into the USB port on your laptop and they warm up. I’m considering getting a pair…for this winter or next. (Hopefully I’ll move somewhere warm after that.)

    I hear ya on the Pashmina scarves. I love them! Whenever I go abroad to visit relatives, I buy a whole bunch. I like to match them to my outfits, and they stand out really well against the black coat.

  14. 14
    February 3rd, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    Nice to see someone else embracing winter instead of complaining about it! Winter and snow are my faves. My flat tan leather boots are probably the best splurge of the season.. they keep my feet toasty dry and look good while they’re doing it. Doesn’t get any better than that when you live in MA :)

  15. 15
    February 3rd, 2009 at 11:39 pm

    Wool coats are lovely, but they just don’t keep the wind out during a prairie winter. For that very reason, I have a bomber style ski jacket that I wear November through February.

  16. 16
    February 4th, 2009 at 12:17 am

    My perfect winter outfit is my ivory cashmere sweater, burberry scarf, black sloucht beanie, dark wash skinny jeans, and my red swing coat. My fav!

  17. 17
    February 4th, 2009 at 2:30 am

    this is great.
    later it will be nice if you could please do the same article for summer,fall,spring etc. love ur tips.

  18. 18
    February 4th, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I love winter! You can pile on the layers and I absolutely adore scarfs! I wear one almost everyday during this time of year. My friends all think I’m nuts, but it’s my favorite time of year.

  19. 19
    February 4th, 2009 at 3:14 pm

    I have a pea coat and a plaid toggle coat that are both made of wool, but it snows so much where I go to school that I need something more practical that isn’t hideous. The snow sticks to wool and then when you get to class it melts! Do you have any waterproof suggestions?

  20. 20
    February 4th, 2009 at 5:12 pm

    i actually have a black swing coat.
    i dress it up with vintage print scarves and mittens. it’s basically a blank canvas so i cud just throw in a “pop” of color and im all set.
    i live in canada so there is tons of snow and we have -40 temperature, so underneath the coat, i usually have 2-3 layers of clothing. preferably a cardigan, or a cashmere sweater.
    ps: but fall is still my fav. fashion season. =)

  21. 21
    February 4th, 2009 at 6:41 pm

    ah, this is a much needed article! we get cold weather so infrequently that I’m always at a loss on how to bundle up and still look cute! Today I wore a navy trench, ski cap & scarf:)

  22. 22
    February 6th, 2009 at 6:17 pm

    I can’t believe Uggs aren’t mentioned!!

  23. 23
    February 6th, 2009 at 11:47 pm

    I bought those Croc books –the highball lambswool boots– because of your website! I absolutely love them!

  24. 24
    February 7th, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    i live pretty far north, so one of my favorite things to do during winter is to wear warm leggings under my jeans so that I don’t get cold walking to classes. I also have a few pairs of suede boots for when the sidewalks are dry, but I wear rainboots when its really slushy out.

  25. 25
    February 7th, 2009 at 6:11 pm

    I have two peacoats, a plain black one and a white and black plaid one so I like to switch it up once in awhile. I have a pair of Ugg birch boots that aren’t just like the regular ones, they have leather so they are very practical for winter in Maine and they never get wet. Plus, I have noticed that a lot of my friends that have the regular Uggs that they have gotten ruined from the snow and salt that is put on the roads.

  26. 26
    February 7th, 2009 at 7:46 pm

    Great article! Snow makes it hard to look cute for sure, but it’s good to know it can be done! I have a navy wool duffel coat from American Eagle that I wear most snowy days, and a hot pink pea coat for evenings or when I feel like being bold. Usually in the snow I stick with the trusted Uggs for warmth, but I recently invested in a pair of slouchy black leather boots with a small heel. They’re really comfortable and look great with so many outfits, especially over skinny jeans! For winter accessories it’s usually just a pair of plain stretch gloves and a black crochet beret, sometimes a pashmina if it goes well with my outfit.

  27. 27
    February 7th, 2009 at 11:12 pm

    Great post! I love scarves, I wear one every day. I also wear tights under my jeans, I find that helps a lot, especially with my cheap, ultra-thin stretch skinny jeans, which are thin as paper. I can’t believe I never noticed that when I bought them.

    Here in Toronto, being warm is completely necessary, especially because I take the bus and walking to the stop and waiting is… cold. I’ll also add, never underestimate a pair of good gloves. I love my black leather gloves. They are warm and they go well with my black jacket.

  28. 28
    February 8th, 2009 at 12:38 am

    just a thought..
    can you update the blog more often :S?
    i loooove this site and can’t find a better one..
    but the only bad thing is that its not updated quickly enough =(
    thanks so much!

  29. 29
    February 8th, 2009 at 3:00 am

    In Paris, we wear black… Le noir, c’est simple, c’est bien

  30. 30
    February 8th, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    In response to Sharon: You know, people do have lives outside of blogging on the Internet. A lot of fashion blogs have many super short posts (which I assume is where you get your “not updated quickly enough” from since these blogs often update multiple times a day. Zephyr does a great job of actually writing, instead of just saying “In winter it is cold, so go grab a warm jacket, gloves, scarf, and boots.” and that’s it like some other websites do. Give her a break.

  31. 31
    February 8th, 2009 at 1:06 pm

    For winter in the northwest United States close to the Canadian border, I wear the same things as I do during the other seasons. The only difference is that I wear a long pea coat over my dresses, skirts, pants (I never wear shorts, even in the warmer months), and pair it with tall boots and long sleeved shirts and blazers or cropped jackets.

    Scarves are great, too! As they add a pop of color to any outfit.

    Hope everyone stays warm and stylish for the last few months of winter!

  32. 32
    February 8th, 2009 at 6:23 pm

    I’ve had a pretty mind, yet wet (as usual) winter. This year I’ve only had to wear three light jackets. I have a wonderful black pea coat I picked up on sale for 60 bucks- I’ve had it for 3 years now, and it has lasted through my yo-yo pounds and a ton of wears and it has never gone out of style. This year I bought a new North Face jacket, because the one I had FOREVER finally gave out on me. So I went with solid black as opposed to the black and charcoal I had before. I’m not a huge fan of people using North Face jackets as a status item, but mine is great because I do a ton of kayaking, even in the winter months, and biking and running, and the NF is great for that. I bought a mustard coat at Forever21 which I absolutely love. I get tons of compliments on it, and the best part? My dad bought it for me for just 20 bucks while we were on a shopping trip together. I have a ton of pairs of winter boots, naturally. I have my favorites, a pair of leather cowgirl-style boots from Steve Madden that I adore, and the Tahoe from Chinese Laundry. The Tahoe looks great under super skinny jeans (dark) and is perfect with dresses. I have a few pairs of crocket boots that go to the knees. My favorite pair is dark brown with cream colored snowflake patterns. Really cute for around town on a cold day. I have my flowered rainboots from Forever21–ah wonderful! I’m a boot freak. haha. I have tons of scarves and things because I’m just ALWAYS so cold. My favorite gloves are calf skin in a light caramel color. They look great with this orange scarf I have, my black pea coat, and the cowgirl boots. So yes, I love winter fashion. So much more fun than summer!!

  33. 33
    February 9th, 2009 at 7:09 am

    In Response to Sarah:
    I don’t mean to push and force her to write everyday, i understand she does have other things to do with so little time. I just meant that I really enjoy her blog, and wish to see more of it…….

    I hope you know what I mean! I didn’t mean to give you pressure or anything! I just really love this blog :) thanks?

  34. 34
    February 9th, 2009 at 7:12 am

    i meant thanks!*
    sorry for the stupid typo :)

  35. 35
    February 9th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Outwear is my favorite thing to buy! A stylish, functional coat is priceless! This season, I’m obsessed with leather (plus they’re actually showing leather coats for spring this year, so you can get an extra season out of it!). just got in this fabulous Marc Jacobs jacket ( Plus they’re having a sweet sale right now and everything is an extra 30% off (including sale items which are already around 60% off – look for the special code).

  36. 36
    February 10th, 2009 at 7:21 am

    how about for hot/tropical weather..

  37. 37
    February 10th, 2009 at 7:43 pm

    Sharon – I know, I really would like to update more often and am working to do that! It’s tough running this all by myself. But as for the past week, I didn’t update because I had no internet – my boyfriend and I moved to a new apartment and we had problems getting the internet hooked up. I won’t let this site go without an update for that long again! And look for more frequent updates soon :)

  38. 38
    February 12th, 2009 at 12:56 pm

    I like coats with a burberry scarf that makes it look so stylish
    i also love the jackets with the furry hats attached to them with jeans and flat boots
    and i love pantyhose all colors it can keep you warm and looking hot at the same time

  39. 39
    July 12th, 2009 at 6:24 pm

    It usually snows like propery-when it lies on the ground,usually just once a year where i live-scotland-so i didn’t buy clothes for it,then when we got sent home from school because of the snow,me and my friends went out in the snow,i didn’t want to freeze so i still dressed warm but i looked ridiculous because i didn’t have any cute and warm clothes ready.hopefully i’ll be ready for next year

  40. 40
    September 18th, 2009 at 10:12 pm

    I am definitely a peacoat fan! They always look so chic, and you can dress them up or down.

  41. 41
    October 2nd, 2009 at 10:13 am

    thanks sooooo much for this. i just moved to scotland and it is soooooo cold as opposed to africa where i grew up-temps are already below 10celsius…lol. this blog’s helped me a lot,so much so that i’m tearing up.stepping out now wt an idea of what to get…see u all when i’m thru

  42. 42
    October 24th, 2009 at 5:29 am

    After reading this article I felt comfortable in what i chose to wear out: medium blue skinny jeans (RIVER ISLAND) , a black 3/4 length sleeve tee (H&M) with my ugg boots and my checked winter coat (JANE NORMAN), and I used an orange scarf (TESCO) to brighten the look up. Plus I had my cream fingerless/mitten gloves (TESCO) to keep me warm when I needed them.

    My looked also proved you don’t need to spend much on accessories but an expensive winter coat is a must.

    Skinny jeans: £40
    Black Tee: £7.99
    Orange scarf: £3
    Cream gloves: £3
    Fake Ugg boots: £10
    Winter coat: £90

    It just shows the coat is the staple item for the outfit and the rest can be changed quite cheaply!

    Thanks Zephyr!!

  43. 43
    September 30th, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I loove this site! I love the trends and all the comments! But i have a super problem that i cant seem to solve even with these trends!
    I am currently attending a college that is so small that i can count al my class mates in my hand; that would be okay if the clothing rules were’t so strict. Making everyone seem the same!
    Firstly i cant ear heels; which although is disappointing is reasonable. Secondly i can’t wear anything shorter than knee-length, meaning i can’t wear thighs because as i am abnormally short anything below knee length makes me look… even shorter! Thirdly, i can’t use any type of running shoes, laces and all star… ect. Meaning tory burch is my savior. And lastly, i can’t wear anything even resembling jeans! For crying out loud! We are in 2010, not in medieval times!
    I really need help with my wardrobe, i have used all my fashion sense and yours! Cute , sophisticated, cool, funny… all waer out after five months! Please help me!
    XOXO, hope u read this, Cora Topez

  44. 44
    September 7th, 2011 at 3:57 pm

    thankyou for this.. i just recently moved to ottawa, canada from southern arizona and the weather here is completely opposite. it’s a weird feeling looking for a good winter coat in september. all these comments really helped me too. i already have a scarf, hat, and sweater colection.. now just for the coat and boots. wish me luck cause i have no experience shopping for either of these. -A

  45. 45
    November 14th, 2011 at 12:09 pm

    Nice Tips for winter season.
    thanks for sharing…!!

  46. 46
    January 16th, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    heyy, my favorite winter coat is my kelly-green trench. i sprayed it with camp-dry so it’s waterproof. it’s thin for fall but it’s also loose enough that i can fit a bulky sweater or hoodie underneath to keep warm. i also have some really awesome long johns that i got at the army surplus store (so technically they’re mens, but the public ain’t gonna see the crotch of ‘em) they’re plain black so i can wear them like tights under a skirt if i want or, of course, under pants.

  47. 47
    May 15th, 2012 at 2:01 am

    Thanks for this..
    very nice tips for winter season…

  48. 48
    June 19th, 2012 at 1:33 am

    All very true :)
    That being said, Canadian winters make fashionable boots rather impractical – we opt for warm, clunky pairs in which we can tread through a foot of snow or shuffle across sheets of ice.
    We do, however, really enjoy fashionable boots in the spring and fall :D

  49. 49
    December 7th, 2012 at 11:54 am

    i like all the clothes and shall be trying out these different girly styles- hehe :)

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