Fashion Challenge: Style a Parka

Publish date:
How to wear a parka and still look fashionable

As we get into December,  I can finally say with confidence that cold weather has set in across the United States. And with cold weather comes precipitation (You know what I'm talking about, Syracuse University students!), and there is NOTHING more miserable than being wet AND cold.

A parka is a great way to fight the winter elements. Waterproof,  comfortable, and durable, these coats are more practical than some trendier ones you might find. And a sturdy parka is a great investment -- it will keep you looking and feeling great, even on the coldest days.

This week's challenge is to take your parka and turn it into a work of fashion! Interested, but unsure how? Read on for tips on how to style a parka!

Tips and Tricks for Looking Fashionable in a Parka

  • If you're shopping for a new parka, look for a version that's more on the dressy side. Since it's a parka, you won't have to worry about it ever looking too dressy. A more tailored version will up the style of a usually casual piece, and will make you feel like a million bucks even in the harshest weather.
  • Avoid the overly shiny variety if you can - as you can see in the photos above, parkas with a more matte finish generally look more stylish and are easier to wear than the shiny, puffy, quilted kind.
  • Find a version that is loose enough to layer underneath. This way, you can pile on shirts and sweaters and still have enough room for movement.
  • Belted versions are great as well -- they'll give even puffy down parkas a bit of shape!
  • Use accessories to make your outfit cute. Beanies and trapper hats look adorable on cold winter days.
  • I love the military-style parkas with fur lining that have been popping up everywhere, from runways to Target. They're both practical and chic.
  • Don't be afraid to try wearing your parka with a dress or a skirt. It'll look fine as long as you add a pair of tights or leggings and boots.

Outfit Inspiration

Outfit 1: Wet and Wild

How to wear a parka and look fashionable: outfit 1

Parka, Jeggings, Flannel Shirt, Earrings, Gloves, Boots

Cold, rainy days are never fun, but you'll feel a little sunnier knowing that you're wearing bright colors underneath your practical parka! Pull on a cozy pair of jeggings and you favorite flannel (add your favorite sweater and switch to jeans if it's super cold). Add cute earrings and girly gloves, and bundle up with bright rain boots and a water-proof parka.

Outfit 2: Baby It's Cold Outside

How to wear a parka and look fashionable: outfit 2

Sweater, Beanie, Jeans, Parka (sold out but similar ones are available), Boat Shoes, Umbrella

This outfit is simple yet chic! A long black sweater will look great with distressed jeans and basic boat shoes. Finish with a warm beanie, fur lined parka, and a cheery red umbrella to block the rain or sleet.

Outfit 3: Stylish and Chic

How to wear a parka and look fashionable: outfit 3

Parka, Dress Shirt, Skirt, Tights, Shoes, Ring, Necklace

Just because it's cold outside, that doesn't mean you have to be sloppy! A long parka can easily be dressed up for a chic look in the dead of winter. Tuck a white dress shirt into a high-waist muted floral skirt. Pull on a pair of tights, and some cute lace up booties. Finish with some vintage looking jewelry.

Rocked the Challenge? Send In Photos!

Did you take your parka and turn it into a fashion masterpiece? Send in your photos to fashionchallenge AT along with your name, school, a description of what you're wearing, and the URL of your blog if you have one. We'll post your pictures here to inspire other CF readers!

We can make you a celebrity overnight :)


What does your parka look like? Is it easy to style? What winter coats do you think are the most practical? What future fashion challenges would you like to see? Let us what you think with a comment!

Related Stories