“Winter is a season of recovery and preparation.“
— Paul Theroux SHOP THE POST:
Coat – Asos (similar) || Cardigan – Forever 21 (similar) || Dress – Forever 21 (similar) || Scarf – Club Monaco (similar) || Hat – Forever 21 (similar) || Booties – c/o Hush Puppies || Gloves – Echo (similar) || Sunglasses – Le Specs || Lips – YSL in ‘Nude Beige’
Photos courtesy of Ali of Those White Walls
Here in the Midwest we know how to tackle winter like PROS.
I often tell people the key to surviving winter comfortably and stylishly is LAYERS. But not just any layers… intelligent layers.
Things like long underwear, fleece-lined leggings (a winter wardrobe essential!), turtlenecks, and thick cardigans are incredibly important to helping build warmth that can easily be removed in case you end up overheating later (you really never know in winter what the weather will do).
How to Layer in Winter
1. Keep Things Simple
When I layer in winter I like to stick to one or two color palettes and/or neutrals in order to keep the look easy and put-together. I’ve already written two posts on how to dress in monochrome (One and Two) and follow many of the same guidelines when it comes to layers in winter. Maybe it’s just that I’m busy and don’t have time to play around with different color combinations but I find when I stick to a simple color palette, layering becomes A LOT easier (and it looks so chic!).
2. Include Breathable Fabrics
I have a love/hate relationship with fabrics like polyester in winter. I find synthetic fabrics, when layered in the cold, breathe poorly and cause me to sweat unnecessarily (and when I remove the layers the sweating gives me the chills!). So whenever possible, include real wool and cashmere layers to stay warm and comfortable all day long.
3. Never Forget a Hat
Heat escapes through the head so all your well styled layers will be in vain if you don’t capture that heat with a cozy hat. Be smart and find a hat that coordinates with your layers like this old marled beanie I have in today’s look. Find a few in neutrals, subtle prints, or even one big red one in order to stay warm and to finish your look in a practical yet chic way.
4. Pay Attention to Proportions
Layers can easily look clunky and heavy… not to mention sloppy. I always like to streamline any layers by making sure that the layers underneath are shorter than the outer layers — today’s outfit wouldn’t have been nearly as successful if my cardigan had been longer than my coat. But, that said, sometimes layers peeking out underneath can look really stylish such as a contrasting sleeve peeking past a coat arm. Experiment and play around with your layers to find a balance that suits your personal style.
5. Always Include a Turtleneck
Maybe this is just my preference. But I LOVE layering turtlenecks under everything in winter. EVERYTHING. And it’s a great, easy way to add some warmth layers to your neck too, especially underneath a scarf. Find one in a great breathable wool (cotton can get damp when you sweat) and wear it with reckless abandon underneath everything from summer dresses to cheap chunky knits (another winter wardrobe essential).