How to look stylish in cold winter? 5 tips (+ shopping guide)

If you’re not living in a warm country, chances are you are wondering how can you still look cute and stylish in very cold weather?

I was asking myself the same thing until I found a few different tips that changed how I dress in a cold climate.

*A quick note: These are just suggestions, not rules. If you love wearing something and you feel great it in, continue wearing it – style is very much personal.

1. START WITH THERMAL BASICS

If you want to look stylish and warm, then the quickest way to get there is to buy a pair of wool or thermal tights that you can wear underneath your jeans and pants.

This way, you can wear whatever you normally would, without worrying about being cold. 

And this tip may sound obvious, but most people don’t do it – so if you haven’t already, invest in good thermal basics.

I bought a pair of woollen tights two years ago and I wear them whenever I know I’m going to be outside for a long time. 

You can do the same with your top – add a nice cotton body or a cami, to give you the warmth without the bulkiness.

And don’t forget about socks! Thick socks can be a lifesaver!

2. PICK THE RIGHT WINTER JACKET

The second most important thing to have in winter is a great warm jacket.

But often, these jackets are oversized, bulky and shapeless, instead of stylish and cute.

So how can we achieve a more polished look? By belting our winter jacket.

It doesn’t matter if it’s a down jacket or a fluffy one, a belt can define your waist and make you look extra put together.

So experiment with jackets and belts that you already own to see if you like this little tip!

But if you’re on a hunt for a new winter jacket, let me help you by sharing my guidelines for a great winter coat.

I used to wear short and bulky puffy jackets because that is what everyone around me was wearing. 

But no matter how I styled it, I never felt cute. And surprisingly, I wasn’t that warm either.

So when I moved back from the UK, and I had to replace my old winter jacket with a new one, I came up with a checklist for the perfect, warm and stylish winter coat.

I included points about style and comfort:

  • Enough room to comfortably move my arms. This one is not always easy to find, at least for me, but it’s the most important. When I’m in the store I always make sure to move my arms around, pretend that I’m driving, and try to reach something high. I want to make sure I am not restricted in any way. And if I’m not wearing anything thick underneath, as I would in winter, I look around the store so I can try my coat with a heavier knit, just like I would wear it in real life. 
  • Look for a belted or waist defined coat. We really shouldn’t sacrifice our warmth for style purposes, so instead, we can find a coat that has a belted or defined waist. Because I want to be really comfortable in my coat I sometimes size up, but I pick coats with a belt so that I don’t look like I’m drowning in the jacket. 
  • For styling and warmth purposes, look for a longer coat: short jackets can be cute, but your best bet is to look for a long winter coat. I don’t know why I never owned one before, but now that I do – oh, what a difference! I feel elegant and warm at the same time.
  • Pick the right colour for you: colours can break or make a look so make sure you know which style you want before going shopping. If you don’t have a coat that you already love, I recommend going for neutrals, like black, creme, camel or grey. These are timeless colours that will make your coat more versatile and stylish. But you know your wardrobe best, so make sure whichever colour you pick is the one that you can wear with the majority of your closet.
  • Avoid trendy pieces (unless they represent your style): when investing in a coat, look for versatility and longevity. Jackets without trendy hardware or designs are usually more classic and therefore a much better buy. So watch out for trendy things that might make coat less versatile, either now or in the future.
  • Buy a winter jacket with a hood, preferably removable. This way you’re covered if you get caught up in the rain or snow, and you can also remove it if you want to wear it with a wool hat or a beret.

3. PROTECT YOUR SHOES WITH WATER REPELLENT

If the winters are cold, they are probably also rainy and snowy.

It depends on what your day to day is like, but if you aren’t walking outside a lot, then I think investing in snow or rain boots isn’t necessary. 

What you can do instead is protect the shoes you already have with a water repellent.

I did that with my Ugg boots and the spray is so good that I can wear them even when it’s snowing. But like I said, I don’t pick them when I know I’m going to be walking for a long time.

Another fantastic choice, if you aren’t walking in rain or snow all day, is flat over the knee boots – I love, love, love wearing them in the winter!

Because they are higher, they provide that extra layer for warmth, and at the same time, they make you look like you put a lot of effort in your outfit. And even though they don’t have a heel, it kind of gives you that polished look anyway.

So if you’re looking to buy a really versatile pair, this is the one I would go for. Just make sure you pick a pair you can wear on rainy days to maximize their use.

On the other hand, if you are outside a lot, investing in functional snow boots is something to consider.

So what are the best tips for buying stylish snow boots?

  • Buy them in a monochrome colour. In order to get the most out of your shoes, look for shoes that are all one colour. That will not only give you a more stylish look, but they will also be much easier to style with the rest of your wardrobe.
  • What colour to pick? As fun as various colours can be, you only really need one pair, so make sure you find them in a colour that you can wear with pretty much everything. Look at your coats, scarves, hats and other things you own so you can narrow down and pick your favourite colour.
  • The less bulky, the better: yes, snowshoes are bulkier than other boots, but there are some great options out there. So avoid buying the classic snow boots – I had those when I was growing up and they weren’t that great, to be honest. In the end, I had to wear a plastic bag over my socks because all the water would come through, despite them being “waterproof”. 
  • Spend a little bit more: more money doesn’t always guarantee better quality, but usually, it’s better to invest in high-quality pieces so they will last you a long time. I would recommend buying snowboots from companies that are known for designing great shoes, instead of trendy shops or brands, where you’ll pay more for the name and not quality.

4. PICK THE RIGHT ACCESSORIES

A great winter jacket is a great foundation, but accessories are the things that complete the outfit.

With accessories, you can express your personality and create a more polished look.

But some styles and materials work better than others:

  • Gloves: obviously, gloves are a must in winter. But as with coat, they can elevate your outfit or bring it down. The thing to look out for are materials; leather looks much more stylish than cotton, and a lovely cashmere-blend or suede can be great options too. I would again recommend going for more neutral colours, preferably in the colour of your coat.
  • Hats are a must in winter because they prevent losing heat from your head – but what kind of hat you pick can change the whole look of your outfit. I would avoid classic winter hats with a pom because they don’t really do much in terms of style. Other styles you can try instead are cute earmuffs, a wool hat or french berets. *TIP: if you want to be even warmer wearing a wool hat, you can wear it with a warm headband underneath.
  • Scarves: you can’t go wrong with a scarf. And the great thing is you can go as wild or as neutral as you want – scarves are where you can show your personality and style. Plus they’ll also keep you warm. I have eight different scarves, and I love how they transform my outfits from boring to fun!
  • Bags: as with scarves you can mix your bags as much as you want. You can go from neutral colours that blend nicely with your outfit or you can choose colours that will make a pop! I personally love matching the bag with the colour of my shoes or to a shade of colour in my scarf.

5. WEAR SKIRTS AND DRESSES

You can still wear your skirts and dresses in winter without being cold.

All that you have to do is get high DEN tights (70+), which work for most days.

But if it’s super cold, you can always get 300 DEN tights. They’re more opaque, but still a great choice.

*TIP: You can also layer your tights! If I want to wear tights that have patterns or are sheer, I simply put on nude tights (70+ DEN) underneath the pair of my choice.

Another thing to consider is adding a cashmere sweater dress to your collection. 

I bought one last year and it’s so warm I call it a wearable blanket! I also have two wool skirts that are perfect for winter weather.

So when you’re buying things for winter, make sure to check the materials that will keep you warm.

Cotton, cashmere, merino wool and cable-knit wool are all great options that will keep you warm without making you look too bulky.

Just make sure you pick the right colours so you get a lot of use out of these new items!

That is it! I hope you find this little guide helpful, and yes, these are not groundbreaking ideas but remember, the devil is in the details!

What is your favourite winter style tip? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below ๐Ÿ˜‰

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