Fashionable & Warm WinterSaturday, December 26 Mandelieu-La Napoule
With temperatures dropping all around the country, there is no denying. Winter is officially here and all we can do is dig in and try to stay warm until Persephone decides to grace us with her presence once more. Although dressing like an Eskimo seems the wisest course at the moment, there is no need to sacrifice fashion for warmth as long as you use a few of the tips I’m about to share. And feel free to use them all at once, because I know I often do!
OWN AT LEAST ONE STURDY COAT
Now this may seem like something your grandmother would say but you absolutely have to own at least one really sturdy winter jacket. The style is completely up to you, but I would advise opting for as neutral a color as possible so you can wear it with the majority of your wardrobe. My secret tip is to get winter clothing made with alpaca fleece. It is warmer than sheep’s wool, plus it’s a natural water repellent which is perfect for when you get caught on a snowy day!
Overland has a beautiful selection of alpaca wool blend winter wear, although there are a number of online stores that only sell alpaca blend items, such as alpaca collections.com. You can also check Kohl's for a number of warm wool clothing items. A decent coat can be expensive so check sites like DISCOUNTRUE and RETAILMENOT.COM for coupons before you buy anything. The coat you buy needs to look good on you – not the model! So if it arrives and doesn’t look as nice as you hoped then find yourself a professional tailor because the extra investment is worth it! Also, you can try a belt if you feel it is a little too bulky.
SCARF IS A VERSATILE ACCESSORY
When you’re shopping for winter it is quite easy to end up with a wardrobe of neutral colors so you can mix and match everything you own. But winter is dreary enough so use scarves to add those pops of color your soul is crying out for while protecting your neck and shoulders from sneaky winds! Scarves are far more affordable than other winter wear so search for different ways to tie them and accessorize away! Or knit your own, if that’s more your style.
And it doesn’t have to be a simple knitted scarf either! A cashmere scarf from Cashmere Boutique is pure luxury, you could opt for a beautiful blanket or modal blend scarf (to die for!), a cozy knitted snood, a teddy fleece wrap scarf, a funky soft, textured bouclé knit scarf, a simple patterned tube scarf, a jacquard scarf or even an infinity scarf. It can be plain, it can be patterned and it can be a novelty design. And the best part is that most of these are available from NORDSTROM or Target!
BEANIES ARE OLD SCHOOL
When it comes to keeping ears warm, winter is the perfect time to rock those beanies, although if your hair is as wild and thick as mine the end result can be a little disastrous and they get pretty monotonous! Because I like easy style I normally pull a knitted head scarf over a plain headband because the scarf alone is not strong enough to hold my hair back. And if it’s cute enough, it doesn’t even have to come off when you’re indoors!
I sometimes wear a hat for extra protection as well. The head scarf (or beanie) gives it a snug fit so it doesn’t blow off and again, there are so many different styles I always have something that complements my outfit. Bandannas are making a comeback as fashion accessories (be still my cowgirl heart!) so I often combine one with my Stetson and embroidered, lined cowboy boots. No matter how miserable the day, cowboy anything makes me happy in my soul and all the compliments I get are just a nice bonus.
SWEATER SUGARHILL BOUTIQUEBLACK FAUX LEATHER SKINNY PANTS FROM LOOKBOOK STORE
BAG PAUL'S BOUTIQUE
TRY VARIATIONS ON THOSE COZY SWEATERS
When a sweater fits you just right and complements your outfit just so there isn’t much that can beat it. But finding that perfect sweater and pairing it perfectly isn’t so easy so try other outerwear for a fun and simple change. If you’re not sure about what might work as a sweater replacement then search for winter accessories at all your favorite stores. Some ideas are ponchos which suit a casual outfit to perfection, fur lined wraps are absolutely gorgeous and can be worn with everything from an evening dress to old worn jeans.
And beware the name. Seriously – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard about some new fashion trend in clothing and thought it sounds interesting, only to discover that it is actually a familiar favorite with an identity upgrade. Fashion designers around the world are going to kill me but a shawl is basically a wrap, is basically a pashmina. Ponchos are pretty much blankets that have either been folded in half with one part cut up the middle or there is just a hole cut in the center for your head to fit through. I could go on but you get the idea!
TRY HIGH TECH FASHION
These days everything else is getting a high tech upgrade so why shouldn’t fashion do the same? Thermal clothing isn’t that horrible shapeless thing it used to be nor is it exclusively ‘underwear’ anymore, even socks and tights or leggings have high tech versions. These days you get tops that look skimpy but are made out material designed to retain heat like the thermal polka dot top I got from Marks & Spencer. Tights and leggings with special heat technology, like Calvin Klein’s Tech Heat tights, are designed to keep you warm by retaining body heat.
And the great thing about tights is that you can wear them under or with anything you like! Pair them with distressed jeans (or any jeans!), with a cute little mini-skirt and even with a baby doll or a jersey dress. You can even wear your high tech tights under summery slacks or a long skirt so your summer wardrobe becomes a usable part of your winter wardrobe! Long socks can be a funky accessory as well and you could double up with socks and leggings if you like. If you’ve chosen the socks to suit your outfit then pull them over your tights, and if the tights are the accessory then put the socks on first or wear boots that hide them.
As you can see, it is possible to feel as warm and toasty as an Eskimo on a freezing cold day, but not sacrifice a single ounce of style. All you need to do is look at everything from a different point of view! Although, if you’re planning on playing in the snow then I would advise the ski jacket and bobble beanie with ear flaps!