Do: Belt Your Coats
Whether it’s summer or winter, we strive to make sure our body has shape. Even with jackets, we found that adding a belt can create a waist. There are some instances when coats are intentionally straight and baggy, but it's always better to create shape rather than letting fabric swallow your frame.
This technique also happens to work with dresses and sweaters! Baggy sweaters are flying off the shelves these days, but most of them aren't that flattering without a little help on your end. Accentuating your waist with a plain black belt is cheaper than getting all of your clothes tailored, anyway.
Don’t: Forget to Layer
Winter can be tricky. Outside is freezing and every store and office is super toasty. We found that layering is the best solution. In general, wearing light to heavy keeps us from wearing something super warm as a base that can’t be removed. We wear a shirt, cardigan, coat, and then our scarf so we can remove pieces when necessary.
We can’t stress enough that you should dress for your weather. For this reason, we check the weather and make sure we’re not going to freeze our butts off to look good. Trust us when we say that freezing for the sake of fashion is just ridiculous! Know your worth and layer up!
Do: Brighten Up with Accessories
The winter calls for depth and vibrancy that's usually missing in the dead, white-and-gray ennvironment. The first thing you want to do during the winter season is swap out your pastels and light hues for deep reds and darker colors that are eye catching. But there are options beyond those, too!
Whenever you choose an outfit that’s especially dark for the cold days, make sure to jazz it up by adding a colorful accessory. From color-saturated purses to statement necklaces and patterned scarves, how you choose to accessorize will make or break your winter outfits. Despite what others have to say, your black leggings and ratty gray coat aren't doing you any favors.
Don’t: Stick to All Black
Listen, we absolutely adore black, and it was tough not going full Wednesday Addams. We still stay darker, but we add other colors to our outfits like emerald greens and greys to break up the black. It gives our outfits a dynamic look that we crave. Sometimes we even go with brighter shades like sunny yellow!
Of course, going all black occasionally can be fun, but don't let it consume you. There's nothing wrong with splashing a little color into your wardrobe! Don't worry, you can still be professional with hot pink lipstick, we promise! And if you want to stand out in certain environments -- say, an important work event -- the monochrome black won't cut it.
Do: Invest In Classic Wardrobe Staples
It may be tempting to skimp on the plain pieces of your wardrobe, but that could be the worst fashion mistake you could make. Invest in classic staples like a white T-shirt and a black turtleneck so that your wardrobe has a strong foundation. You rely on these pieces more than you realize, and those $5 tights will rip by the third wear.
That being said, don't forget about navy pieces. Black and white are classic, and we had our doubts when we first started wearing navy basics, but we can admit when we’re wrong. We found that the navy brightened our skin and made us look more refreshed. It's perfect for switching up professional looks, too!
Don’t: Blow Money on Trends
While winter is the perfect time to experiment with clothing, avoid blowing too much money on trendy pieces. There's nothing inherently wrong with puffer coats or bucket hats—we adore them all. But don't expect them to stay in style longer than this season. Certain pieces are considered timeless for a reason!
For example, bubble coats may be warm, but they smother your waist. Overall, they make us look like Violet Beauregarde from Willy Wonka— yes, the girl who turned into a blueberry. Instead, invest in a classic, quality wool coat. They’re just as warm, will allow you to accentuate your waist with belts, can withstand multiple winters, and will always be fashionable.
Do: Show Off Your Sleeves
What's a fun way to add a bit of pizzazz to an otherwise normal winter outfit? Sleeves! That sounds like an odd suggestion, we know, but we're not talking about any old long-sleeved shirt. Especially when it's too warm for a coat but chilly enough for a sweater, show off your wildest sleeves. From big lantern sleeves and cutesy petal sleeves to balloon sleeves that are doing the most, many women don't realize just how many sleeves there are to choose from!
Our favorite is the batwing sleeve, which looks exactly as it sounds. It's cut in one piece with a wide fit around the shoulders and elbows and narrows to fit towards the wrist. Also, marmaluke AKA virago sleeves are perfect statement sleeves that fit in the vintage aesthetic. They're usually divided into five full sections which parts are gathered into puffs extending the length of the arm
Don't: Wear Leggings As Pants
Leggings are easy. Now that athleisure is the norm and casual clothing is forever transformed, it's a tough pill to swallow that wearing leggings as pants isn't the best winter style for being fashionable. Leggings are comfortable, and we're not saying you can't wear them at all, but they shouldn't be the crux of your outfit.
We found that layering is the best compromise in this situation. Like pantyhose, leggings are useful for keeping dresses modest (if that's you're preference) or staying warm on particularly cold days by layering them under your pants and skirts. Overall, treat leggings like an accessory and you won't commit a fashion crime!
Do: Wear White
That whole “don’t wear white after Labor Day” thing has been passé for a while now. White is one of the best colors to wear during the winter, especially because it can be used to highlight the other colors in your outfit! We just try not to wear white shoes that can easily stain with winter road slurries.
Plus, the best color to pair with black basic is basic white! White monochrome is a bold choice any time of the year, so we recommend trying to add dimension to it by building off of your classic wardrobe staples, like the black turtleneck, patterned wool coat, or brown boots.
Don’t: Wear Suede
Suede may seem like the perfect fancy fabric for strutting your stuff in the winter, but just like wearing white, the sludge and mud from the snowy ground can be problematic for this sensitive material. Suede can be damaged by any kind of precipitation or liquid contact, causing the colors to bleed and the fabric to stiffen.
If you have to wear your favorite suede shoes out in the snow, you can try waterproofing spray. And if it gets in contact with water, there are ways to restore the fabric, but it shouldn't be a common occurrence. One solution you can try is to use a waterproofing spray. We suggest avoiding suede altogether because it's not even effective for keeping you warm.
Do: Wear Long Coats
Long coats are preferable for winter stylists because warmth is key. However, the exact length of your coat should be dependent on your dimensions. For instance, long coats can create the illusion that your legs are shorter than the top half of your body, so short people should be cautious when choosing a coat that's warm and insulating but doesn't make them look like they're in Dr. Seuss' Whoville.
What really matters is that your coat is insulated, water-resistant, and protects against the wind. Long coats typically do a better job meeting these criteria because they cover more of your boy than short jackets. Also, it's better to buy coats that are a little bigger than your actual size in order to layer properly.
Don’t: Throw Away Your Old Clothes
Don't abandon your pilling sweaters or summer clothes! Old pieces can be repurposed for a multitude of things, including rags, recycling, pillow stuffing, and mending other clothes. Whatever you do, don't throw them away! Also, don't buy into the myth that your summer clothes are useless after the season ends.
As temperatures drop, a lot of people push their summer clothes to the back of the closet, but you don’t need to! Winterizing your summer looks has never been easier. Summery mini-skirts can be winterized with leggings and a long-sleeve shirt (or sweater). Plus, dresses can be similarly paired with leggings and a cardigan. Of course, a coat should go over those pieces in extra-cold weather. Gotta stay warm and cozy!
Do: Wear Pointed-Toe Shoes
As square-toe shoes are fighting their way into relevance, know that a quality pair of pointed-toe boots or heels will never go out of style. Nude heels are timeless, classic, and pair well with any outfit. On the other hand, winter is a fun time to experiment with color coordination, including statement shoes.
The best thing about pointed-toe shoes is that you can find them anywhere, in any color, and for virtually every price range. They're not trendy, so they'll last for many fashion cycles. Boots are classic for winter but don't be afraid of flats or heels to dress up casual outfits, either -- unless you're particularly clumsy, then definitely steer clear of wobbly stilettos.
Don’t: Wear Steep, Strappy Heels
We know that we just advocated for pointed-toe heels to spice up your jeans, but you can't go too crazy with heels higher than heaven during the winter season. Steep heels and icy weather don’t mix, and it only takes one wrong step to go tumbling down your porch steps. It’s a match made for disaster no matter how great they made our legs look.
The open-toe shoes we own are adorable, but who needs freezing toes? The only way to keep them warm is to wear a sock, and we personally hate that look. There are plenty of cute closed-toe shoes to choose from during the winter. Overall, we’re advocates for wearing shoes that are comfy and sensible. That doesn't mean giving up heels completely, but keeping them within reason. And during the winter, that means something that helps us keep our balance.
Do: Show Off Your Knitwear
Knitwear is in, and we love the look. It’s warm and cozy, and to be honest, we could probably live in a knit sweater forever if you gave us a chance. We already moved all of our oversized knit sweaters to the front of the closet and stacked our sherpa pullovers for lazy Sunday afternoon lounging.
If you're craft-minded, which includes knitting, crochet, and embroidery, you can turn your hard work into a serious fashion statement. There’s no better time than the winter to show off your creations! And spending hundreds on supplies and hours of time knitting is totally worth the ego boost when someone compliments your cardigan and you get to say, “Thanks! Made it myself.”
Don’t: Wear Fingerless Gloves
If it’s freezing outside, try to protect your hands, ears, and head! Wearing full gloves is the way to go because you stay warm. No one needs cold fingers, especially us. We do, however, think that fingerless gloves with mitten tops are perfect for this season, especially if you need to use your bare fingers.
We found that by leaving our hands uncovered, they can get dry and cracked, even with lotion. Not to mention, investing in proper gloves gives us a chance to accessorize a little further. We understand wanting easy access to your phone, but there are plenty of quality touch-screen gloves on the market that keeps your fingers protected and n tech-friendly!
Do: Experiment with Patterns
Even though we love solid colors, we also love to experiment with patterns. There’s plenty of patterns that make great coats, dresses, tops, and skirts. Some of our favorites are plaid, checkered, and houndstooth. Heck, we’re not even shy to wearing holiday-themed designs. Whether the styles are in or not, it makes us pretty psyched for the holidays.
This winter, geometric prints are taking center stage. These '70s throwback patterns pair well with deep, bold colors that stand out from the crowd of plain back coats. And if you're really feeling confident, try out the newest pattern m mixing trend. It's perfect for the hipsters who hate looking plain.
Don’t: Mix Black and Navy
"Black and blue never do". We've all heard this phrase from fashion "experts" who caution against mixing navy and black, and that rule still stands this winter but probably not for the reason you think. Historically, people hate mixing dark blue and black because of so-called "clashing," but both colors are dark enough that there's no real chance of discoordination.
The real danger has to do with the overall tone of the outfit. For example, black and navy can work together to make a sophisticated look but those colors on their own are way too dark. So the real rule of thumb here is "don't mix black and navy by themselves." Brighten up with brown shoes, a white blouse, or tan pants.
Do: Show Off Your Socks
Winter is a prime cozy season, so why not show off your coziest piece of clothing? That's right: Socks! Whether you're rolling your cozy socks down or yanking them up, make sure they stick out from your boots at least minimally. Allowing your socks to peek through creates added depth.
Booties with longer socks also look insanely good. Closer to the holiday season, sometimes we play with holiday designs like candy canes or snowmen to really show off our playful side. Sometimes you have to let your inner child shine through, and the holidays are the perfect excuse to break out of the monotony of adult life.
Don’t: Forget to Tuck Your Pants
Bootcut jeans are reserved for cowboys and horseback riders, but even country folk never forget to tuck their jeans into their boots during special occasions. For the rest of us, covering up your beautiful boots with your pants is considered a cardinal fashion sin. Yes, even boot-cut jeans can be tucked. But you shouldn't be buying those anyway!
First, cuff your jeans once at the hem. Second, crease your jeans in the back and fold them onto themselves to make a snug fit around the calf and ankle. Third, layer a long sock over the end of the pants so you can, last, put on your boots. If you don't tuck your pants, your silhouette will look squashed, and the fabric on the legs wrinkle and bunch in a very unattractive manner.
Do: Invest in Wool
Heavy coats are supposed to last a while, and they’re also warmer. So we feel that investing in a wool coat is worth the cost. Are they expensive? Yes, but they keep us warm and last at least five years. We can’t say that for the coats we get online for cheap.
Coats aren't the only wool pieces you should invest in. From socks to scarves and even yarn, wool has lots of perks compared to polluting plastic materials. One, it's warm (duh). Two, it's more breathable than people think and is great for regulating temperature. Three, it's hypoallergenic and eco-friendly. Wool is a material that lasts and you're sure to love for years.
Don’t: Rely on Cotton
There’s a time and a place for cotton, and it's not now. First, they’re crazy absorptive, which is great for summer when moisture is key to keeping you cool but totally the opposite of what your body needs in freezing weather. Once cotton absorbs moisture, it starts losing its insulating properties and leaves you sensitive to the elements.
Of course, we recommend wool any day over cotton for the winter. Not only is wool naturally warm, durable, and breathable, the weave can suspend about 1/3 of its weight in moisture before it reaches your skin and makes you feel nasty and damp. Cotton is cheap, but wool has your back.
Do: Master the French Tuck
The French tuck AKA the "half-tuck" or “one-hand tuck" is a recently popularized term for a simple styling tip. Tan France from Queer Eye routinely advised clients to adopt this trend of tucking in only the front of their shirts. It's the balanced blend of a full tuck and the untucked look.
The French tuck is all about the art of draping because only the very front is tucked while the back and the sides are draped, creating an effortlessly polished vibe. Like most fashion advice, tucking your shirts this way helps balance your silhouette. Plus, it's nifty for creating shape when layering loose sweaters.
Don’t: Wear All Loose Clothing
Okay, super baggy clothing in winter? That’s gonna be a no from us. They don’t look good paired altogether, and each piece won’t be warm enough to keep you warm throughout the season. Instead, we wear our skinny jeans, layered leggings, and belted coats happily. Nothing says style more than tailoring our clothing.
Afterward, everything hugs your body perfectly and accentuates exactly what you want while concealing what you want to hide. That being said, ripped clothing in the winter, no matter the fit, is a huge no-no. We don’t want to walk down the street and make people question whether a bear or not attacked us. Not to mention, it’s just more professional and mature to wear clothing that isn’t torn to shreds.
Do: Wear Sunscreen
We think that forgetting sunscreen is a huge no-no. Sunscreen sounds like a summer thing, but that couldn't be further from the truth. Any time you're outside, your skin is at risk of UV damage. UV rays are constantly radiating through the atmosphere even during the winter, and cause many types of sun damage and skin cancer.
Trust us, wearing sunscreen every day is the best preventative measure for saving yourself from visible sun damage years down the line. The best sunscreens are at least 30 SPF (which block nearly all UV rays), non-comedogenic (non-pore clogging), and are fragrance-free. Fragrances are unnecessary and contribute to skin sensitivity and irritation.
Don’t: Wear Frayed or Pilling Sweaters
This tip probably sounds like a no-brainer, but you'd be surprised how many people don't take care of their sweaters and continue wearing them in public despite obvious damage to the fabric. Pilling and fraying sweaters are caused by friction. Pills form when rubbing occurs, usually during wear or in the washing machine, and cause the short fibers to loosen and tangle.
There's no magic answer to pilling, but there are a few ways to reduce their nasty appearance. Try using a pair of small scissors or a razor to remove the extra fluff. And when you want to be extra careful, use a fine-tooth comb, pumice, or a fruit zester for a more gentle removal.
Do: Play with Texture
During the summer, it’s tough to experiment with materials since it’s 100 degrees outside and all we want is to cool off. Luckily for us, winter is a completely different story. Wool, cotton, silk, denim, velvet, flannel, tweed—it’s all up for grabs. We especially love to mix and match when it's acceptable to smother yourself in multiple fabrics.
Additionally, faux fur and leather have been continuing to follow an upward trend for the last couple of years, and we wholeheartedly support it! First, looks like real fur but no animals are harmed. Second, it’s way cheaper than buying the real thing (not that we'd want to). And third, it makes creating dimension even easier!
Don’t: Wear a Hoodie By Itself
Hoodies are super popular because they're easy, cozy, and a go-to top to throw on when you can barely manage to leave the house some mornings. We hate to say it, but hoodies on their own are not cute. There's a reason we call ourselves potatoes when we lounge around in them at home all day. Instead, embrace your inner celebrity and add dimension by layering a loose blazer over your favorite sweatshirt.
Creating dimension with a hoodie is also easily achieved by wearing makeup, particularly lipsticks and glosses. Word to the wise: lipsticks are our thing, but winter is so dry that it leaves our lips looking like a cracked wasteland. Instead, we give our lipsticks and lip creams a little love. They’re not as long-lasting, but they’ll look better in the long run.
Do: Embrace Sequins
There’s a fine line between accessorizing and over-accessorizing, and the last thing we want to do is walk out of the house looking like we fell over our jewelry box and it won the wrestling match. That's why sequined fabrics are a nice compromise. Sequins are hated on sometimes, but it all boils down to wearing them tastefully.
When there's something sparkly built into your shirt already, it helps you to resist the urge to stack bracelets all the way to your elbow or let your earrings steal the show. Most fashion advice is about creating balance, and sequins are merely one piece of advice out of many.
Don’t: Wear Boring Boots
Clothing isn’t the only thing that can be a statement piece! We absolutely adore statement boots. Some of us own leopard print boots while others prefer stark, saturated red. Basically, you can’t go wrong when your boots steal the show. There’s a time and a place for over-the-knee boots, and that’s now. First, they’re crazy warm, which is great for our legs when the wind is cutting through us. We prefer the low heel boots, so we keep our traction.
It’s wet and slippery out there. We don’t want to fall, so we make sure the shoes we put on each morning use enough tread to keep us upright. Flats are adorable, but if they don’t keep us stable, then who cares? Plus, when you want to leave your bag at home, boots can add a needed splash of color. Wearing red, yellow, or blue boots is a lot easier than swapping out your bag, anyway.