I’ve never really been a fan of the ski jacket and pants look. There’s a time and a place for wearing these Arctic outfits, and it doesn’t have to be everyday. Even when it’s -40C, there are other alternatives. So save your polar look for a polar expedition (or when doing any of these fun winter activities), because I have some cold weather outfits for you.
Whether you’re on your way to brunch with the girls, off to the office, packing for a winter getaway, or doing the weekly grocery run, there are times when you really don’t feel like bundling up. My number one tip to not looking like the abominable snowman while still remaining cozy is to layer.
I know, you’ve probably heard this tip before. But I’m here to show you how to layer correctly to create some really chic cold weather outfits. If you’re packing for a winter trip (not an escape, but the kind where you’re actually headed for the cold), these ideas will help you save a ton of space in your suitcase.
#1: Start with a base layer
It’s so important to invest in a warm, base layer made of natural fibres, like thermal underwear. This first layer can make or break your winter outfit . If you aren’t in a place to invest, a cozy pair of wool tights and a cotton long-sleeve tee can go a long way. Always make sure the base layer is thin enough that it’s not noticeable under your other clothes.
#2: Choose your “normal clothes”
And by normal clothes, I mean a shirt and jeans, dress, etc. This is the layer that you would normally start with when creating an outfit. Just as with the base layer, I tend to reach for natural fibre fabrics. Think a lightweight wool sweater or a thick pair of denim. Don’t forget a thick pair of wool socks! If my base layer doesn’t cover my feet, I usually add an extra pair of thin socks under the thick ones.
P.S. My favorite wool & cashmere sweaters are from Aritzia. They tend to be a bit on the pricier side, so I’ve linked a few alternatives.
#3: Cover up with outerwear
I love to stick with really classic silhouettes for my outerwear. The more basic they are, the easier they compliment every one of my cold weather outfits.
The most important thing to look for in this layer (once again) is natural fabrics. Wool coats can be really expensive, so I’ve found most of my coats while thrifting! I have about 10 winter-appropriate coats; and because I go for really classic styles, I’ve never paid full price for any of them. Your coat is the most seen item in the winter, so it’s nice to switch it up.
P.S. Right now (February & March) is the BEST time to save big on coats!
#4: Style your cold weather outfits
After a winter coat, your cold weather outfits are yet to be finished. It’s time to accessorize!
I love to finish my outfit with a beautiful (and warm) pair of gloves or mittens, a fun hat, and practical footwear. Wool scarves are another great addition to any outfit. For footwear, I gravitate towards a stylish ankle boot; I go up half a size to accommodate all of my socks. For the coldest days, I’ll switch to an actual winter boot. My favourite pairs are the Ugg Kilmer style hiking boot and Sorel’s Joan of Arc, both of which I’ve linked here.
Other tips for styling cold weather outfits:
Be sure to keep those extremities warm. With a covered neck and head, and cozy hands and feet, your body is less likely to feel the frost. You can always take off layers if you get too hot. Once you take a thick winter jacket off, it’s off and there’s no happy medium if you don’t use layers.
While I tend to stick to classic styles, these tips can be applied to any fashion type. Prefer a sporty look? Try a sportier jacket and joggers with a toque. Like things a bit trendier? Apply the latest fashion to your coat and/or accessories to stand out.
The best part about layering is that even if you don’t have the proper winter gear, you can always add more layers! This is how I survived my trips to Scotland, Iceland, and Banff. It allowed me to pack light for all types of weather.
Layer, layer, layer, and opt for natural fabrics when possible. Use those accessories to your advantage to stay fashionable, not frosty!
Do you have any cold weather outfits tips that I’ve missed? What’s your favourite tip?