Winterize Your Wardrobe

February 17, 2012

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winter wardrobe

Does winter weather make you want to abandon your dresses and heels for a well-worn sweat suit? Don’t let blustery weather sap your style. There are plenty of ways you can stay warm and stylish this winter. Eden Dawn, co-founder of Student Stylists, style editor of Portland Monthly Magazine, and Fashion instructor at The Art Institute of Portland shares some of her secrets for bringing warmth to fashion. Also contributing some winter wardrobe survival style cues is Kimberly Gomez, image consultant and founder of Impeccable Image.


“A trend that is hot this season for coats is fur,” Gomez says.

From a subtle fur collar to a full-length fur coat, you can bring a lot of glam to gloomy weather. The fur isn’t just limited to outerwear either. Look for layering pieces like a long vest or bolero. Don’t worry about the animals; a good quality faux fur is indistinguishable from the real thing, and you won’t feel the guilt.


Besides fur, textures in general are very prevalent this season. Look for chunky knit sweaters, shaggy trims, and sequin tops. Don’t be shy about mixing textures either. There are great combos of fur and leather, sequins and shag, and silk with wool.


One sure way to mix up your winter wardrobe is to go for layers.

“Some things in your closet, like the little black dress, can be worn any time of year. To take your favorite cocktail look and give it a winter spin, think about materials you use,” Dawn says.

She suggests adding heavy tights and a stiletto bootie or wedge underneath.

“Add a chic little blazer and a great cocktail ring and the same dress you wore to a summer party is ready for a holiday bash,” she says.

“You can also layer a dressy top, such as a blouse, underneath for a more sophisticated look. Add some patterned tights and sky scraping wedge pumps, and you’re chic, yet warm,” Gomez says.

According to Gomez, adding a classic button-down cardigan to your look is another option. Choose a style with interesting details, like metallic threading or bold buttons. Then layer it over top of a silk blouse with some statement jewelry. You’ll look pulled together while you’re warm and cozy.

Dawn gives some advice for working with layers.

“When working the layering trend, the most important tip is to watch your proportions,” she says. “If you’re trying to layer flowy tops down to the knee and pairing them with a cropped pant, you’ll look short and squatty. The goal is to look effortless and cool.”


Retire your boring old fleece hat and gloves and go for something a little trendier this year. The biggest trend right now is the infinity scarf. It’s one continuous loop, so you can forget the frustration of figuring out how to tie your scarf.

“These comfy, cozy, pretty additions to your winter outfit, whether inside or outside of your coat, make you look as great as you feel,” Gomez says.

Leather gloves are always in style, but go for something other than brown or black this year. Find a pair in an unexpected hue, like mustard, teal, or fuchsia to make a bold statement.

Don’t forget to top it all off with a great hat.

“One last trend that designers showed for this season is the trapper hat (or aviator-like),” Gomez says. “This is a hat that has ear flaps and a string on each side so you can tie the whole thing together like a hood. Delicious warmth!”


A layer of salt, slush, and ice on the sidewalk makes traipsing around in stilettos a little less enticing. Luckily, there are some stylish options that will give you better footing.

As usual, boots are big this year. The key to choosing boots that are updated for this season is all in the details.

“Lacing on boots is hot this season. The more lacing the better,” Gomez says.

Buckles on boots are also hot right now. Some unique hardware on a classic leather boot will add tons of visual interest.

Stiletto-heeled boots seem to be on their way out.

“Chunky heels are a trend in both boots and shoes which is perfect for winter because it give you a wider foundation against the ice and snow,” says Gomez.

For the extra height, go for platforms instead.

“This year I cannot imagine putting on one pair of flats. With brands like Jeffrey Campbell, Dolce Vita, and Ego and Greed all offering up amazing wedges and platforms of towering heights, I’ll be on stilts until 2013,” Dawn says. “Bonus point: It instantly makes you feel 10 pounds lighter and a billion times more powerful.” 

Author: Written by freelance talent for Ai InSite
Contributing writer for EDMC.

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