Five Winter Fashion Essentials

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Each year, as the temperatures plummet and winter weather sets in, women everywhere are faced with the same style dilemma: Look fantastic and freeze, or bundle up under bulky, unflattering layers to keep warm. Unfortunately, much cold weather wear simply doesn’t look or feel as chic as we would prefer. Therefore, many women find themselves getting meticulously dressed each day only to cover up their carefully curated look with a shapeless parka and clunky insulated boots.

The good news is, you don’t have to totally sacrifice great style just to stave off hypothermia—nor should you. It’s well worth the effort to put as much thought into layering up your winter essentials as you do into creating your outfit. With a little planning, you can make sure your outer layers project the style and image you want to convey.

Keep reading for five fashion staples to keep you toasty in icy weather.

Go classic with a timeless coat.

Five Winter Fashion Essentials

Coat from Bloomingales.

A high-quality coat in a classic cut and style can keep you looking chic and feeling cozy. For unsurpassed warmth and style, I highly recommend Herno brand outerwear. I own and love two Herno coats. The first is a fun ¾-length sleeve lighter quilted jacket in red. And more recently, I bought a chocolate and black hooded style that is lightweight, not at all bulky, and impressively warm! As you shop for your own functional and flattering outerwear, keep the following points in mind:

  • Avoid the trends and stick with what looks great. When searching for an outer layer, be sure to choose a style that flatters your body shape. Women with smaller waists might select belted styles, while straight coats are a great option for those with larger waists. And if you carry your weight on your hips and thighs, choose an A-line style.
  • Stay away from overly puffy styles. If you live in a particularly cold climate, look for a coat with a lightweight thermal liner.
  • Although a tailored look is flattering, make sure your coat is still large enough to fit comfortably over a suit jacket or thick sweater.
  • Consider how heavy your coat is. Much like your shoes and bags, coats can contribute considerably to the weight you carry around each day.
  • Look for an option with a detachable hood. These can be especially useful on rainy or snowy days.
  • Choose a neutral-shaded coat. Neutrals, like black, brown, or beige, always look professional and can be easily paired with a variety of styles and accessories. (But if you choose to purchase a second coat, a bolder shade will look great over neutral clothing.)

Grab beautiful boots for any weather.

Five Winter Fashion Essentials

Aquatalia “Luciana” from Zappos

The perfect pair of boots in black or brown can be worn at work and beyond. Pair them with warm leggings and a skirt to wear to the office, and with a great pair of jeans on the weekends.

In the winter, when temperatures regularly dip below freezing, consider waterproof or fur-lined boots. Quality thermal footwear is often more expensive, but it is well worth the investment to have dry, comfortable feet in chilly rain or snow. And for wet days when sidewalks are slick, choose a flat-soled option to help protect you from slips or falls.

Wrap up in a stylish scarf.

Five Winter Fashion Essentials

Scarf Bloomingdales

In cold weather, solid scarves in wool or cashmere are warm, fashionable, and easier to wear than prints. Try one in a festive red hue to brighten up dull, cloudy days. And if you’re looking to add a little variety to your scarf supply, remember that scarves in unexpected patterns can add a surprising twist to your basic blacks and winter whites.

Pack convenience and style into a tote.

Five Winter Fashion Essentials

Large tote Nordstrom

A large, durable tote bag in a rich, saturated color is the perfect winter bag for carrying your essentials like a laptop, umbrella, water bottle, and more. Or, you can carry a smaller tote, which can comfortably hold a tablet and a business file, along with your other necessities. Choose a lightweight bag with a zippered closure to secure your valuables and protect them from rain and snow.

Top off your look.

Five Winter Fashion Essentials

Beanie from Norstrom

On truly cold days, you’ll be glad you wore a hat. A knitted cap keeps you warm in the face of icy wind or freezing temperatures. If you’re worried that it will ruin your hairstyle, pack a small brush in your tote for quick touchups. Or, to avoid disheveled hair altogether, a beret or a coat’s hood are good alternatives.

The truth is, appreciating your cold weather clothing is more of a mind shift than a wardrobe shift. Winter wear is lovely in its own right. In the same way that Mother Earth is as enchanting dressed in snowdrifts as she is in spring flowers or fall leaves, you too can shine in your coats, boots, and scarves. Just be grateful for the season changes that let you switch things up.



  • Marla Tomazin, Certified Image Consultant, established her image consulting business in 1990 with the goal of helping clients identify an authentic image and develop its effective expression. Marla utilizes her abilities in evaluating body shape, movement, and coloring as well as synthesizing optimal cuts, lines, colors, and textures. This results in balance and proportion that accentuate attributes and conceal flaws. Marla has appeared on numerous TV and radio stations and programs. Visit

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