Reader Question: Winter Wear

Friday, January 14, 2011
I recently got a question from a reader who was wondering what outfits she could wear in Canada. I've never been to Canada during the winter and that's probably a good thing because I thought Utah was cold enough for me. I don't remember what I wore during the Utah winters but I don't want to know because they were probably horrible. So with a little imagination and unlimited funds, here are a few outfits I wouldn't mind sporting around in the snow (but I'd rather not).

For the cool and trendy girl


For the classy and simple girl


For the feminine sophisticate


Tips

  • Layers. Layers... Layers! Always start with a long-sleeve t-shirt (the base), add a button-up, add a v-neck sweater - inspired by Tania. Still cold? Add a cardigan. Wear a skirt over a dress for an extra layer.
  • I got this one from Delightfully Tacky. Keep your hair down. Your head carries a lot of heat so having your hair down traps it around your body.
  • Puffer coats are my favorite winter coats. Make sure they are streamlined down and/or by the waist so you don't look like the Michelin guy. I think winter coats are one of the areas where you should splurge. You're going to be wearing it every day for at least four months out of the year and it's the first (and possibly only) thing people are going to see you in so might as well spend those extra bucks.
  • Wear tights underneath your jeans. I like to wear nude pantyhose underneath because I'll never wear them in public. I say save your good tights and wear your ugly ones!
  • Wool socks are the best. Wearing them outside your jeans is even better.
  • Good winter boots are also a great investment. They're the other first thing that people see besides your coat. Make sure your boots are WATERPROOF! You'd be surprised at how many boots aren't. If yours are not, you can get one of those sprays that magically make your shoes waterproof. They're like $10 or something and you're supposed to do them every few months or so. They also take a day  to dry so keep that in mind if you go out to buy some tonight.
  • Scarves. Check out Tania's scarf-tying tutorial for more ideas on how to make the most of your scarves.
  • Don't feel like wearing pants today? Double-layer your tights! Perhaps a colored base with a lacy one on top. And then add some knee-high socks with knee-high boots.
  • What are some of your tips on looking chic in the cold?

29 comments :

  1. what amazing tips!!! thank you for the shout-outs and i'm totally reinspired to pull out some of my pullover sweaters now.

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  2. Great tips
    Perfect ways to look cute and keep warm in the horrible winter months, wherever you are

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  3. I find it hard to stay chic in the winter, as much as I want to wear my gorgeous wool coat, I have no choice but to go with the puffy coat :T I love wearing scarves and layering them for extra warmth! I even took up knitting to make my own one of kind scarves ;P

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  4. When I lived in Canada, I swore by leggings or tights under pants, fleece-lined boots, lined winter jackets, cute knit capt under hoods, and silk camisoles and slips or long johns for a light but super-warm layer.

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  5. Good tips!
    I too, live in Canada, but I guess I disregard the rules. I do wear tights, knit pants, jeans, cardigans, gloves, jacket... haha. I do love skirts and tights. I hate wearing pants. :T

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  6. Great tips and picks! We're dealing with temperatures in the teens, layers are KEY. Doubling on leggings and tights is essential, as are gloves, hats, and scarves. I swear by men's thick socks and winter boots (your Sorel Caribou's are my favorite-warm and fashionable), I hate cold feet!

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  7. Great tips!!! I wear all of my old leggings under my pants. Additionally, wool coats (some of them) are warmer than you'd believe. I think the number one "SAVE ME" for winter is a coat with a hood. It really saves my life walking around Philly!!!

    PS - I have those Sorel's and I will personally co-sign that they are super warm, waterproof and cute. They are quite bulky too, but it makes everyone's legs look skinny.

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  8. Ha!Ha! Just check out my blog for a wealth of cold weather fashion!:) (I live in Montana!)
    www.natashaatkerson.blogspot.com

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  9. yes please to the sparkle pullover and dolman sweater dress! and i 2nd the suggestion of doubling up on tights, or finding some fleece or wool leggings (i found great ones at marshalls recently). ~joelle

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  10. these are really helpful tips. this time of the year I'm so sick of being cold that being creative with layers starts to be come a chore. but these tips will really help me, especially with classes starting again next week!

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  11. Hahaha and I thought Southern California winters (for me) were bad! I'm such a sissy though :)

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  12. Nice! I recently wrote a blog post about winter-wear up here in Canada (http://tinyurl.com/27lourg) and you covered a lot of the most important things!
    I'd say key things are indeed tall, waterproof, warm boots and a high quality coat. North Face is known for good winter coats but they're pricey. You can find a great coat much cheaper if you look out of season or after Christmas.
    And finally, many layers are warmer than one thick layer. They trap heat better. Canadians are big fans of long johns. :)

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  13. Awesome tips!! I live in Canada too :) This definitely helps A LOT!! I love, love, love your ideas! Thanks!

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  14. Great tips!!

    Since I'm petite, too many layers will make me look as wide as I am short, so I've found that wearing the RIGHT layers is key.

    Wool or cashmere can be found in fine gauges that work as the bottom layer (like a thin cashmere crewneck sweater) then add a chunky wool sweater and a scarf. Wool pant leggings also keep me warmer than jeans. And I'm usually too cold to wear skirts and tights, but double layering tights is a good idea!

    Since I've been wearing better fabrics in the winter, I haven't had to wear as many layers and I'm fine all day!

    mommy-chic.blogspot.com

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  15. When it gets too cold in Norcal, I always wear my thermal leggings under my jeans. Sooo warm and comfy.

    xo Sherrie

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  16. i'm canadian and it's actually best to not leave your hair down. it does keep you warm but the cold weather dries it out so much! keep it up in a cute toque or beret and use a scarf instead. scarves are a great way to add something special to your winter wardrobe. there are so many kinds and colours :)

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  17. For a person who lives in warm weather, you sure have cold-weather wear down! Great tips, Elaine!

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  18. wow these are great tips :) I live in San Fran and it's chilly a lot here! So I'm totally stealing these tips. I have a pair of Sorel type boots and they're really life savers when it's raining. But they're made for snow. I really want to find a pair of duck boots cause I think they're a little bit cuter, but maybe down the line when I have the $$, the ones I have are going strong.

    I love to layer to keep me warm. I wear a thin shirt under what I'm already wearing and maybe a pair of leggings under my pants. Sometimes even pantyhose cause they're a little more thin and comfy.

    Wooly socks are a must, regular socks just let the cold right into your shoes!

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  19. I live in Canada as well, and I wear skirts nearly every day. Knit tights are the greatest, and you can buy them in so many colours!

    As for boots, tall is better, especially if you take the transit and end up getting off in snowbanks :P When I'm wearing nylons I have a variety of knit legwarmers that I slip on before I put on my boots. It's a perfect way to stay warm and look fantastic!

    Get a nice set of scarves and hats, and if you look hard enough you can find really nice wool coats that are super warm. Mine has extra lining inside, and I usually layer a nice jacket or cardigan underneath it.

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  20. Hats, hats, hats! A crocheted hat or newsboy cap can be really chic and keep in tons of heat :)

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  21. great tutorial on winter! thank god i live in FL, i'm not a winter kind of gal!

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  22. Gloves, hats, scarves, pants, sweaters, and boots are the main core of your wardrobe during the cold winter months. You can try is long skirts, and put thick leggings under them. Also try different textures, and types of pants to mix it up. I wear a lot of cardigans so if I am warm indoors I can take it off. But, it's all about staying warm.
    My Heart Blogged

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  23. Great tips Elaine! I also live in Canada and man are we freezing these days! Layers are really the key. If I'm wearing a skirt, I'll add legwarmers as another reader said, then knee-high boots, then my long puffy coat. I always have a tank top or a t-shirt underneath every top I wear. I also wear tights under my pants, because pants are so cold (unless they're in a wool fabric). Brrr. In fact I prefer wearing skirts in winter, legwarmers are the best.

    And then you just wait until April. And/or blame your ancestors for choosing to live in such a cold country haha!

    http://roseetviolette.blogspot.com

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  24. great posts! I love the pretty scarves and accessories :) xx

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  25. Thanks for the tips!! Canada should be much warmer now :)

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  26. I live in MN so, it's kind of an understatement to say it's cold here. I agree with all of your tips especially the tights under pants thing. That really works. And you know what else? EARMUFFS! It doesn't have to be the big bulky ones, I have a black one that goes under my hairline and is inconspicuous but does the job very well. I learned that as long as my ears stay warm, I don't have much to complain about--until my toes start to hurt. :)

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  27. Yeah, I learned the hard way that not all boots are waterproof. Let's just say...frozen wet toes. :) I'll have to try the waterproofing spray.

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  28. Okay. You're a genius on the layered tights thing. I live in Utah, so it's not quite Canada, but almost. I wore two pair of tights today to church and I love how warm I was and how it looked.
    http://all-aboutaj.blogspot.com/2011/01/warm-legs.html
    Thanks for the tips!

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  29. I think i got all the answers of my questions from your blog and your blog is very helpful for those who don't have any idea what to wear in winter. Thanks for sharing!!!

    outlast blankets 350tc outlast queen down alternative blanket white

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