Are you ready for the cold snap but not sure how to stay warm without sacrificing style? Cozy layers, warm fabrics, and bright colors will not only keep you well insulated but also keep you looking good. This blog post will help you understand the basics of how to stay warm while looking good, keeping on a budget, and shopping responsibly.
I was out for a walk this morning and realized that I was underdressed for the cold weather. I needed a few additional pieces to make me feel a bit warmer, like a hat and a scarf.
Luckily, I had a few beautiful pieces that paired together so well, that even though I just threw them on, I looked great and stayed super warm!
How to stay warm without sacrificing style
This a drum I will beat till the end of time. Quality fabrics and materials will last longer and give you better results.
I used to watch period piece dramas and wonder how those old-timey people could stay warm. Turns out, wool, cashmere, leather, linen, silk, wool felt, fur, and down are all perfect insulators. If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, never fear!
You can either shop second hand (the damage is already done), or you can go synthetic. Some companies make synthetic down and leather.
When you choose 100% natural materials (ie 100% cotton flannel) you stay warmer and your garment will last longer. I always choose 100% natural fabrics and materials with almost no blending when I can. This isn’t legalism, so don’t go around stressing yourself out because you can’t find 100% whatever.
To keep warm and stylish, you have to start with the right outer layer. No light-weight poly blends with poly lining. Stick with kinds of cotton, wools, and leather.
Muji is back on the list with this beautiful and basic French wool coat. This is sure to be warm and comfortable throughout most of the winter depending on where you live.
This coat is 80% wool and at $150, a great deal. I found a very similar coat at the thrift store a few years back. You know me. A thrift store gal through and through. With classic pieces, you’ll notice you can find them more easily at the thrift store because they circle back around through the decades.
I would say the second most important part of staying warm and looking good, is choosing the right footwear.
Shoes really are one of the things I will make a significant investment in even if I’m buying second hand. Keeping your feet warm and well supported is one of those small changes that when you make it, you feel instantly better.
The quality of Poppy Barley boots is top-notch. I want to point out the leather stacked heel, the thick leather sole, and the thickness of the leather in the upper. Those are the kinds of details you should be looking for in a shoe. This is a sign of the high-quality construction.
These will last for decades if you keep them re-soled and they will keep you very warm.
These boots were made by skilled artisans in small, family-owned factories in León, Mexico. Poppy Barley screens all of their factories to ensure positive working conditions, including a living wage, full-time permanent employment with benefits, reasonable working hours, vacation and sick benefits, and ongoing training and opportunity.
You can even “meet” their factory owners.
three / / Wilfred Cassel Sweater
When you have the outer layer and shoes figured out, you then need to add some medium weight layering pieces that you can feel warm in even if you need to take your coat off.
This perfectly cozy sweater is knit with fine Italian merino wool.
Here’s what I want you to look for in sweaters:
- High-quality fabric
- Thick knit
- Solid colors
(tip: you can find incredibly high-end sweaters at thrift stores or consignment shops)
Of course, you can have multi-colored sweaters, but it will be harder to style over the long haul. During the winter you will wear base layers, and layering items more often and they need to do double or triple duty without being easily identified.
You can wear these items multiple years. And the higher quality fabrics will last longer. This is the real benefit to having a capsule wardrobe!
four / / Madewell Faux Mink Muffler
For the vegans! I’m really digging this very warm and very cute faux mink muffler. So fluffy. And so important for keeping the heat in.
Here’s the deal. This is a poly blend and you know my stance on synthetic materials. You can go this route if you’re vegan and still have the best of both worlds: comfort and style.
However, if you’re like me and want to stick with natural materials, then go for cashmere, silk, and cotton scarves. They won’t itch as much as wool (depending on the wool). I like Auntie Oti and the second-hand shops!
five // Your Favorite Pair of Jeans
A classic pair of jeans that you love and feel good in will become a new staple for you for any season.
Pick a fit that works for you and your body and find a few pairs that will fill in the blanks in your wardrobe. These are from RE/DONE. I wrote about them last week in my post about ethical jeans.
What’s great about jeans is that cotton naturally keeps you insulated, but you can easily layer underneath jeans with tights and heavy socks, without your legs looking bulky at all!
six / / JCrew beanie with faux-fur pom-pom
One great way to make your winter more bright is by using intense and vibrant colors to add a pop of color to your overall look.
This knit cap from JCrew is perfect for keeping your body warmth in your body. Never leave the house without a hat! Caps like this won’t leave you with hat head either.
Again, natural fibers like cotton, wool, and cashmere are so warm you won’t even believe it.
Looking put together and fashionable doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice your comfort and warmth or even your ethics! Dressing practically really can look amazing when you pick the right fabrics, the best quality, and key layers.