Most days of the year, we can be as smug as we want about our abilities to piece together thoughtful, creative ensembles. We can take pride in every unique neckline and artful accessory that makes our outfits feel complete. But once temperatures drop below 20 degrees, we’re desperately scrambling for any extra turtlenecks we own—and it seems pretty pointless to worry about anything other than wearing items that won’t leave us frozen. Thankfully, there’s a way to appeal to both your practicality and your personal style when there’s no chance in hell you’re taking your jacket off once you leave your home.
Whether you’re running errands, commuting, or spending any significant amount of time away from a radiator, the looks below are just a few examples of how to look good when you’re bundled up. Contrary to what you might have been told, it’s not what’s underneath that counts (though wool and Heattech aren’t a bad idea!). Instead, these outfit focus on the outermost layers to make an impression. Because if you’re waiting for the right moment to unzip your parka to reveal a slinky slip dress or puffy-sleeved peasant blouse, it may take a few more months. That’s why, in the meantime, we’re trying the following.
Contrast Your Accessories
When it comes to selecting coats and jackets, it’s often best to go with whatever is warmest. To personalize the look a bit more, we suggest contrasting unexpected accessories, like this throwback bucket hat or a refined, chain-strap bag.
When In Doubt, Monochrome
If there’s no chance your coat is coming off, the easiest way to crafting a bold look is sticking to one singular color palette. Choose white or camel if you’re more of a minimalist, otherwise, this head-to-stiletto red moment packs a punch.
Just Add Neon
It sounds simple, but when isn’t a pop of electric color not going to amplify an entire look? We especially like this approach where it’s paired with a fuzzy topper.
Keep Prints Clashed
Instead of piecing together a warm look that feels one-note, lean into some creative print clashing, such as this colorful-plaid-coat-and-wide-leg-pant (great for hiding leggings underneath!) combination.
Never Too Many Tiers
Your warm puffer jacket feels a bit more unexpected when layered with crisp, tailored separates and a classic peacoat. Keep the ensemble from feeling too bulky by mixing up layer lengths, as seen here.
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Say It Loud
If you’re not taking your warmest layer off, you might as well select one that’s memorable and impactful. Opt for wild prints, saturated colors, or interesting embellishments. The addition of small, coordinated winter accessories is optional but encouraged.