As with most things, cold weather dressing takes a little bit of planning. Mid October is a great time to invest a little bit of energy doing just that.
The goal is to look as pulled together, or close to it, when you’re braving snow, ice, sleet, rain, and freezing cold temperatures as you do when it’s a nice 70 degrees outside. The idea is for your cold-weather look to support your overall image (never detract from it).
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A selection of coats. You’ll need several coats to suit a range of temperatures and occasions. They should be versatile enough to work with the various colors and styles in your wardrobe, but not so boring that you get completely lost in the crowd (or can’t identify your wrap at a coat check). Think neutrals like navy, camel, burgundy, olive, gray. And make sure the style of coat is appropriate for your work environment; not every context is appropriate for down coats, for instance. If yours is, make sure the coat is a dressier style of down (so you don’t look like you’ve just come off the slopes).
- Boots. Here too you might want some options. I’m hoping you already have a pair or two of leather boots. You’ll also want weather-ready boots for snow and rain. My clients swear by Aquitalia for this purpose—leather boots hardy for any kind of weather. Lhttp://www.lacanadienneshoes.com/us/a Canadienne is also good at a slightly lower price point. Remember that the boots need to work with some or all of your coats.
- Accessories. You don’t want to throw your child’s fluffy hat on with your work-ready outfit. Make sure you have a hat, gloves, and scarf that works with each of your coats.
- Look at the big picture. You’ll want everything to coordinate, ideally with other outerwear pieces. Think strategically and choose items in the same color palette, and this will be easier. At the same time, there’s not need to get all matchy-matchy. The red coat with anything else red, for instance, might be too much. Instead here I chose burgundy gloves, a current and more interesting combination.
- Choose your most flattering colors. In addition to choosing pieces that coordinate with each other, you’ll want to stick to colors that flatter YOU the most. The hat, scarf, and coat should draw attention to your face and make it glow. (For this reason, a black hat is not an ideal choice, even though it is so versatile. It just isn’t very flattering for most women’s coloring, especially as they get older.)
- A tote. All of these things take up space and can be unwieldy. You may need an extra bag to stash the change of shoes and other things you’ll be taking along. Make sure this also coordinates.
- Bring it all together. Remember to consider how the outerwear works with the rest of what you’re wearing. (It’s better not to take off a more rugged down coat to reveal your best suit underneath, not do you want to be wearing a business casual outfit under your most formal suit.)
It can be tricky pulling an entire wintertime look together. Just let me know if you’d like a little help. I’d love to work with you!
Ketura Persellin is an image consultant and personal stylist in Washington, DC and surrounding suburbs. Please contact her for a complimentary get-acquainted session.