How to Survive Winter in Style


asos hat (similar), sandro coat (similar), milly sweater via RTR, j.crew skirt,
leather gloves (similar), fleece-lined tights, stuart weitzman boots (similar). 


Even when there's a snowstorm, even when it's colder than Mars, choosing an outfit each day is a fact of life. Being a native Minnesotan, I've had lots winter months to figure out how to survive a polar vortex with all my toes and some style. This post is my guide to keeping warm - and even a bit chic - when it's well below freezing.


1. Build a Base

A good base layer works for both sub-zero-daily life and ski-trip, ice-skating, snowman-building life.  Start your collection with a topleggings, and socks. Bonus: doubles as loungewear when you get home and peel off all your other layers. Are you eating pot pie by the fire? I hope so.

2. The Art of Layering

Whatever you're about to put on, you should probably wear something underneath. Insulate your chunky sweater with a button-up, or layer a turtleneck under a not-so-weather-appropriate top. Re: Pants --wide-leg styles are perfect for layering and coziness; wear skinny pants as tights under a skirt or dress. Invest a little time in creative layering with your clothes. A cropped sweater over a dress with fleece-lined tights and tall boots is so much more fun to wear than jeans and a knit.

3. Frost Yourself*

When you're wearing approximately one thousand things to stay warm, it can be all too easy to skip the fun, non-vital stuff. Stack on some bracelets or wear earrings that make you feel like you're on a beach. Tie a neck scarf on under your polar vortex parka, carry an interesting handbag, add a belt over a coat.

*yes, this 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days' line will live forever.

4. Choose Good Boots

Depending on the weather, you might be able to get away with a patent Oxford or ankle boots - but you'll still want to be prepared for all the elements. Sorels are the best winter boots around, though I also love my Moon Boots for snow, wellies for slush, and over-the-knee boots for dry & windy days. PSA: thigh-high boots & a base layer are my answer to "How do you wear dresses and skirts in the dead of winter?"


5. Wear Colors

When everything outside is in gray scale for months, inject your world with at least a bit of color. Adding bright coat, scarf, or lipstick is just more cheerful than swimming in a sea of neutrals.

6. Top With a Coat or Two

Fashion and practicality, together at last.  You know you need to wear a coat, but maybe you should wear two? Layer a jacket - or another coat - under your outermost layer.  I regret to inform you that if it is truly, deeply cold, you need a parka.  Try to find one that doesn't make you feel like a walking sleeping bag, or just embrace the giant-puffer-coat trend


7. Head, Hands, Neck

It might seem like an afterthought at this point, but I promise you will feel so much warmer if you add mittens, a hat, and a scarf. I generally prefer mittens to gloves, pom-pom hats to beanies, and fluffy ear muffs to almost anything else. Try to find a scarf that's big enough to wrap around your shoulders, or at least completely cover your neck and pull up over your nose.