The Perfect Clothing Combinations for Colder Weather

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When the temperatures start dropping, you may feel like you need to abandon style and creative expression in favor of comfort and warmth. While it may be best to put skin-baring pieces into storage, for now, you can still have a lot of fun with putting together cold-weather outfits.

Staying warm and looking fashionable can go hand in hand if you invest in the right pieces for your wardrobe. You can spend a little extra on a good coat in a classic cut, then style it according to your mood with the use of accessories. It might be a good idea to buy tights, a few scarves, and a cute cap as well. These items can help channel your personal style while being functional against the cold.

Before you start planning your outfits though, make sure you have these essentials covered first. These can help ensure that you dress warmly enough to stay protected from the cold.

Check the Weather Report Before Heading Out

Having an idea of what weather to expect for the day is always an important consideration for planning your outfit. Is it just chilly enough to wear your favorite sweater or should you shake out a puffer coat from the closet? Are you expecting autumn rain or will it be a particularly snowy winter day? Knowing what the highest and lowest temperatures will be like can also help you plan ahead.

Always Start with a Good Base

When the temperature starts to hit below 20 degrees, it’s time to get your thermals on. It’s best to have a lightweight one for milder days and a medium-weight one for when you expect to be out more. One-piece thermals can be great for when you’re just staying home, but if you’re out and moving about, a two-piece offers more flexibility. You can remove the top or bottom if you start feeling too warm, and it makes using the bathroom so much easier.

The best kinds of thermals are made of merino wool, which is a lightweight natural fiber that can wick away moisture from your skin. If you tend to overheat from layering when you go indoors, merino wool thermals can help keep you dry so you don’t suddenly get cold when you head back out.

The great thing about thermals today is that they not only use light materials that feel like a second skin, but they also warm you up so much better than old bulky styles. With this option, you can maintain a sleek silhouette and keep on wearing skinny jeans. Some thermal leggings even come in fun colors and interesting prints, which means you can incorporate them into a look with a mini skirt and booties.

Build Up Your Layers, One Piece at a Time

If the temperature fluctuates too much or you find bulky clothes too warm to wear indoors, it’s always a good idea to have several layers to your outfit. Start with a cotton shirt over your thermals, add a vest or a sweater, tuck a scarf around your neck, then pull on your coat. It’s best to use lighter fabrics when layering so you can pull them off in the bathroom and slip them into your purse if you feel too warm.

Protect Your Head and Hands, Too

Tops, bottoms, and shoes are all coordinated, but did you remember to include protection for the rest of your body? Cold weather is the best time to play around with different headwear. Aside from hats, try a turban or a snood for a change.

It’s hard to argue with the practicality of using gloves and mittens to keep your digits intact. However, you may want to invest in a pair of smart gloves so you don’t have to fumble with using your phone.

Once you have all your cold-weather wardrobe essentials, it’s time to have fun with your outfits. Thanks to slim-fitting thermals that contour to your natural body shape, you can try a lot of different styles without having to worry about added bulk from your innerwear. There is (almost) no limit to your creativity, and you can try these ideas first to get you warmed up.

Classic in Camel

Just about everyone has a camel-colored coat. The neutral tone looks friendlier than the usual black, and it’s flexible enough to dress up or down. For a look that channels that same classic chic vibe, use inner layers with big pops of white and black then leave the waist uncinched. Accessorize with chunky gold jewelry if the coat color has a strong yellow tone, or use minimalist silver hardware if it has a more grayish tinge.

Monochrome Served Three Ways

The usual cold weather advice to dress in layers may sound a little frumpy, but using a monochrome palette makes the look more cohesive. To add more visual interest, incorporate different textures into your outfit by mixing fabrics and finishes. It creates so much variety even if everything’s the same color. Try a big, chunky sweater over a long flowy tunic. Then, pair it with sleek leather pants to offset the heaviness of the top.

Forever Summer

While you may not want to choose shoulder- and arm-baring styles when the weather is nippy, you can still find ways to work sundresses into your winter edit. Pull those spaghetti straps over a cozy sweater and keep your legs warm with tights. This combo looks super cute with a simple pair of boots, and it’s a great way to utilize off-season clothes.

The Jacket Sandwich

When it comes to layering clothes, the usual principle is to work with light fabrics. However, fashion rules are made to be broken. Wearing a leather jacket under a full coat makes for really interesting layering, and it’s actually a great option for when you just want to wear lighter garments indoors. Leave both at the coat check or stick to just having the jacket.

Dressing up for cold weather is a lot more fun than you may initially think. As long as you have the basics of heat protection covered, feel free to experiment with different combinations, even unexpected ones. Try using a variety of different scarves, tights, hats, and gloves to further accentuate your looks, too.


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Written by Lola McQuenzie

Lola is one of our busiest writer. She has worked for Catwalk Yourself since 2007. Lola started working with us after she graduating from Central St Martins

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