Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Baby It's Cold Outside...

How to keep warm without compromising style.

Growing up as a kid one winter; my mother made me wear this atrocious white lamb’s wool coat with brown corduroy sleeves that could make anyone look like a walking oversized cotton ball. A nurse at work and at home, she always felt that she could prevent the cold or flu by over wrapping me in layers or big, bulky coats. It was a hideous (but warm) jacket, though at the expense of being the laughing stock of the kids during recess. For an entire winter I was known as “Frosty the evil snow woman.”

We all know how brutal the winters here in Toronto can be. Trudging through the snow, braving one’s way through stinging blizzards, slipping and sliding our way through ice, we understand how important it is to protect ourselves from the harsh conditions our city is subjected to. However for those like myself with higher expectations in sartorial taste, how am I able to accomplish both staying protected against frostbite while looking stylish at the same time?

I’ve come a long way since my snow woman days, but it still is a challenge to walk outside on those really snowy days and be concerned about whether or not I’m wearing the right scarf with the right gloves. With that being said, the best way to get the most out being stylish in the winter would be in compromise and fine attention to the details. Here are some tips for keeping it cool this winter:

1. Invest in a good coat- Outerwear can be expensive, but worth the expense if it means protecting your health in the winter. Imagine walking down the street or waiting at the bus stop, your jacket will be the first thing people see and therefore your statement piece. Look for coats that give you shape in the shoulders, waist, and arms, but not too fitted that you will not be able to wear multiple layers underneath. Wool coats are a timeless classic; they can be worn formally or casually depending on the occasion. If you prefer a sportier look, down-filled jackets this season come in many interesting shapes that can give you that fashion edge.

Another great look is one of the rich white coat. A style secret of red carpet regulars, there's something regal and fresh about wearing this luminous shade during the dark and dreary days of winter. And as an added bonus, this polished and pretty piece of outerwear will help you stand out in a sea of black.

2. Play up accessories- With a solid winter coat, you can create a number of different looks by the variety of scarves, hats, and gloves you experiment with. Vibrant coloured, classic brown and black gloves are perfect for the upcoming holiday season to throughout the entire winter. Fur hats and wool and cashmere scarves are good insulators of heat, ensuring protection when you’re exposed in the cold.

3. Thermal Wear and Layering- The best part about thermal wear is that no one sees it! Since they’re thin and discreet, you will have no problem wear those fitted knits over a stylish pair dress pants. It certainly beats wearing that big bulky sweater or snow pants everywhere.

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