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The 5 Pieces You’ll Wear All Winter

December 18, 2010
Boston was hit with a wave of fifteen degree weather earlier this week. Rather than giving into my urge to stay warm under my covers and sip hot chocolate all week, I dressed for the season and ventured outside. Lauren’s recent post asking for advice on cold weather chic got me thinking: What’s truly essential for winter? Keeping seventeen years of New England experience in mind, I narrowed my list down to my top five winter essentials:
5 winter essentials
1. Winter accessories: No matter how warmly dressed you are, your outfit isn’t complete until you add at least a few winter accessories. A thick-knit circle scarf is a good place to start; if you’re still cold, add on mittens or gloves and a hat. I love this red scarf because it adds a pop of color into what might otherwise be a dreary winter ensemble.’

2. A coat: This is crucial! Be realistic – if you’re battling sub-zero temperatures on a daily basis, opt for something heavy-duty that makes you sweat when you wear it inside. If you’re in a warmer climate, you can get away with something thinner. Either way, you’ll wear your coat for months on end, so make sure it works well with your whole wardrobe. I recommend neutrals, but you can totally get away with prints and colors, too!

3. A cozy sweater: Paired with a jeans, a flouncy skirt, or layered over dresses, you really can’t go wrong with a cozy sweater. I like slightly boxy, oversized styles. (Hint: Shop the men’s section.) This striped La Garçonne sweater would transition beautifully to spring with a pair of white shorts – so nautical and classic!

4. Jeans: I think I’ve become somewhat immune to cold weather after spending enough time in freezing weather in tights, but even I’ll admit there are days where it’s simply too cold for skirts and dresses. It’s time for jeans! I’m partial to black skinny jeans because they work as a versatile base for most outfits, but any style will work.

5. Boots: A sturdy pair of riding boots will get you through the season. A very lucky friend of mine recently received these Coach boots as a birthday present and I’m in love! Considering that I’ve worn my boots five out of the past seven days, I’d advise you to invest in a well-constructed pair. You’re definitely going to get your money’s worth!
Of course, this is just a preliminary list. You certainly don’t need much more beyond these five essentials, but there are always a few other pieces that are nice to have. That said, here are my top five favorite extras for winter:
5 Extras
1. Something festive: I purchased a glittery Tasha headband to wear to my sister’s Bat Mitzvah, but I’ve barely been able to take it off since then! Whether you opt for a glitzy headband, something sequined, or a healthy dose of red and green, you’ll be surprised how easy it is to incorporate festive pieces into your wardrobe.

2. Opaque black tights: Bare legs are unimaginable in the winter, so stock up on opaque black tights to keep you warm! Topshop makes excellent tights that have survived 40+ wears without ripping! Tights can easily extend the life of your summer dresses into year-round pieces.

3. Something bright: During the winter, it’s not uncommon to go weeks at a time dressed entirely in black and gray. I get it – you’re cold, the sun goes down ridiculously early, why wear brights? Honestly, bright colors boost your mood! This zany cardigan is an easy way to add color to a dark outfit. Colored tights are another fun way to incorporate color.

4. A winter-weight skirt: A tweed, wool, or knit skirt is a fantastic piece for winter. I pair mine with sweaters, tanks and cardigans, and long-sleeve tees. Make sure to layer with opaque tights and boots for extra warmth!

5. A long-sleeved dress: I know I’ve posted this dress before, but it’s too perfect to not include a second time! Check out College Fashion’s awesome guide to wearing long-sleeved mini dresses. They’re the perfect balance between modest and revealing. With tights, they’re a practical and stylish choice for winter.

What are your favorite essentials and extras for winter? Do you agree with my list? Make sure to head back to Lauren’s blog to give your winter-chic advice!

xoxo Hannah
7 Comments leave one →
  1. December 18, 2010 5:11 pm

    I love this post, Hannah!! This is only my second winter ever, so I’m still trying to understand the fundamentals of a winter wardrobe. I really like the pieces you picked out- that coat is divine, and I love the striped shirt. I bought a red peacoat this summer and I wear it constantly- I love it! I do need a grey one though- sometimes, neutrals are necessary ;)

  2. December 18, 2010 8:52 pm

    15 degrees?!? People in Louisiana were wearing shorts just two days ago! I love the long sleeve mini dresses… especially here it’s easy to wear those out with tights and you don’t have to worry about carrying around a coat.

  3. December 18, 2010 9:44 pm

    Wow i am almost wearing this exact outfit right now! Except my white coat isn’t that pretty! Lol. Great advice though Hannah!

  4. Emily permalink
    December 19, 2010 7:05 pm

    I must be really ill-suited to cold weather – I live in northern California where the weather is about 60 degrees right now, and I’m still wearing a variation of that outfit :(

    those boots are amazing.

  5. Alesha permalink
    December 20, 2010 2:07 pm

    Love the boots & scarf. I’ll have to disagree about bare legs being unimaginable in winter. I wear skirts with bare legs most of the year round & even at this time of year if the rest of my body’s wrapped up I don’t mind the cold. If you’re not used to it though, then yes it would be. I actually think its a cool look- winter coat, scarf etc paired with bare legs & boots- stands out from the crowd.

  6. December 21, 2010 1:23 am

    Great list !! Dont forget jeggings! I abandon jeans in the winter because they get so cold and stiff :( I hate canadian winterrr!! Thus I have evolved as a fashion species and wear jeggings in the winter :)


  7. November 30, 2011 3:42 pm

    LOVE THIS! thank you Hannah. i’m already freezing my butt off in the 30’s in wisconsin while its still in the 80s in florida at home. I need all the help I can get :) i’ve been buying cute sweaters nonstop lately :)

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