When weather gets cold in places where it usually does not, such as tropical islands, the desert in daytime and so forth, what usually follows is a style scramble. A mishmash of grabbing whatever one might have in the house in order to be reasonably warm.
The result on the street is some pragmatic ensembles that are not quite flattering. In Southern California, when unexpected cold recently hit, I observed a certain style plague come over the womenfolk. I’m sure the men were not so innocent, but since female style is so flip-flop-and-tank-focused they just seemed to stand out more in their Wow, it’s freezing I’ll just grab anything approach.
And a garment seen often in this mishmash? The sweatshirt. The puffy, pull it over your head, might or might not have the name of a sports team or trucking company printed on its front or back. Usually black, but could very well be the color of a pumpkin, or a Crayon of forest green or purple.The kind of sweatshirt to amplify the upper body. (Along the lines of the Hulk, mind you, not Jayne Mansfield.) And if you’re looking Hulkish, you might be tempted to move, act and even speak like him. The Hulk, that is, not the kindly, soft-spoken scientist Bruce Banner.
What I’m trying to say, ladies, is this: The puffy sweatshirt is not your friend. And, since there is a host of cold weather wear that can be had at a fair price at a local mall that will make you look and feel nice, there is really no excuse to dress like a hobo when a cold front moves into town.
I’m not suggesting you get done up, catwalk style, each time you walk out the door for a quart of milk. What I am recommending is that you find your personal shortcuts to looking good, which, once habit, are as easy as looking not-so good. And the rewards of looking good, which is to say feeling good, are many.
A warm-climate version of cool-weather dressing, as spotted on this cute as a button walker of pugs told me she wants to feel good while working, and wearing UGGs and droopy sweatpants makes her feel slobby and unenergized. Her runaround ensemble consists of a knit hat, big sunglasses, a basic v-neck T-shirt, leggings and suede fuchsia flats. Effortless to pull together and sassy.
So, what can you do when seeking the rewards that come with being comfortable, warm and stylish? Here are a few ideas:
Shelter key spots. Don a hat, scarf, cute gloves, tights and boots to cover heavy heat-loss areas and maintain your overall body temperature. Buy these in your most flattering colors and go a bit brighter than usual. Keep the rest of your body lightly covered.
Strategic layering…is not just for hair anymore. Use layers of body conscious wraps, jackets and cloaks made from durable, condensed fabrics to warm your body. Bonus: These can be worn a la carte during warmer months, to drape over a bikini when the wind picks up, or on a sunset hike.
I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating: Buy fewer items; buy better items. This means investing in quality fabrics and items of solid craftsmanship and a refined silhouette. The best way to know the difference is by comparing clothes of different manufacturers and studying their details. This knowledge will help you spot the truly great deals versus the so-so ones.
Balance your silhouette. You don’t want to layer the top half of your body so much that you look like a barrel balancing on sticks, or vice versa. If you’re wearing heavy boots, for instance, make sure you offer a visual parallel on your upper half, such as with a fluffy hat and scarf set.
For more reading on cold weather style strategies, read the related post: How To Stay Warm Without Looking Like a Dancing Bear.