In my last post, I focused on coats and boots. I think it’s absolutely fine to have pretty coats and boots as long as you have at least one coat and one pair of boots that keep you warm and dry in the dead of winter. While those warm items don’t necessarily have to be eyesores, it’s still better to go with not-so-pretty versions that do their jobs. However, what’s underneath those coats and boots can and should be attractive and flattering and it can even keep you warmer.

I don’t like bundling up for winter, but I do love layering. Smart layering adds depth and polish to an outfit and can make the woman appear healthier and attractive. It can also take something un-tzniut and make it wearable for those of us concerned about adequate cover. And in the dead of winter, it can actually keep you warmer.

Many women love chunky sweaters in wintertime because they feel warm and cozy. That’s because they do feel warm and cozy. I have a couple of chunky cardigans myself. They can look great if they’re fitted and worn with a slim skirt.

If the sweater isn’t fitted at the waist, it’s fine to add a belt. If the sweater is not fitted, the figure gets lost. But while all of this is fine indoors or in not-freezing weather, it’s actually not the best way in the dead of winter.

As I read it, medical professionals agree that 2-3 lightweight layers actually keep you warmer than 1 heavy layer. More layers trap your body heat better. And strangely enough, those 2-3 lightweight layers actually add less bulk to the figure. The lightest-weight layer should be closest to the body while each added layer can be slightly heavier. But be careful because if you wear more than 3 layers, you risk losing movement and that can lead to frostbite.

 

When choosing layers, I suggest having a little fun. Try different color combinations. I like to wear blends of rich, warm colors and then add one piece of jewelry for contrast. Maybe you look best in jewel tones or in lighter and softer colors. Maybe you look best in a more high-contrast look so try two tops in contrasting colors. Play around and see what works. And don’t be afraid of a color that isn’t “seasonally appropriate.” If the color flatters you, it works year-round. Plus, lighter and brighter colors brighten up the winter doldrums.

In general, I’m not a fan of layering skirts because most of the time, it gets bulky. I’ve seen women wear very lightweight and fitted longer skirts under shorter skirts and it does work (although I admit that it’s not to my taste). I’ve also seen women wearing trousers under a skirt. If the trousers are lightweight and fitted and worn under an A-line skirt, that avoids a bulky look (although, again, it’s not to my taste). The safest way to go with layering under a skirt is with leggings. They tend to be lightweight and snug-fitting so they don’t add bulk. Tights, of course, work great, but if it’s seriously freezing, they may not be enough. I’ve worn leggings over tights in freezing weather.

When putting on hose, tights, and socks, be careful and make sure you always have enough room to wiggle your toes freely. You need movement to prevent frostbite.

If it’s cold but not rainy or snowy, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a pretty pair of boots that are more for style. When trying them on, always make sure you wear socks so that you know if they’ll fit over them and give you room to move. But if it’s rainy and/or snowy outside, you need a pair of waterproof boots that will protect your feet. They may not be pretty but frostbitten feet are seriously ugly in more ways than one.

Staying warm in the dead of winter is a challenge but it’s nothing we can’t handle. And we can even look good doing it and have a little fun.

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