Two and a half years ago I moved from the UK to the Artic, haha just kidding, I moved to Montréal but sometimes temperature-wise it feels like the same thing. Although I wasn’t a huge fan of living in the UK, one definite advantage was its winter temperatures. When I lived in the UK because the winters were so mild, I had the most amazing collection of winter coats, clothes and boots, whereas now I’m stuck wearing a huge winter parka and snow boots most of the time. One of the biggest struggles I encountered during my move is that I really felt like my style got lost. A lot of the clothes I used to wear during the winter were no longer appropriate (they weren’t warm enough). My uniform became sweaters and jeans and I just constantly felt so plain and like I couldn’t/wasn’t expressing my sense of style like I used to. Over the past three winters, even though the types of outfits I’m able to wear haven’t really changed, I’ve slowly found ways to add stylish elements back into my outfits. I thought I would share these tips with you in case any of you guys are struggling with a similar thing where you live or maybe you’re travelling to somewhere cold and want to look good but stay warm.
This first tip is quite an easy one but it will make a huge difference to how you look/how you feel. When buying your hardcore winter gear (intense snow parkas and snow boots) I would really recommend thinking carefully about the style/cut, colour and brand that you choose. For coats, we’re really lucky because brands like Moncler and Canada Goose are really on trend right now and they make perfect coats for cold climates which means that you can stay stylish and warm at the same time. In terms of colour, I would definitely recommend going for something neutral which will go with everything (black, grey, camel, khaki, etc), if in doubt get black. For style, I would recommend choosing something with shape because that will look most flattering on your figure. When you’re wearing a huge, thick coat your shape can often get lost underneath and it can make you look way bigger than you are. I would recommend the Canada Goose Trillium Parka (or similar) because you can cinch it in at the waist and give your body more shape. Another style must have is a fur hood, not only are they amazingly practical but they also look so cool.
Canada Goose Trillium Parka – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=389818736&pid=uid161-36446631-82
For boots the same criteria are important. Even though I’m yet to find snow boots that I actually like the look of, there are definitely some that are better than others. Neutral colours are definitely best because you’ll end up wearing them with a variety of outfits and colours. I would also 100% recommend choosing boots that will match your winter coat because they will likely be worn together most of the time. The styles I like most are as streamlined as possible but I also think varying textures (leather, suede, fur etc.) can make a snow boot look much more stylish. I would stick to well-known brands such as UGG or Sorrell, because not only will you be getting a good pair of boots but they also tend to be the most stylish on the market. I would recommend the UGG Adirondack II boots.
UGG Adirondack II Snow Boots – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=541092243&pid=uid161-36446631-82 (I have these in cream)
If you live in a cold climate accessories are your new best friend. If you accessorise right you can completely change the look of a boring/plain outfit.
Belts – I never used to be big on belts but over the past couple of years, I have become a huge fan of statement belts. I think tucking in your sweater and adding a detailed belt to an outfit, adds excitement and makes it look like you’ve made so much more of an effort with your outfit than you have, particularly if you’re wearing an all black or monochrome outfit.
I love these western style belts but if you’re looking for something a bit more luxe, the Gucci GG belt is the dream.
Western Belt – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=511554008&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Gucci Belt – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=615776918&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Scarves – Warm scarves are an obvious accessory in the freezing cold. I love big, oversized, blanket scarves because they’re really warm but also look really cool. I would recommend something coloured or patterned, again because it can add a nice touch to a neutral outfit. Zara is my probably favourite place to buy huge warm scarves but they also have some really nice ones on Asos.
However, what I also often like to do is wear a silk or chiffon scarf with a sweater and jeans. I feel like it’s the perfect touch to add to let the world know that I actually do care about how I look and know what I’m doing when it comes to style. My favourite is my Alexander McQueen scarf but I also love smaller neckerchief-type scarves tied around the neck.
Alexander McQueen Scarf (similar) – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=464400969&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Neckerchief (similar) – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=601597019&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Hats – Hats are another functional accessory for the cold but again if you combine function with style it can add a nice touch. My favourite hats are the ones with huge furry pompoms. Not only do they look so cute but they also keep your head warm and it’s not that weird to keep them on inside to cover up a bad hair day.
Bags – I don’t need to say much more here than – if you carrying a killer handbag no matter what you’re wearing, no one will doubt your style. You could be wearing your pyjamas but if you’re carrying a Chanel Boy Bag or a Givenchy Antigona, etc. people will know that you’re very capable of dressing yourself well, you’re just too cold that day.
Jewellery: Jewellery is another thing that I have grown to love since living in Montreal. Jewellery is quite an easy way to add detail to a boring outfit. I love stacking bangles or layering necklaces. I’ve also really enjoyed wearing chokers over the last few months.
It may sound obvious but the colour, pattern and fabric of the clothes you’re wearing can make a huge difference to how your outfit looks. A pop of colour or a leopard print sweater can really change how you look (and feel too). If you’re not a fan of colour/pattern, a chunky woollen knit can look very different to a thin cashmere sweater and depending on the look you’re going for one might be more appropriate than the other. Another thing to consider is the shape of the clothes you’re wearing. I love and only wear high waisted jeans because I feel like they’re that little bit more stylish and feminine but also highlight my small waist. I’ve also recently started to fall in love with v-neck sweaters because they look much more feminine and flattering on my body shape. The final thing to look out for is existing details on the clothing itself. For example, coated jeans or jeans with padded areas, zips or rips (if it’s not too cold), or sweaters with different textures or patterns (cable knit, etc.) can add a lot of detail and texture to a bland outfit.
V-Neck Sweater with Lace Detail – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=619096756&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Oversized Leopard Print Sweater (similar) – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=622152602&pid=uid161-36446631-82
Coated High Waisted Jeans – https://api.shopstyle.com/action/apiVisitRetailer?id=537043510&pid=uid161-36446631-82
If you’re like me and you hate getting up any earlier than is absolutely necessary, you’re probably gonna hate me for this final point, but I always find that I feel 100 times better in an outfit if I have nice hair and makeup. Not only that, but I also feel like from an outside perspective the same outfit can look totally different on me if I’m wearing no makeup and my hair’s in a bun vs. if I’ve got loose curls and a red lip. Obviously, as I’ve shown there are many other ways to look good in the cold but if you wake up and it’s -30 and all else fails, this is a (relatively) quick fix.
I really hoped that these tips help you guys like they’ve helped me over the past 3 winters and make you feel better about your winter style. Of course, you can pick and choose and mix and match these ideas. I love writing fashion posts and I really hope that you guys enjoy reading them.