When we think of chic and stylish outfits, our minds don't immediately go to winter-wear. Far too often, this season's fashion takes a backseat to function when we’re trudging through cold weather - especially in northern parts of the world where layers are more for survival than style. Winter-set daydreams are all about getting cozy in your comfiest sweat-set, sitting by the fire, and sipping hot chocolate - not runway-ready outfits. So with that in mind, today we’re bringing fashion to the living room and function to the streets with these eight hacks for making even your most functional, coziest look a stylish one.
1. Layer Your Outerwear
It's true, the quickest and easiest way to stay warm during the winter is to grab one of those big, chunky ski coats we all recognize; but you can say good-bye to your figure. If you don’t own a Puffer coat or that look just isn’t doing it for you - try layering multiple pieces of thinner outerwear to achieve a mixed pattern look while still beating the bone-chilling cold. A thin puffer under your outer jacket or a blazer under your trench coat will add a level of warmth and sophistication to your look.
2. Eliminate Static
No, you’re not just imagining it, our clothes actually are more staticky in the winter. This is because static electricity thrives in the cold and dry conditions of winter, especially when we’re layered in wools and faux furs which are natural conductors. A super easy way to deal with clingy sweaters or unruly hair is to wipe a dryer sheet over your garment or down the length of your hair to keep every strand in place.
3. Fold Your Knits!
Hanging your knits may make sense for easy access in your closet, but the constant pulling from gravity is going to separate those seams in your sweaters leaving you with misshapen shoulders and drafty garments. They may take up a little extra space in your drawers and closet shelves, but you’ll save in the long run when you don’t need to add even more layers to make up for a non-functioning woollen knit.
4. Baselayers Everywhere
Pictured above: Verie, Finn Legging in Cherry
Tighter base layers can either be concealed under an outfit or made to take center stage. Tights and yoga pants are a great option under your jeans or pants for hidden warmth and when paired with a skirt or dress, they add extra colour and style to your look. The same effect can be achieved on the upper body with a tight base layer or turtleneck. We love the idea of wearing that big, cozy wool sweater folded up in the closet, but some warmer materials like knits of 100% merino wool can cause redness and discomfort on sensitive skin. Base layers will save your skin from that direct contact in addition to providing added warmth on a cold winter’s night. That classy turtleneck can serve the same purpose while being oh so versatile. We love them under sweaters, layered with dresses, or under an oversized button down.
5. Freeze Your Tights
Speaking of tights, there’s nothing worse than a run in your hosiery, especially during the winter. Not only can it make a good day, well, not so good, but it's also drafty when you’re running to the store to grab more. Get those tights working smarter and harder by soaking a new pair and throwing them in the freezer. Trust us. The reason we do this is because freezing makes the fibers thicker and more dense, which means warmer layers for you and fewer trips to the mall to replace torn tights.
This next hack is as much about style as it is about function. A good scarf can help complete any look whether it’s a button-down cardigan over a turtleneck or your “I just need to run to the store” messy-chic outfit. A loose scarf can go from hanging over your shoulders with a relaxed look to tightly wrapped around your neck and face for that mad dash to your car in mere seconds, making it the truly versatile hero of winter wear. Try tucking longer scarves into your waist belt for a cinched and layered look over sweaters and dresses.
7. Double Loop-ing
This hack may seem simple, but I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve lost the belt for my peacoats and trenches in coat checks. They've gone the way of bobby pins and hair elastics - never to be found again. We all love a cute trench and belt parka, but when left untied the belts can go rogue and hang lopsided or fall off completely. Double loop your belt around the centre-back loop to ensure it stays in place and you’ll never lose your accessory or your look again. This is a good hack for housecoat sashes, too!
Pictured above: Mango, Cotton Trench Coat with Quilted Lining
8. Statement Socks
It’s winter and our feet get cold. As we mentioned earlier - layers not only keep you warm - they add dimension to your look. With longer socks, fold the tops down twice and smooth out the folds so they peek out just above ankle boots or sneakers. For tall boots and wellies, find knee-high or thigh-high stockings that will be visible above the top of the boot. This look is best with shorter skirts or sweater dresses. On colder days, try chunky socks with lettuce edges for warmth and dimension.