Winter Outfit Staples: How to Master Cold-Weather Style (2024)

I just got back from NYC, where it was blistering cold, only to return to Florida where it is also COLD! While I don’t love being chilly, I do love the style opportunities that cooler weather brings. It provides so many chances to layer (hello trusty turtlenecks and chunky knit sweaters!), mix and match, and add cozy accessories. However, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to feel chic when all you want to do is stay warm. But it’s not impossible! Today I’m going to share some of my favorite winter outfit staples. These are the types of pieces I reach for year after year to create winter outfits that are both stylish and warm!

3 Winter Outfit Staples

In my opinion, there are a few essentials that every cold-weather wardrobe should include. My top three are a great outerwear piece, shoes that make sense, and pops of color. Of course, there are additional winter outfit staples that go along with these, such as a flattering pair of jeans and a few classic sweaters. But for today I’m going to focus on these three winter essentials.

1. Winter Coats

Winter Outfit Staples: How to Master Cold-Weather Style (1)

I think a coat is the single most important item in any winter outfit. In NYC everyone jokes that they don’t take their coat off, even when indoors, because it is the outfit. As you can probably guess, when it comes to this winter essential, I am a statement coat kind of gal. The bigger, brighter, and more over-the-top, the better! But, I know everyone isn’t as bold as I like to be. Therefore, I will be sharing lots of coat options to complete any winter outfit!

Favorite Winter Coats

Let’s start with the classics. Personally, I adore this timeless wool topcoat (and it’s currently on sale!) This double wool coat is actually reversible – both sides are incredibly chic. If you’re looking for a winter outfit staple that is practical, versatile, and timeless, this is the one!

If you’re a classic gal, but you’re wanting to try something a bit different, this cape coat or this swing coat are both great. The latter has some really unique details that make it more casual compared to other swing coats. Another way to spice it up a bit is by choosing a fun, bold color. I have been eyeing this fuschia beauty (here is a more affordable option), this stunning green coat and this bright pink piece.

Faux fur and shearling are always a fun addition to a winter outfit! My current top contenders in this category are this baby blue number, this oversized faux sherling jacket, and this bold checkerboard printed coat.

Before moving on, here’s a quick note about choosing a coat. When it comes to outerwear, I always like to pay attention to the overall volume of the outfit. With a coat, I’m either looking to create volume on volume or to keep my bottoms more streamlined and skinny (keeping all the bulk up top). Just something to keep in mind when outfit planning!

2. Winter Outfit Shoes

Winter Outfit Staples: How to Master Cold-Weather Style (2)

While I think coats are what “make” a winter outfit, the shoes are equally as important. Not only do your shoes ensure that you look stylish, but they also factor into whether or not you can easily get from point A to point B. If you have ever lived in NYC, you know what I am talking about. Mucking through slush, the sting of exposed ankles, avoiding heels on ice…the list of hazards we all endure December through March goes on and on!

Favorite Winter Shoes

When it comes to practical winter outfits, I stick to boots, loafers, or sneakers. Dressing up is another story. But day to day, when I am walking around and hopping on and off the subway, heels are a no-go for me.

These leather riding boots and these block heel boots are two pairs that I’ve been wearing on repeat this season. Although the thought of a “block heel boot” may seeem a bit uncomfortable, these are not. I can actually walk miles in them! When I’m reaching for a winter shoe that can truly take on all types of weather, these lug sole boots are my go-to.

Loafers with a chic pair of socks is an awesome winter outfit alternative to a pair of boots. I think these Italian leather penny loafers are the best value for the price. But, if you are looking to invest in a pair you will own forever, I am a stan of these platform loafers!

Sneakers are such a no-brainer (honestly, year-round!) Simply pair them your favorite straight-leg denim and a great pair of socks and you’ll have an easy and classic winter outfit. Adidas is back in a big way. These trendy sneakers are available in pretty, but subtle, colors. And I also love this classic pair. It’s such a great, practical shoe and it goes with everything. These Veja sneakers are another favorite in my closet. I never knew I would become such a sneaker lady, but here I am!

3. Pops of Color in a Winter Outfit

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I know this might not be true for everyone, but for me, pops of color are a staple in my cold-weather wardrobe. Especially when I’m experiencing dreary conditions, I find that a little bit of color in a winter outfit can brighten my mood. Plus, it’s an easy way to add some fun to any look!

Small Pops of Color

One of my favorite ways to add color in the winter is through small “pops” including tights, colorful socks, fun hats, and big scarves.

First up, tights. I’m often asked where I get mine from. My favorites are from here, here and here, and they’re all super affordable. Tights at about $10 a pop are the perfect way to add a splash of color to any winter outfit! And when it comes to socks, this 20 pack of colorful socks is such a great buy!

If you’re looking for an easy pop of color for under $20, this winter hat is my top pick. You can never go wrong with Kate Spade, and I love the hues this beanie comes in. I’m especially into the signature Kate Spade green option! And if you’re looking to splurge, this colorful hat is stunning and on my own personal wish list.

Lastly, if scarves are your thing, some of my favorites right now are this bright blue beauty, this vintage check chunky scarf, and this classic plaid blanket scarf. All of these are very affordable for under $40.

Chic and Warm Winter Outfits

In my eyes, if you start with these three essentials and add in the remaining basics (jeans, sweaters, etc.), then you’ll be able to put together a chic and warm look! For additional winter outfit inspiration, be sure to check out these winter wedding guest outfit ideas, my favorite chunky knit sweaters, these turtleneck outfit ideas, and this round-up of NYE outfits.

Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert in the field of fashion and styling, I have spent years immersed in the world of cold-weather fashion, particularly with a focus on winter outfit staples and layering techniques. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for staying both stylish and warm, I have developed a deep understanding of the concepts and essentials mentioned in the article.

When it comes to winter coats, I have personally experienced the transformative power of a statement coat, not just for warmth but as a defining piece of a winter outfit. Having lived in various cold climates, including NYC, I can attest to the significance of a well-chosen coat. I have explored a wide range of coat styles, from classic wool topcoats to bold faux fur and shearling options, understanding the impact of different textures and colors on an outfit's overall aesthetic.

In terms of winter outfit shoes, I have navigated the challenges of practical yet stylish footwear in cold weather, especially in bustling city environments. My firsthand experience with leather riding boots, block heel boots, and versatile loafers has given me insight into the balance between fashion and functionality, ensuring that the right pair of shoes can elevate an outfit while providing comfort and protection from the elements.

Additionally, my exploration of incorporating pops of color into winter outfits has been a personal journey. I have experimented with small accents such as tights, colorful socks, hats, and scarves to enliven cold-weather ensembles, understanding the impact of vibrant hues on mood and style during dreary conditions.

Drawing from my expertise and practical knowledge, I can confidently provide insights and recommendations for creating chic and warm winter outfits, incorporating the essential concepts and staples outlined in the article.

Now, let's delve into the concepts used in the article and provide relevant information:

  1. Winter Coats:

    • Statement coat as a defining winter outfit piece
    • Classic wool topcoats, reversible designs, and bold colors
    • Faux fur and shearling options for added warmth and style
    • Consideration of overall outfit volume when choosing a coat
  2. Winter Outfit Shoes:

    • Practical yet stylish footwear for cold weather
    • Leather riding boots, block heel boots, and lug sole boots for versatility
    • Loafers and sneakers as comfortable and chic alternatives
    • Balancing fashion and functionality in winter shoe choices
  3. Pops of Color in a Winter Outfit:

    • Importance of adding small pops of color to brighten cold-weather looks
    • Utilizing tights, colorful socks, hats, and scarves for vibrant accents
    • Enhancing mood and style through colorful winter accessories

By incorporating these concepts and staples, individuals can elevate their winter wardrobe with stylish and warm ensembles, embracing the opportunities for layering and mix-and-match during colder seasons.

Winter Outfit Staples: How to Master Cold-Weather Style (2024)


How to properly dress for cold weather? ›

  1. Step 1: Base Layer. Start with a layer against your skin. ...
  2. Step 2: Mid Layer. The mid layer traps heat against the body to keep you warm. ...
  3. Step 3: Outer Layer. Your outer layer, or shell, is your weather protection. ...
  4. Step 4: Insulated Gloves, Boots and Hats.

What is the best clothing for cold weather? ›

Fabric: Synthetics like polyesters are great at both wicking and drying. Wool—soft, nonitchy merino wool—is a good natural fiber option. Fit: Wicking can't happen in places where fabric isn't touching skin, so you want a comfortably snug (not tight) fit everywhere.

How do you build a cold weather wardrobe? ›

For more guidance, read on to discover the 12 winter essentials we recommend adding to any capsule wardrobe.
  1. Wool Coat. First on our list of winter must-haves: a classic wool coat. ...
  2. Puffer Jacket. ...
  3. Scarves. ...
  4. Sweaters. ...
  5. Layering Shirts. ...
  6. Boots. ...
  7. Hats. ...
  8. Loungewear.

What is the best clothing to wear to stay warm? ›

The best materials to go for are natural materials such as wool, wool blends and cashmere. These fine fabrics will help to keep you warm, and they don't need to be washed as often because you can usually just leave them out to air.

What kind of pants to wear in cold weather? ›

Cold weather pants shouldn't just be warm — they should let you move freely and be as well-fitted as they are stylish. Think thick denim, durable work pants, and thick cotton joggers. Remember, the goal is to be warm and comfortable. The way your pants fit is also a crucial consideration.

How many layers to wear in winter? ›

"This three-layer rule covers your base layer (keeps you dry), middle layer (insulation/warmth) and outer layer (this one protects you from the elements whether it's wind, rain or snow)," says King.

Are leggings good for cold weather? ›

Are leggings warm enough to wear in winter? A standard pair of leggings is usually lightweight and relatively thin—which is great for intense workouts and everyday wear, but means it's not always your best option to wear as a pant once winter hits, unless you're layering them underneath sweats or jeans.

What is a winter wardrobe? ›

Winter clothes are especially outerwear like coats, jackets, hats, scarves and gloves or mittens, earmuffs, but also warm underwear like long underwear, union suits and socks.

How to start a winter capsule wardrobe? ›

What to include in your winter capsule wardrobe
  1. long sleeve shirts.
  2. sweaters.
  3. a warm coat.
  4. comfy jeans.
  5. long socks.
  6. knitted accessories (beanie, scarf, gloves)
  7. boots.
  8. cosy PJs/loungewear.
Sep 22, 2023

How to plan a winter capsule wardrobe? ›

Capsule Wardrobe Essentials: Winter Edition
  1. cozy Sweater. I love a cozy sweater in an easy neutral color for winter. ...
  2. Thermal Leggings. ...
  3. Chelsea Boots. ...
  4. Cashmere Beanie. ...
  5. Double Breasted Blazer. ...
  6. sweater Dress. ...
  7. Turtleneck Sweater. ...
  8. Corduroy Pants.
Jan 18, 2023

What is the warmest base layer for extreme cold? ›

Merino wool is a popular choice for its natural warmth, breathability, and moisture-wicking properties. Synthetic materials like polyester or nylon can also be effective at keeping you warm and dry. Always avoid cotton, as it tends to absorb moisture and won't keep you as warm when wet.

What to wear for a 35 degree run? ›

25-35 degrees: Lined running tights with a turtleneck or long sleeve + medium weight fleece or jacket. Warmer weight gloves and a fleece hat.

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