Quick fixes with lasting appeal that will keep you warm and cool
Photographs: Ian Engelbrecht | Styling: Kelly Fung
In the throes of winter, it becomes increasingly difficult to summon styling inspiration while also keeping the cold weather at bay. Whether you’re dressing for the office or a night of bar hopping, the tendency is to just throw on your three warmest items of clothing, at the cost of missing the opportunity to try out all the new trends swept in with the icy winds. Even when you’re shopping for new clothes, every instinct is screaming for you to buy three floor-length faux-fur coats and spend your days in those, but we’re here to implore you to not let that weather get in between you and your best fashion self.
We’ve picked out a few quick upgrades that will not only elevate your looks, but also get you out of that cold-weather rut.
You can go one of two ways when it comes to your accessory styling: either you opt for something bold in a larger silhouette and a bright colour, or you could go for something simple, like a sleek clutch with minimal detail. Whichever option you choose, it’s vital to balance the bag with the outfit. The last thing you want is your vibrant office tote colour-clashing with an elegant workwear look, while that black quilted clutch paired with an all-black outfit might look like you’re mourning the death of your former fashion self.
If there’s one jacket that stays in outfit rotation year-round, it's the classic bomber. It’s a functional layer that’s versatile enough to add value to almost any outfit, and the right colour can be the basis for an entire look. Don’t be afraid to dress tonally like in the example above – just remember to find matching (or similar) colours. Keep in mind that heading out in head-to-toe red might work when you’re standing outside fashion week, but you're entering brave new territory if it's anywhere else.
A trend has truly taken hold when it becomes a staple feature on multiple items of clothing. This only benefits you, the fashion lover, as the choker neckline can be found on everything from blouses to bodysuits, dresses to swimwear, so there’s bound to be something that suits your style. The next time you need to shop for a formal occasion, consider incorporating the choker into your look in something modern with cutout details, or add some elegance to a loose-fitting sweater dress with this season’s on-trend neckline.
We’re fortunate that, with the way the trends have ebbed and flowed, that any style of jeans is acceptable with the right ensemble. Gone are the days of the skinnies monopoly, no longer do you need the 501s to fit in. Balance is key here once again – when you throw on a loose-fitting, high-waisted pair of boyfriend jeans, add a sleek roll-neck knit. On the other hand, if you go for a low-cut, straight or skinny leg pair, try an oversized pullover to contrast silhouettes.
Functionally supreme in cold weather, the puffer has been on the comeback for a while now. The quilted construction is the signature aspect and while there’s fairly minimal variation in styles, you can shop by colour or whether you’d like a cropped or longline cut. A puffer is ideal for adding both texture and shine to a look, and it’s worth noting that before you even start getting dressed. Too much shine can be a fashion faux pas, but you can pair it with some matching patent mules or boots to elevate the whole outfit. Puffers are easy to carry, warm enough for any climate and, with the right outfit, can completely avoid the soccer-mom cliché.
Your selection of sneakers has a profound effect on your outfit possibilities, especially if you favour more comfortable footwear options. Chunkier, skater-inspired silhouettes work great as a foil to an outwardly elegant outfit involving plissé culottes and a pyjama shirt, while some classic runners look best when you’re experimenting with athleisure elements, like leggings, hoodies and sweats. When it comes to colourways, you’re welcome to cop the bright and brash collectors’ items, but that tends to narrow your styling options more than soft tones and monochrome designs.
THE SOCK BOOTS
Truly the boot silhouette of the season, this design is an amalgamation of all our favourite styles. They’re soft enough at the ankle but still have the added support, and tend to sport a block heel that makes walking hassle-free. The pair above are brimming with style, and are versatile enough to maintain a day-to-night appeal. The glitter shine adds intrigue to your whole ensemble and they look just as good on bare legs as they do with jeans or culottes.
There’s no two ways about it: the pullover sweat is a staple and any wardrobe without a solid selection is a sadder, less comfortable version of itself. A simple, solid-colour crewneck sweat is endlessly versatile as both a layering option and as the focal point for a complete outfit, in the right tone. Wear them over a button-up shirt or polo neck knit to elevate an otherwise-straightforward garment. It’s not all stock standard though, and it’s worth considering longline and cropped cuts, graphic prints, V-necks and unique features like the corset detail in the style above.
There’s no reason to push those dresses to the back of the cupboard this season. When we talk about transitional styling in winter, it’s all about compiling an adaptable outfit that keeps you both comfortable and looking good through a commute, a visit to a cosy coffee shop, a day in an air-conditioned office, a night on the town and everything in between. A printed-tee dress is your go-to for those rare warm days, where you can add a cosy bomber or puffer and leggings at your discretion. Try layering a velvet maxi dress over a button-up shirt or a polo neck knit for the cooler weather, and once again you can add a cropped bomber to make the look work for you.