the how-to: bundle up in style

When one of you (hi, Amy!) suggested that I talk a little about bundling up for winter, I got pretty excited. The truth is, winter is my season! While I hate the cold, I absolutely adore cold weather style. So, today I thought I’d dispense a few of my favorite tips for staying chic no matter the weather.

bundled up the how to: bundle up in style

Coat, Topshop | Sweater, Ami Dans La Rue | Jeans, Henry & Belle | Boots, Sorel | Scarf, Shepherd England | Hat, Brooklyn Industries| Gloves, Mujjo

First, you’ll need a coat. My go-to on the coldest days is a men’s vintage shearling coat I picked up in a thrift shop last year. I’m not normally a vintage girl at all, but for this particular coat, I think beaten up and broken in is the only way to go. Shearling, especially in this giant, men’s-inspired incarnation, just has a cool factor you can’t beat. And it’s so warm, it’s easy to see why actual cowboys wear these to work. Etsy has a bunch of these at any given time, but please be confident about the seller…the importance of a sniff test cannot be overstated. Or you could, of course, go for new (so many more here).

If vintage isn’t your thing (in which case, I feel you), I’d go for a big ol’ faux fur instead. Unlike wool coats, fur (faux or otherwise) blocks wind like a champ, and is snuggly and warm without feeling bulky.

(Side note: You could, of course, go for real fur. I’m frankly on the fence about the whole thing, and happen to think vintage options are gorgeous and can be had for next to nothing. If you want to growl at me about the evils of fur, go read this wonderful article first, please. And then remember it’s Christmas.)

Fur coats that don’t make you look like Margot Tannenbaum, Penny Lane or your grandmother can be tricky (though, to be honest, you could do worse). But if you get it right, trust me – you’ll be a convert for life. In general, my rule is that they should hit at the hip or at the knee. Anything in between (or longer) tends to lean toward dowdy. Also, you’re looking for an oversized style – this should drape, not fit. And be a little bit liberal with the color and type of fur…have fun with it! ASOS and Topshop always seem to have my favorite faux options.

 faux fur coats the how to: bundle up in style

ASOS Longline blonde, $136 | Topshop curly faux-fur long coat, $250 | ASOS Longline leopard, $145

If you just can’t bring yourself to get furry with it, a parka is the next obvious choice. But they’re so, so tricky to get right. They don’t drape, and can quickly add bulk where you don’t want it. If you must, look for something bum-covering that has a nipped-in waist. Straight cuts are a one-way ticket to Michelin Man territory. I love a little fur trim on the hood to glam things up, and as far as function is concerned, please be sure it’s designed to block wind and water, as well as keep you warm. That’s the big advantage to a parka over anything else, after all. Also, skip the military-inspired distressed versions in army green – best left to the younger kids, I think.

best parkas the how to: bundle up in style

  1 Madison fur-trim down walking coat, $250 | North Face Kiara parka, $399

What to wear underneath? You want warmth without bulk, so I go for thin, close-fitting layers. A tank or slim-fit tee under a relatively fitted sweater (when wearing a huge coat, you want the rest of your clothes to be light, and to hug your frame, so things don’t get bulky and confining). And this is the season skinny jeans were made for – these ridiculously comfy Henry & Belle options are my latest find. Put the best wool socks on the planet underneath (or even fleece-lined tights if things get really bad), and pair with any boots you like. (For me, Sorels are the only way to go – toasty warm, waterproof, and the soles are thick enough that the cold doesn’t seep in from the sidewalk. Also, they’re awfully stylish.)

Add a comically oversized scarf (these are my personal favorite, but you can find others here or here), a slouchy knit hat (or here), since I’m convinced it’s the only style that looks flattering on absolutely everyone, and texting gloves, because trying to de-bundle to answer a call is so not chic.

There you have it! What about you, friends…any tips you’ve discovered for keeping warm and chic this winter?

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4 comments on “the how-to: bundle up in style

  1. nicmarie

    Love the post! I am always searching for the perfect jeans, what Henry & Belle styles do you prefer? Thank you!

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