Cold-weather style survival guide (or how to find fashion hygge for winter)

By IN Create Outfits, Find Clothes You'll Love

how to survive winter in style

Winter weather brings a particular set of style challenges and questions, from the basic to the existential. Here are answers to a few reader questions on surviving (or at least not hating) winter in style.

If you hate winter, really hate winter, what clothing can you treat yourself to soften the blow of the cold to either make hibernating better or encourage a trip outdoors? I realize not buying anything for deep winter is just making it worse.

I’m not a big winter fan either. The clothes that best cushion me against the season are soft, warm and cozy—a concept the Danes call hygge.

And while it might not fulfill the hygge criterion, it also helps to have a really, really great coat. You’re going to be wearing it everyday. Isn’t it better if you love it?

What are some boots for walking in ice and deeper snow that don’t look I’ve borrowed them from the Michelin man or stole a teenager’s Uggs?

These? Or these? Or these? Or these? (Yes, I am a big fan of North Face boots.)

How much hat hair is acceptable? What can you do to minimize?

Confession: I have this problem myself, both with short layered hair and a chin-length un-layered bob. I don’t have miracle solutions, but I do find that looser knit hats “smoosh” less than tight-fitting ones, and earmuffs even less. Using my coat’s hood instead of a hat is often just as warm and less hair-flattening, too. Long-haired ladies have the greatest range of options: try ponytails or headbands or barrettes or other manner of hair camouflage.

As for acceptable, while you can’t expect the best coiffure post-hat-wearing, the goal is for the precise shape of the hat to not be visible in your locks.

What is the ideal glove and hat wardrobe? Does a ski pom pom hat look right with a camel coat? Is winter frumpy mismatched okay?

When possible, wear wool hats and cashmere or leather gloves with wool coats, and knit hats and mittens with down coats. Accessories (your hat, gloves and/or scarf) don’t have to match the coat, but it’s nice if they match each other. When it’s very cold, especially if also wet and snowy, all bets are off; survival is the key.

Personally, I try to avoid winter frumpy mismatched on a working or otherwise Level 3 and above day. It’s easy enough to look reasonably coordinated even when casual if your pieces are all some sort of neutral or at least not in clashing colors and prints. Go ahead and mismatch all you want on the slopes, shoveling the walk or sledding with the kids!

Mamas, is winter the season you love or the season you hate? How do you survive it in style?

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