I find the Winter season to be the point every year when we most easily fall into the trap to compromise style for ease and practicality. But time and time again, influencers and stylish friends surround us to prove, it is the season during which perfect layering creates the most dramatic, successful outfits.

The first (and only hard) step is to find yourself the most comfortable outerwear you can imagine. To stay on budget, in the past I have limited myself to purchasing something like this only once every other year. The price range for a proper, quality coat like that is generally between $160-$260. You can certainly spend a lot more, but that is the least you must plan it will cost. My best store recommendations are Reformation, Mango and FreePeople.

This coat feels like a dress swinging around your calves, with plenty of room in the sleeves. This beautiful item can be black, gray, cream, or patterned, it is not puffy or furry, not zippered, and the cut is oversized until it is buttoned or tied. The hardest part for me to swallow was that this dream coat doesn't need a hood. It is much better without. That's your classic, gorgeous coat that nobody will be able to resist complimenting you on.

When you are prepared and your coat has arrived, think about accessories. Forget about hat hair, because you must wear one! It's the dead of winter, so keep those layers on throughout your trip. Covering your ear and neck in the dead of winter is too important. And I firmly believe there is not a person on earth that doesn't look cute in a beanie.

Everybody seems to be in one of two camps with scarves. I personally prefer the turtleneck. It's become hard to find my hands when I look down with a mask on, so scarves get in my way. Then, your handbag could match the color of your hat, but if you can manage this, it has recently become very fashionable to match your bag to your coat instead.

I'm sure you all know what you prefer to wear underneath this combination, but I have my own twist on that as well. My Russian heritage puts a very strong emphasis on staying warm head to toe. For the coziest, stylish combination, my outfit choice includes pulling my pants on over a pair of tights. I also then wear a sweater dress that hits above the knee. This can be left relaxed, or cinched with a belt if you are missing some bulk.

I wear a layer of socks on top of the tights and pull on my boots over that. But if I am going to a less casual event, I do pull on some tight socks and wear a pair of matching heels with them. This looks like the "sock heels" made famous a few seasons ago by Balenciaga, a style of boot that is still being sold everywhere, but not as warm as my combination. And nobody can tell with a pair of pants on.

Finally, my favorite two color combinations for a dramatic flourish to your winter wardrobe are Black & Red, or Green & Gray.

Thank you for reading, stay good looking all! -Anya

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Hey Fashionable Friends!

Did you know that the "basic" pieces many influencers talk about are actually quite different from person to person? Our preferences depend on our lifestyle, and actually, some people need two "wardrobe" types in their closet, or even three, which is what makes it tough to put a wardrobe together until you understand what those shopping rules are for you! Thankfully right now is a wonderful time to choose your favorite way to put together your closet. As we have seen during these quarantines, those lines are blurring significantly.

Have you determined a basics "guide" for yourself? Some of my personal choices are:

-go with pants over a dress

-don't wear cropped pants and sleeves

-stick mainly to v-neck tops

-love horizontal but not vertical stripes

-just avoid the shoe/bag section at the beginning of the season

Before I chose to stick with these shopping guidelines, I ended up with too many beautiful dresses hanging in my closet, never to see the light of day.

A lot of this comes through trial and error. One awesome fast track to a successful closet is to pick a great silhouette for you, and consistently choose only items that match it. It's a great idea to start is to start a fashion inspiration "folder" either on Pinterest or on your computer! I've found so many photos even off of online shopping websites where they arrange the models in such pretty outfits. I just screenshot the image into my folder.

Another easy way I've recently discovered to find specific items is to use your explorer search bar. I discovered that if I type very specific keyword items I'm looking for, all the stores that are selling it pop up right below! You can click the right hand to keep browsing all the options, and often online stores that you prefer to shop at show up first. Here's an example of the results I got when I searched: dark brown oversize blazer on Google. Now that I know this, finding cute clothes has been too easy!

With the help of these tips and sticking to my shopping rules in the past few months, I've managed to find an array of beautiful basics that I find myself grabbing for on a constant basis. The majority of these can be upgraded into your sexy evening outfit with a touch of jewelry and accessory change. One thing I've found is that I love v-neck knits. Whether it's layering them over a button-up or tucking them into some jeans, I can't get enough of them! Here are some of my favorite recent purchases of this basic.

$189 Reformation Hart Sweater

similar for 59$ off A&F here

This lovely cashmere knit combines so many of my favorite things (puff sleeves, v-neck) into the perfect sweater. Some outfit ideas I would recommend are to layer it over a white button-up shirt dress with thigh-high boots, or pairing it with paper-bag trousers, sneakers, and a long trench coat. The very special thing about this top is the color. It is a GORGEOUS neutral that matches EVERYTHING I own!

V-Neck Long Sleeve Sweater Zara $35.90

This is a classic and comfortable shirt I own in black, brown, and am tempted to purchase in green as well. It's very finely knit, stretchy but not sheer. I love to wear this with a delicate necklace, straight jeans, or a long cardigan robe. The buttons reflect either gold or silver, depending on what I'm wearing, and are a flat modern style without any embellishments. Most of all, I love the ribbed bottom that keeps a nice smooth surface over my hips when I wear baggy trousers or as I tuck them into my waist.

Rib-knit Wool Blend Sweater $25 H&M

I'm just beginning to experiment with oversized styles. When grabbing an oversized sweater at this time of year, you want it to be heavy enough to keep you warm because it's almost too big to drop a jacket on top of. This wool version looks great over a thermal, or pair it as I do with a white turtleneck, tapered pants, and some loafers. Once winter comes, this will be that reach for top for that stylish outdoor brunch (because COVID) in a coat and beanie.

Thank you all for subscribing! Are you excited to shop black Friday deals? They are already happening at so many stores. I already picked up a few things for myself! Will share soon.

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Because quarantine and worry has put an emphasis on comfort for all of us, most of my new clothing items this Fall are simple. This year, I have a good handle on how to organize my clothing with pieces I will want to mix and match.

So this is a breakdown of a few important purchases I have made to fill out my Fall closet. Since the weather remains mild here into November, I feel like long sleeves and a jacket are sufficient to keep myself comfortable. The outfits that I return to again and again are really quite basic to throw together.

If you are trying to purchase something trendy and stay on budget, you can't go wrong with cool bottoms. This way you can incorporate the season's latest styles without spending 100$+ on a jacket or dress. For example, I focused my spending on the leather trend. See some examples below!

Extra Long Faux Leather Leggings

ZARA $35

Tight Faux Leather Waistband Leggings H&M $35

Faux Leather Short with Silver Buckle

H&M 35$

Next, I tried some options in styles I've wanted to own, but was hesitant to try until I figured they are sticking around. During this crisis, I have actually been pretty happy to have a chance to broaden my shopping choices as I can get opinions from family and close friends without ever seeing strangers! The two options I picked are baggier pants. Of course, the boyfriend/mom jean is as comfy as it gets. I love this perfectly blue pair I discovered from Zara! They are a cotton blend that is a great quality just as you can get at Levi's or from Agolde. I really want to get them in black as well. I just adore the length and fit which looks good with sneakers, boots and pumps.

Mom Fit Jeans ZARA $40

I have also been wanting, for two years now, a pair of dressy flowy pants as a formal option. I have accumulated over the past couple of summers a couple of cropped blouses that aren't right to style with a skinny pant. I am super happy with the Mason Pant off of Reformation. The little pleats help cinch in the waist in an elegant way, and I'd add even more glam by looping a belt through.

Mason Pant in Khaki Reformation $178

I hope you have enjoyed this breakdown of some pant styles we are seeing a lot of this Autumn! I'm enjoying the beauty and wonderful weather we are getting, I just want it to continue on so I can wear these cute purchases as much as possible. And, for your reference, if you guys are interested in any of these pieces, I am 5'8" so some of these do look a little short in general on me! I will mainly wear boots with these looks to keep the line flowing.

My next post will be all about tops, and as winter approaches I will be looking at a couple of long coats. In late November, everybody's outfit is gonna be covered up so that is a time that I love to show off cool accessories. What are you going to be shopping for in the coming weeks? Do you like any of the brands I've mentioned?

Thanks for checking out my blog and especially to those of you who have recently subscribed by email! So looking forward to getting to know you guys.

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