• Anya L

The choices I make to be chic when it's very cold out.

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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