Winter Outerwear for Women

Posted by Mary Elizabeth on Feb 6th 2019

It’s that time of year again where you go into the depths of your closet, up into your attic or even under your bed to pull out those bulky, baggy, unflattering winter clothes that you dread bundling up in each year. What if you had plus size outerwear that made you look like a snow princess instead of bearing a strong resemblance to the marshmallows floating in your steaming cup of cocoa? It’s time to revamp your wardrobe with some stylish winter clothing that you’ll actually feel sad to put away once spring steps onto the stage.

Keep your Head Cozy

Let’s build your winter wardrobe starting from the top. It’s often incredibly difficult to find winter outerwear for women that flatters our bodies and keeps us warm at the same time. The easiest way to add flair to your look is by popping on a cute hat. As a good amount of our body’s heat leaves through our head, covering your crown is essential to keeping warm when the temperature starts to dip.

The Beanie

The tried and true winter accessory. A beanie can come in all styles and colors, so you have endless possibilities to add a hat that complements your look perfectly.

Here are a couple of different guidelines you can follow to level up your hat game:

  • For a warmer day, go with a classic beanie in your favorite bright color to pair with a comfy sweater, jeans, and your favorite booties.
  • For a more glamourous look, try a thick knit beany made with a soft yard and topped with a sweet fur poof in a neutral color. Fur is a phenomenal wintertime accent that doesn’t come out to play for much of the rest of the year, so take advantage of it as much as you can before the weather starts to heat up.

The Beret

Berets are not just for the effortlessly stylish French or the bougie children of celebrities. Switch up your style with this super cute accessory in black or tan, or for a bolder look try royal blue or a fun pattern. These hats are especially intricate when designed with large crystals that reflect the winter sun and sparkle like snow on top of your head. If you want to keep it simple, go for the timeless woolen style you’re used to seeing in romantic Parisian films.

Added bonus: wool is a great insulator, so your head will stay warm no matter how snowy it gets.

The Trapper

You don’t have to be hunting in the woods to absolutely kill this fashion trend. The trapper hat is perfect for those who can’t seem to ever warm up from November to March. Soft and comfortable, these hats are often shearling lined and feature flaps on either side that guard your ears from the cold. The long back protects your neck, too, and shields your entire head from whatever precipitation you have to trek through.

Get one of these hats in all white with long strings draping off the cozy ear flaps and you’ll look like you just stepped off the slopes in Aspen.

The Knit Headband

Are you having a fabulous hair day and want everyone to see? Skip the hat and reach for a chunky knit headband instead. It can be worn across your forehead and around the back of your head, saving your perfect hairdo for dreaded hat hair. Look for one with a knot or a twist at the front for some added texture. Or wear it with the back behind your hair and the front tucked behind your ears for a simple, whimsical pulled-back look.

Always Add a Scarf

Besides taking the title of quintessential wintertime accessory, a scarf adds a certain level of sophistication to your style. It is one of the most versatile cold weather accessories, available in dozens of styles and sizes to complete any look you can dream of.

Finding your fabric

Of course, finding the right fabric is absolutely crucial especially on frighteningly chilly evenings when all you want to do is walk down the street with your special someone. Look for warm materials like wool, cashmere, or pashmina, listed (in the link above) from least to most expensive.

For the fashionista on a budget, acrylic can be comparable to higher quality cashmere or pashmina based on softness, weight, and appearance, but you can take it home for a fraction of the price.

Pick your style

Many scarves are differentiated by their size rather than their shape. The most common scarf style you’ll see while on the hunt for winter outerwear for women is the long, rectangular shape we know and love, though some outliers do exist like the triangular scarf or the square scarf.

Below are a couple versatile scarf styles to complete your winter look:

Rectangle scarf

Meant to be looped around the neck once or twice, this style is what we see in our mind’s eye when we see the word “scarf.” However, with a little imagination even the most basic shapes can be turned into an amazing accessory. Choose a rectangle scarf with bold ends lined with fringe, fur, or tassels and wear it open on top of your coat for a fierce statement. Reach for a chunky knit and wrap it around your neck as many times as you can when it gets unbearably cold out to keep your body warm and your style hot.

Infinity scarf

The possibilities for this style have no end, much like the scarf itself. Imagine a rectangle scarf with the ends sewn together to make one large circle. You can find a thick infinity scarf with a smaller circumference to pair with a bright overcoat and beat back the winter blues. Or, find a long slender infinity scarf and wrap it around your neck once, staggering the lengths of the loops on your body. Wear this with a thick top to elongate your torso and slim out the bulk of your sweater.

If those don’t suit your look, try any of these other scarf styles. Play with colors and patterns to add an unexpected twist to your look.

  • Long triangular scarf
  • Pashmina wrap
  • Silk square

Don’t forget that scarves aren’t just for your neck. Tie one up in your hair, on a scrunchy, or on the handle of your purse to add a pop of whimsy to your winter wardrobe.

A Coat for Every Occasion

No outerwear set is complete without a thick coat to keep you looking dangerously hot while the temperature drops. Your health and safety should be your top priority this winter, and having an adequate coat is a big part of protecting yourself against the elements.

Not all coats that have five-star insulation properties are going to be on-trend as well. If it’s too cold to wear that cute belted trench, put on your down parka and accessorize it in different ways like color coordinating a pair of mittens, a scarf and a trapper hat. Mix up patterns and textures to keep it interesting.

Pea coat

This look is better for cities with a milder winter climate. Light snow and just-below-freezing temperatures push the limits of a pea coat’s insulation properties, even in a heavy material like wool. Pea coats fall just below the waistline and are often belted, though leaving them open gives you a chance to show off your favorite sweater and still stay warm.

For this style, grab a bold color and look for a coat with contrasting buttons to create a subtle statement this winter. Play with patterns and textures for an interesting twist that carries through the seasons. Consider draping the coat over your shoulders rather than putting your arms through it. It’ll give you an immediately upscale vibe.

Trench Coat

The classic women’s trench coat never goes out of style and can be carried over into fall and spring trends as well. Stay on the lookout for a timeless double-breasted body that will give you the space you need to pack in a couple of sweaters and a thick scarf underneath. Again, the material of your coat is more important than the style itself. Make sure you choose something that will insulate well, like wool or thick acrylic.

If you find that a trench coat fits into your town’s winter weather, pick one that falls at mid-thigh. It’ll pair with anything from jeans and boots to a long pencil skirt, all the way to a flirty dress and thigh-high boots. Dress it up or down to go from the office to a night out on the town seamlessly. Most trench coats are belted as well, giving you a flattering waistline where most coats billow out and make the wearer look a little bloated.

Puffer Jacket

You have to be careful with thick puffer jackets. Stay away from the inexplicably poofy puffers of your childhood and move on to a mature winter ensemble. There’s a way to wear these without sacrificing your shape.

Look for quilted puffers to cut down on the extra bulk and go for jackets that extend past the waist when you’re faced with extremely cold weather. Mid- and full-length puffers are the perfect cross between snowy weather and sassy chic dressing. They cover your bottom to guard against the cold and make you look taller and slimmer in the process, an unheard-of quality among most classic puffers.

Down puffers will give you the most insulation with the lightest weight. Down alternatives exist that offer similar insulation but may come with unwanted fluff to compete with the natural warmth of a feather down.

Don’t Miss Out on Mittens

You may not realize how much you use your hands until you can’t take them out of your pockets because you’re afraid the cold will freeze your fingers off. Invest in a good set of mittens or gloves to protect your hands from winter weather. You can find tons of options, from mittens that look like plush animals to gloves with rubber fingertips so you don’t have to take them off to use your iPhone.

For especially cold weather, look into buying some faux fur-lined gloves or mittens. The fur will act as another insulator on top of whatever the outer shell is made of to ensure that your fingers stay totally intact even when the wind chill drops the temperature outside to below zero. Soft leather exteriors or shearling exteriors add a touch of elegance to any look and will keep your hands toasty at the same time.

Here are a few different styles you should try this winter until you figure out what suits your look the best:

  • Knitted gloves with padded fingertips that work with electronics
  • Fingerless mittens with a flap that folds over your fingers for easy access or coverage
  • Leather gloves lined with cashmere for a special night out
  • Driving gloves to grip your icy cold steering wheel
  • Fleece mittens perfect for holding your honey’s hand at the ice-skating rink

Be prepared in any situation and invest in a few different pairs of mittens and gloves in different styles. Grab some different patterns and colors, and don’t be shy of accents like faux fur or a cute tiny leather bow. Keep some in your car, at home, and in your purse so you’re never caught with icy blue hands.

You’re All Set!

With this style guide fresh in your mind, go out and find the cutest pieces to complete your winter wardrobe. You may have most of the clothes at home already but didn’t know quite how to style them to reach your fashion goals. Remember, your safety is the most important thing to worry about when bracing frigid temperatures and icy precipitation. Stay warm and look cool this winter in your fresh new outfit.

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