Winter Outfit Staples: How to Master Cold-Weather Style

I just got back from NYC, where it was blistering cold, only to return to Florida where it is also COLD! While I don’t love being chilly, I do love the style opportunities that cooler weather brings. It provides so many chances to layer (hello trusty turtlenecks and chunky knit sweaters!), mix and match, and add cozy accessories. However, sometimes it can be a bit tricky to feel chic when all you want to do is stay warm. But it’s not impossible! Today I’m going to share some of my favorite winter outfit staples. These are the types of pieces I reach for year after year to create winter outfits that are both stylish and warm!

3 Winter Outfit Staples

In my opinion, there are a few essentials that every cold-weather wardrobe should include. My top three are a great outerwear piece, shoes that make sense, and pops of color. Of course, there are additional winter outfit staples that go along with these, such as a flattering pair of jeans and a few classic sweaters. But for today I’m going to focus on these three winter essentials.

1. Winter Coats

I think a coat is the single most important item in any winter outfit. In NYC everyone jokes that they don’t take their coat off, even when indoors, because it is the outfit. As you can probably guess, when it comes to this winter essential, I am a statement coat kind of gal. The bigger, brighter, and more over-the-top, the better! But, I know everyone isn’t as bold as I like to be. Therefore, I will be sharing lots of coat options to complete any winter outfit!

Favorite Winter Coats

Let’s start with the classics. Personally, I adore this timeless wool topcoat (and it’s currently on sale!) This double wool coat is actually reversible – both sides are incredibly chic. If you’re looking for a winter outfit staple that is practical, versatile, and timeless, this is the one!

If you’re a classic gal, but you’re wanting to try something a bit different, this cape coat or this swing coat are both great. The latter has some really unique details that make it more casual compared to other swing coats. Another way to spice it up a bit is by choosing a fun, bold color. I have been eyeing this fuschia beauty (here is a more affordable option), this stunning green coat and this bright pink piece.

Faux fur and shearling are always a fun addition to a winter outfit! My current top contenders in this category are this baby blue number, this oversized faux sherling jacket, and this bold checkerboard printed coat.

Before moving on, here’s a quick note about choosing a coat. When it comes to outerwear, I always like to pay attention to the overall volume of the outfit. With a coat, I’m either looking to create volume on volume or to keep my bottoms more streamlined and skinny (keeping all the bulk up top). Just something to keep in mind when outfit planning! 

2. Winter Outfit Shoes

While I think coats are what “make” a winter outfit, the shoes are equally as important. Not only do your shoes ensure that you look stylish, but they also factor into whether or not you can easily get from point A to point B. If you have ever lived in NYC, you know what I am talking about. Mucking through slush, the sting of exposed ankles, avoiding heels on ice…the list of hazards we all endure December through March goes on and on! 

Favorite Winter Shoes

When it comes to practical winter outfits, I stick to boots, loafers, or sneakers. Dressing up is another story. But day to day, when I am walking around and hopping on and off the subway, heels are a no-go for me.

These leather riding boots and these block heel boots are two pairs that I’ve been wearing on repeat this season. Although the thought of a “block heel boot” may seeem a bit uncomfortable, these are not. I can actually walk miles in them! When I’m reaching for a winter shoe that can truly take on all types of weather, these lug sole boots are my go-to.

Loafers with a chic pair of socks is an awesome winter outfit alternative to a pair of boots. I think these Italian leather penny loafers are the best value for the price. But, if you are looking to invest in a pair you will own forever, I am a stan of these platform loafers!

Sneakers are such a no-brainer (honestly, year-round!) Simply pair them your favorite straight-leg denim and a great pair of socks and you’ll have an easy and classic winter outfit. Adidas is back in a big way. These trendy sneakers are available in pretty, but subtle, colors. And I also love this classic pair. It’s such a great, practical shoe and it goes with everything. These Veja sneakers are another favorite in my closet. I never knew I would become such a sneaker lady, but here I am!

3. Pops of Color in a Winter Outfit

I know this might not be true for everyone, but for me, pops of color are a staple in my cold-weather wardrobe. Especially when I’m experiencing dreary conditions, I find that a little bit of color in a winter outfit can brighten my mood. Plus, it’s an easy way to add some fun to any look!

Small Pops of Color

One of my favorite ways to add color in the winter is through small “pops” including tights, colorful socks, fun hats, and big scarves.

First up, tights. I’m often asked where I get mine from. My favorites are from here, here and here, and they’re all super affordable. Tights at about $10 a pop are the perfect way to add a splash of color to any winter outfit! And when it comes to socks, this 20 pack of colorful socks is such a great buy!

If you’re looking for an easy pop of color for under $20, this winter hat is my top pick. You can never go wrong with Kate Spade, and I love the hues this beanie comes in. I’m especially into the signature Kate Spade green option! And if you’re looking to splurge, this colorful hat is stunning and on my own personal wish list.

Lastly, if scarves are your thing, some of my favorites right now are this bright blue beauty, this vintage check chunky scarf, and this classic plaid blanket scarf. All of these are very affordable for under $40.

Chic and Warm Winter Outfits

In my eyes, if you start with these three essentials and add in the remaining basics (jeans, sweaters, etc.), then you’ll be able to put together a chic and warm look! For additional winter outfit inspiration, be sure to check out these winter wedding guest outfit ideas, my favorite chunky knit sweaters, these turtleneck outfit ideas, and this round-up of NYE outfits.

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