Winter Scene 2010: Hot styles, cold weather

It’s all about colors and layering





As cold weather approaches, winter clothing emerges at your favorite boutiques and from the depths of your closets. Although it’s easy to slip on jeans and an oversized jacket to combat the cold temperatures, there are other options. The keys to effective winter fashion are layering and color correlation.


Contrary to popular belief, wearing dresses and skirts is just as feasible as pants during the winter months. If you’re going to wear a dress or skirt, start with a base of a warm under layer like a cotton slip. Not only will it keep your dress or skirt in place better, it will contribute to the proceeding layers of your outfit. Instead of wearing a cardigan over your dress, try pairing a strappy or strapless dress with a collared, button-down shirt underneath. This way, the dress’s best assets won’t be concealed and you won’t be shivering outside. When wearing a skirt, a decorative top with a cardigan or wrap-over is a great combination.

Tights or leggings are essential when wearing a dress or skirt during the winter. Luckily both tights and leggings are available in many different styles and colors. Solid, opaque tights are numerous and affordable at most department stores and specialty tights with fun floral, geometrical or lace designs are easily found too. Leggings come in all lengths and styles this season. Knee-length leggings go well with flats or heels while ankle-length leggings pair best with boots. Leggings with a strip of lace down the side are a nice variation to basic leggings.

Color correlation is vital when layering an outfit because if you’re wearing too many colors in addition to having many layers, you’re going to look like a walking circus. Neutral shades of black, brown and gray are great options for winter months because you will, more or less, blend in with the respective weather. The best thing about neutral colors is that you can get away with pairing them together in the same outfit without overwhelming your color scheme.

The key is to use the two-item rule: match two items of clothing or accessories to each other. For example, if you’re wearing black shoes, match your belt, purse or jacket to your shoes. The rest of your outfit can consist of any other neutral colors because your two items of matching colors will complete your look. The two-item rule can apply to other colors too: a red dress should be paired with two neutrals in shoe, purse, belt or jacket form. Accent the red dress with red jewelry, namely a necklace or earrings.

The best way to layer efficiently is to begin with thinner material and finish with a strong, durable shell. Multiple cardigans and wraps can be worn during the cold weather months, but make sure your less robust layers come before your thicker ones. Warm winter jackets in pretty designs and colors are great alternatives to common ski jackets. They will provide shape and fun details that you can play up with other accessories. Use these simple rules to groom your winter wardrobe and stay warm in the cold temperatures.