There are a few items that us ladies must have to set the foundation for a stylish and versatile winter wardrobe. Of course, these are just a few basics that will stretch your winter wardrobe and allow you to mix and match pieces to create the allusion of a huge wardrobe.
The Sheath Dress
I love this piece because of its classic look and the multiple variations it allows. Add a cardigan or long sweater and cinch in the waistline with a belt (skinny or chunky). You can also layer it by adding a turtleneck or mock neck underneath. I also like the look of a 3/4 length top underneath. I am also a fan of the sweater dress for a more casual look.
Wear this as a layering piece with jeans, dresses, skirts (looks great over an A-Line skirt or dress), slacks, pretty much anything. Depending on the quality of the cardigan, it can easily be worn with your little cocktail dress or after 5 wear, to keep you warm. I would suggest a cashmere cardigan or a high quality textured cardigan. Again, you can add a belt. I suggest a neutral color to ensure that it will work with several pieces.
This piece is essential in transferring your wardrobe into a polished, put together style. If you are a basic dresser, that is fine-just add your blazer and viola! Your look just became folded together. You can have on a fitted tee, some jeans, and boots and just add your blazer to bring it all together. This piece goes with your work attire and for your weekend errands. It is a timeless classic that will never be out of style. Also, do not spend too much time searching for the perfect fit because you may not find it! You must utilize a tailor to ensure you are getting the best fit for you. How do you think all the celebs always look so great in their clothes? The clothes have been tailor to fit THEIR body.
The Classic Button Down Shirt
This piece, also, will more than likely need to be tailor. Ever notice that in stores they make this style top fit the mannequin so well by pinning the back of the shirt? It is obviously a sales tactic to make us want it (and it works). Then you take it home or try it on and it looks nothing like it. Do not feel bamboozled or frustrated, just take it to the tailor and get it to fit your waist and to ensure the arm length is right.
The Dark Wash Jean
I love to wear my dark rinse DKNY skinny jeans to allow my knee high boots to go over them without a struggle. A dark rinse jean looks more polished than lighter washes and can more easily be worn with dressier pieces to transcend them into various social and casual occasions. Determine the best cut / style jean for you depending on your shape. Boot cut is universally flattering. A skinny jean will accentuate your curves (this can be a lethal weapon for us curvy girls). A wide leg jean is flattering to taller figures.
A (Nice and Warm) Coat
I do a great deal of walking around downtown Chicago so I know the need and importance of a warm winter coat. However, to have a folded together look, a Triple Fat Goose Down Coat, will be a total miss. A coat is the first thing that is seen, so it really will not make a difference if you have a great outfit underneath. A coat is an investment and it should not be a hasty decision. Look for a stylish yet warm coat that will work with your wardrobe. I love the long wool or cashmere blend coats. They are classic, warm, and you can even jazz them up by adding your own personal style. I added a black, faux-croc belt to my coat (I did not care for the belt that came with the coat). Add leather gloves, a cute (and warm) hat and scarf and you will look put together and chic.
Leggings / Tights
These multifunctional accessories add warmth and style to your outfit. Play with the textures, colors, and styles offered. I love the look of textured tights and a dress. Also, they give you much more wear than pantyhose. You may also add tights to a piece from another season and add a layer (long sleeve top underneath a dress) to make the piece good year-round.
I suggest investing in high quality pieces, which you can get at a steal. I take pride in my ability to make an outfit look like I had to skip paying one month's rent, in actuality spending less than it would cost for dinner for two or a night out on the town. Again, these pieces are meant to be mixed and matched with each other. Button Down Shirt and Sheath Dress, Blazer and Dark Denim Jean, Cardigan and Sheath Dress, etc. Also, play with your accessories, but do not overdo it. If you have a long necklace, make the style of your belt minimal. If you wear big earrings, leave off the necklace.
Happy New Year! Stay warm ladies!