A woman is pleased by any change in the season as that means an opportunity to wear new clothes and don new styles. As winter is approaching, I am sure the fashionistas amongst us are already preparing to ramp up their wardrobes with new styles and some classic ones.
Winter clothing must haves
It is also important to bear a few things in mind to keep yourself warm, it is good to follow the principle of layering. Layering is primarily, wearing different garments, on top of each other. The air trapped in between each layer has an insulatory effect on the body and keeps it warm. Care should be taken to not have too tight or too loose layering garments, as either would be uncomfortable and may defeat the purpose of keeping the body warm. Another good method to keep you warm is sticking to clothes made of wool, nylon, silk, and polyester etc., basically fibres which are bad conductors of heat, and so keep the body warm. Accessories such as gloves, mufflers and hats are the new fashion statement and apart from using them to make a style statement, these are great to keep you warm too!
Here we discuss some winter must haves in a woman’s wardrobe.
Sweaters are warm pieces of knitted clothing used to cover the upper body and arms. These are normally worn over the head. Normally made of wool and finer qualities of wool and animal hair such as the delicate mohair and cashmere, these days it is common to find sweaters in synthetic fibres such as acrylic and even cotton. While sweaters made of acrylic and cotton are good methods to layer yourself or even wear on not so cold days, stick to wool, cashmere and mohair in order to keep your selves warm on colder days. The length of sweaters is mostly standard, reaching the mid of your hip or sometimes ending just where your hip starts.
Sweaters come in a variety of styles and designs.
- You could have the classic V neck half sleeve in either solid, conservative colours, or even in horizontal stripes in two or multi colours to team up with your office formals. Cable sweaters (or sweaters with a series of vertical patterns, one thicker and outstanding than the other) are also a good bet for formal wear. The advantage of sweaters is that you could dress down any loud style or add some colour to an otherwise mundane looking basic office wear.
- Full sleeve sweaters in finely knitted wool are also a good bet for formal wear. You could opt for the usual round and V neck in neutral colors and not so bold stripes for office wear. Sweaters with designs of overlapping patterns or Argyles have been around for a long time and are a must for your office wardrobe.
White knit top
- For more informal gatherings such as after office party wear or dinner date with your girl friends, you could wear embroidered and embellished sweaters or fancy neck styles such as cowl, shawl, wrap etc. Sweaters made with wool yarn of varying thickness (sometimes thin and sometimes chunky) also looks dressy and are great for a casual outing with friends.
Turtle neck sweaters
- Sweaters which cover your neck are called turtle necks and are a great way to keep your neck warm. Team this with a pair of leggings or jeans and you would look ultra chic.
- Sweater dresses are dress styles which are made in knit and are normally figure hugging. They come in a variety of shapes, designs and are normally long enough to reach mid thigh or sometimes knee. A light weight sweater dress can be teamed with an overcoat and is the perfect answer for sunny autumn afternoons, whereas chunkier woollen sweater dresses could be good for colder evenings and could be teamed with sheer or solid leggings.
Sweater styles which have a zipper or button opening at front are known as cardigans. Cardigans could come in various lengths and designs. You could never have enough cardigan styles in your closet!
- Most common are cardigans which reach just about below your waist and above from where your hip starts and are worn over skirts or trousers. These could come in solid colours, prints, pointelle patterns and make for good casual and formal wear.
- A super hit amongst the very fashionable, this is usually a long, semi fitted style, with one front wrapping over the other to give a casual and feminine look. This could have multiple design details such as with pockets, cinched waist or belted to emphasize your tiny waist. Wrap cardigan may also come in short sleeves and kimono sleeves. At times, the wrap cardigan may also have a well defined shawl collar which may be made in chunkier wool or may have a cable pattern going all across the collar.
- Cropped cardigans are short cardigans, reaching just below your waist and are very stylish when worn over a longer top or a dress. This style draws attention to your torso and so is not for top heavy women.
- Boyfriend cardigan is primarily a style which is in the dimensions of a larger you! It is oversized and loose and looks great on skinny jeans or when worn over a tight top as it adds an element of casualness to an otherwise boring style. Avoid this style, if you are of a larger frame.
- If you thought skirts are meant only for summers, think again. Skirts made in wool look great and have a great fall and drape due to the weight. Due to the cold weather, these are normally in ankle length, however, a short Scottish plaid skirt teamed with leggings and a well fitting sweater looks great anytime. Normally boots and pumps look great with these skirts.
- Leggings are a great way to keep you warm and at the same time appear stylish. Available in multiple colours, these could be sheer, solid or even with prints and stripes. You could team this with a long cardigan and sweater or could wear under your sweater dress and skirt. Leggings look great if you have shapely legs, however, that should not stop you from wearing these to look super chic!
Coats and jackets
Coats and jackets are worn over your apparel and protect you from rain or cold. Coats may be made of wool, fleece and other synthetic material, fur and even leather. Coats are made in such a way that traps air and keeps you warm. Eternally stylish, these are available in varying styles, lengths and designs. A word of advice though, since most coat styles are expensive, it pays to research shops for the different styles on offer and go for classic styles which can last you from season to season.
- Warm coats made of wool which are a part of formal office wear are called blazers. They are different from regular suit jackets in the sense that they are much more casual in their design – without flap patch pockets, metallic buttons to list a few. These are normally found in classic colors such as navy, maroon or black and are normally seen as a part of uniforms of schools, offices and the like.
Windcheater or windbreaker
Windcheater / Windbreaker
- Windcheater or windbreaker made of light weight material which flicks away rain and keeps you cosy during winters; this is a must in your wardrobe because of its low maintenance and versatility. This may have a hood attached to it and normally has pockets and a zip front opening. Windcheaters are a must if you live in cold climates marked with cold breeze and frequent showers.
- Very casual, and a must in every young woman’s wardrobe, these are primarily heavier weight cotton knit jackets with a zip front opening and a hood. The hood may be lined with fleece or other warmer material to keep the head warm. These may also be a part of a track suit.
Purple Pea coat for women
- Pea coat made of heavy wool, these are double breasted coats with broad lapels. They normally have vertical slash pockets and big buttons. It is common to find pea coats in navy, though, these days retailers do sell pea coats made in eclectic colours such as cranberry red, canary yellow and even military green.
Parka / anorak
Parka / Anorak
- Parka / anorak are heavy waist length jackets with hood, lined with fur or fake fur to protect the face from extreme cold and wind. They normally are quilted on the inside with polyester. Invest in these only if you would be residing in sub zero temperatures or plan to go skiing.
Black trench coat
- Remember the classic Burberry trench coat? Well, trench coats are characterized by their length and unique styling. Usually of knee length or longer, belted and sleek, these are slightly long coats which serve the purpose of protecting you from rain and cold. If you stay in weathers which are cold and wet at the same time, it will be good to invest in a good trench coat.
Black leather jacket for women
- Leather jackets could be made in either of the jacket/ coat styles discussed above and due to the nature of leather, keep you warm. There could be various sources of leather such as buffalo, sheep skin, crocodile etc. Each has their own texture and characteristics. Do your research well before investing in a leather jacket.
You could accessorize your winter outfits to be warmer throughout the winter season. Here we discuss some options that are a must in every girl’s wardrobe.
Woolen cap for women
- Hats protect your head from the sun and the weather. Certain styles made in wool keep your head warm during the colder months. Hat styles such as the ski cap – covers the skull and the ears and are normally made in wool and have interesting patterns. Another popular style is the flat cap – which is rounded and has a soft brim at the front. Other styles may include the classic beret or the very stylish Russian fur cap, which covers the ears as well. If you are not fond of hats, however, still want to protect your ears, ear muffs could be your answer. Earmuffs are tufts of warm fabrics placed at the two ends of a band. The band holds together the two pads. The band is worn on the head, just like a hair band and the muffs protect the ears.
- Mufflers are knitted pieces of fabrics which are thin and long and may have fringes at either end of the length. They are wrapped around the neck to protect it from cold. These could come in various colors and patterns are considered very stylish when teamed with solid sweaters etc.
- Scarves are woven square pieces of accessory used to tie around the neck and sometimes around your head. They could be in fine wool, cotton, viscose or the very beautiful silk. They may be solid, printed, embroidered and many other variations. Silk scarves are a great gift item as well.
Stoles and shawls
- Stoles are rectangular pieces of woven fabric made in warm and semi warm materials. Shawls are broader than stoles. Stoles and shawls could come in a variety of colors and patterns and often you would find them in the delicate ‘pashmina’ with exquisite hand embroidery done on them. Stoles look great when worn with denims and trousers or even dresses. Shawls look great with Indian dresses such as the sari and salwar kurta.
Black leather gloves
- Gloves keep your hands warm. They could be covering only the palms or may be reaching up to elbows. These could be made of leather, wool or fleece.
- Leg warmers are footless socks made of thicker materials. Originally meant for ballet dancers, cyclists and athletes, these were worn over their sporting gear to keep their limbs warm, these are quite popular these days with girls of all ages, who want to dress up their casual attire. Found in various colors and fabrics, the most popular fabric is wool, though the other popular choices are cotton, synthetic fibres like acrylic and chenille and even artificial fur.
- Most of the fabrics are mixed with stretch yarns in order to have a better fit on the legs. You could choose from the many solid colors that are available, or for the young at heart, stripes, checks or multi-color. These are mostly found to cover your ankles and a small portion of your calf; they can go up to knee as well and can be short enough only to cover your ankle. These look great teamed with skinny jeans, tights and even under dresses. If you wish to look smart and sporty, pick up a pair of leg warmers and you will not go wrong with the look!
While what you should buy and stock up on depends on the climate and the extremities of the winter, do take care of investing in styles which are timeless classics and which suit your personal taste. Keep warm and stay safe these winters!