The woman approved basic winter wardrobe

<div class='at-above-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='The woman approved basic winter wardrobe' data-url=''></div><div class='at-above-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>Taking a sun belt lifer & getting him up to winter style speed.<div class='at-below-post addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide' data-title='The woman approved basic winter wardrobe' data-url=''></div><div class='at-below-post-recommended addthis_default_style addthis_toolbox at-wordpress-hide'></div>
Ask A Woman: Looking good in Winter Weather

If you’ve got a question that needs the female treatment, chances are you’re not the only one who wants to ask it.  Beth is our source for the answers.  From opinions on men’s style to decoding the sometimes mysterious ways of women, she’ll take on a different question every Thursday.  And don’t worry, your identity will be protected too.  Click here to get to know Beth, then get in touch with her by sending your question to:

Hello Beth,

First and foremost, love your column – I could go on ad nauseam with flattery and what not [insert any complement you want here], but I’ll get to the point.

I’m 24 and just moved to the northeast from south Louisiana for law school. My issue is that I honestly have no idea where to start when it comes to purchasing an appropriate winter wardrobe – I come from the land of 50 degree Februarys and no snow, ever, seriously no snow.

What do I need to buy to stay warm and at least semi stylish [snow boots, coats, etc.]? Any recommendations for this would be great – also remember, law school, lots of debt.


– Matt


Hi Matt,

You love my column?  You could flatter me ad nauseum?  That attitude makes it really difficult to do my job, man.  I mean, this is the work culture I have to put up with?  Adoration?  Proclamations of love?  Joe, are you listening to this? You better take action or I’m outta here.

Okay, winter wardrobe.  Whew, so let me just say that given the space constraints of this column, this list will be incomplete.  Everyone prepare for incompleteness.  I’ll cover a couple basics, but contending with the increasingly bad winters we’re all experiencing in the snow-suffering states requires a lot of gear, so readers, help Matt out in the comments section with whatever I neglect.

The biggest thing is the winter coat.  Now, most snow dwellers have several: one for outdoor activities like shoveling, sledding, skiing, and one or two more for everyday wear like going to work or school, or going out.  The former is warmer, but not as stylish, so let’s concentrate on the latter…which will flatter.  Be aware, coats are expensive.  But you’ll be wearing a coat everyday for many months, so it makes sense that you’d have to spend a bit of money for such an important item (though they often get marked way down for sales, so keep an eye out).  I’m going to recommend a wool coat with lining.  It’s slim and flattering, but surprisingly warm.  No, it’s not SUPER warm, but it’s your best bet for stylish, affordable winter wear (whereas warmer puffer jackets are heinous looking, and beautiful leather jackets are terribly expensive).  Get a thick, warm scarf for the wool coat, and a gorgeous pair of leather gloves, and that should keep you from turning into a frozen fashionisto.

The Michelin Man look just never works under the mistletoe.

You’ll want a lot of sweaters* in your wardrobe.  They’re warm, stylish, and you can find them on the cheap if you don’t insist on having cashmere.  You’ll want a lot of pants in your wardrobe.  No going pants-less for you, sir.  Jeans, khakis, cords are pretty standard, but you might consider investing in some warmer options, especially since you’re not accustomed to the weather.  Wool or wool-blend slacks** with lining will be quite warm, though quite expensive.  There are also flannel-lined jeans and khakis–okay, not the height of fashion, but when it’s 0 degrees out, you might not care about style.  As for boots, I’m running out of space!  See the comments section in this previous column for great reader tips on snow-proof shoes and weather-proofing products.

A final note on fit.  When you’re buying winter wear, you have to account for bulk.  That is, you won’t be wearing your winter jacket over a t-shirt, right?  You’ll be wearing it over a sweater, or several layered shirts.  Make sure when trying on coats, you’re wearing something appropriately bulky so that you get the right fit.  Same thing for sweaters–if you plan on wearing an Oxford shirt underneath, you can’t buy a really slim fitting sweater.  Yes, you may have to buy a size up.  Surrender your vanity–you’ll look much better without straining buttons and seams.

That’s all.  So much time and so little to do–wait, strike that, reverse it!  Readers, fill in the gaps.  And, Matt, no more admiration from you, mister. I’m fed up with your positive feedback.


P.S. Totally kidding–I will take all the flattery you’ve got. Wrap me in your co-dependence.

*Take an extra 30% off J. Crew SALE and J. Crew Factory with the code MUSTHAVE (exp. 11/20)
**Take 30% off full priced items at Banana Republic with the code BRPARTY (exp. 11/18)
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