Amid sub-freezing temperatures and snowstorm leftovers, New York Fashion Week proudly presented the top designers and their complete collections for Fall and Winter 2011. It was a fitting setting: chilly temps, chilly-weather clothes.
We’ll have to wait a while for a shopping spree, though. First comes the rest of the winter, then all of spring, and then the sweltering summer months, all before fresh fall fashions are ours . . . and transitioning between all those seasons can be notoriously tricky. It can verge on impossible to look svelte and sexy as the weather wavers between frigid and downright balmy — the key is all in the layers.
Learn to Layer (Without Looking Like an Eskimo)
The biggest foe of cozy, insulating layers is bulk. Add enough T-shirts and hoodies, and you’ll have a hard time putting your arms at your sides, let alone turning heads on the street.
Keep the stuff that’s close to the skin skimpy so it insulates without bunching up. A plain, white tank is a good fall back, but a silk cami is slinkier and will keep you goose-bump free even in wind chill.
Not convinced you’ll be able to combat the cold? Start investigating performance fabrics: tried and true in the outdoors, and edging their way into high fashion. Quality blended fabrics keep you warm, dry, and totally prepared for any freak snowpocalypse.
The trick to successful inter-seasonal layering is creating a complete outfit at each stage. No “wearing that shirt that only looks good with a certain sweater.” No “blazer you only wear with a hoodie underneath.” All may be well when you step out the door in the frosty morning, but as office heaters pump and mid-afternoon sunshine kicks in, you’ll end up either a sweaty mess or half-undressed. Try:
- Keeping your bottom half covered until the sun comes out for good. That doesn’t mean wearing just pants: have fun with leggings, jeggings, and tights to keep your look from going stagnant.
- T-shirts and tops with bold patterns or fun embellishments that look great both peaking out under cuddly layers and standing alone.
- A warm sweater with a denim jacket or a just-for-looks shrug paired with a much-warmer overcoat. Piling on too many ultra-insulating layers won’t give you a comfortable middle ground, but too few and you’re at risk for a bad case of the shivers.
- Accessories – and lots of ‘em. A scarf will keep your neck toasty, and is easily tossed into your purse or tied around your waist as a funky belt when you need to cool down. A long, loose vest will give you a little more warmth without weighing you down.
Choose the Right Fabrics
Know your warm- and cold-weather fabrics. Cotton will help keep you cool, while cashmere is ultra-soft. Jeans are perfect for spring; winter might call for much-warmer corduroys. The best advice: mix several different fabrics into your layers so you’ll stay versatile throughout the day.
And don’t forget a lesson from your fashion-forward friends in the Pacific Northwest: no one looks good sopping wet. Invest in a waterproof windbreaker or, at the very least, a nice umbrella. ‘Tis the season for unpredictable showers, after all.
Have a favorite dress that hasn’t seen the light of day since September? Outfits that are designed for a certain season will look fresh and fabulous when brought out of closet hibernation early. Try matching your bright summer dress with wooly sweater tights and a snuggly cardigan. De-winterize your down vest with a pair of leggings instead of snow pants. Mix and match your seasonal gear, but be conscious of the risks: bleary winter eyes may not be quite ready for a Hawaiian print.
Disclosure: This is sponsored content provided by Lucky Brand Jeans.