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Red peacoat with LV silk scarf, YSL bag, brown booties, gloves, Ray Ban Jackie O sunglasses and brown pill box style hat (all own)

At 40 below, everyone looks like a dumpling

When I was interviewing for my job in Alaska, one of the weather office forecasters said

At 40 below, everyone looks like a dumpling, but a 40 below cold snap only happens every 500 days or so on statistical mean.

I had no clue what he meant with looking like a dumpling, but I knew we don’t dress for the means, do we?

Have fun styling your outerwear

In Interior Alaska, the cold season lasts about seven months. Just bundling up to increase the insulation layer and stay warm longer than without can get pretty boring. I became a firm believer that styling your outerwear can make a frigid day at -20F (-28.9o) more bearable. Which fashion and style loving woman doesn’t feel great in an awesome outfit no matter what?

Outerwear is not warming you

In general, coats and outerwear only warm when you burn them. Their actual purpose is to create insulation between you and the cold environment. As I explained in my post on the physics of clothes, wicking fabrics with low conduction, adjustable wrist, neck and feet closures and thin air layers between layers are your best friends. Now we are talking! We can do layers!

Outerwear styling suggestions for over 40 at 40 below

The style inspiration photos below just give some ideas of how to layer for insulation while looking effortlessly stylish. Note that at these frigid temperatures I wear two pair of tights, long sleeves underwear, half slips or slips with skirts and dresses, respectively. I wear long underwear and double the socks when wearing jeans or pants.

Did you know that there is a guide how to style outerwear here on High Latitude Style?

fashion influencer in winter outerwear
Shearling coat styled with Pavlovo Russian scarf, cashmere silk lining gloves (all own)


midlife women dressed for frigid cold weather
Maxi shearling coat styled with thrift-store find hat, plaid blanket scarf, statement belt, fleece lined leather gloves, shearling booties, and Celine tote (all own)


over 50 years of style blogger in duffle coat with blanket scarf
Calvin Klein duffel coat, Joy plait blanket scarf, Söfft shearling booties (all own), and tight c/o No nonsense


over 50 years old stylist in burgundy shearling motorcycle coat with long scarf, beret and gloves
Cole Haan motorcycle shearling coat, long DIY scarf, beret, leather gloves, shearling booties, GNW tights, Oliveo leather skirt, and 3.1 Philip Lim bag (all own)


You can find more styling inspirations for cold weather in my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Do you style your outerwear? What do you wear when the polar vortex makes a visit in town? What is the coldest temperature that you ever experienced? What is the temperature threshold for you to feel cold? I am curious.

Ageless Style linkup

Welcome to the first Ageless Style Linkup party of of the new year. Let’s see your ageless style outfits when it’s cold outside.

Please follow your hostesses, visit some of the linked up blogs and spread the word about the party for more Ageless style inspirations. Please follow us on at least one of our platforms each.

Ana ~ Mrs. American Made bloglovin

Daenel ~ Living outside the stacks blog

Debbie ~ Fashion Fairy Dust bloglovin

Diane ~ Fashion on the 4th floor instagram

Jennie ~ A Pocketful of Polka Dots blog

Nicole ~ High Latitude Style blog

Shelly ~ The Queen in Between instagram

Tania ~ 50 Is Not Old blog

Yvonne ~ Funky Forty blog

Get the inspirations, support, motivation, and tips to look to your best in life. Get a subscription to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it you can do it too.

When you like the blog you may also like my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife.

Photos: G. Kramm

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