Pea coat with London boyfriend jeans, Michael Kors camouflage wedge sneakers (all own) worn with the left outfit to up the mood by a bright color on a gray winter day
Gray and black winter clothes enhance the miserable feeling of gray, wet winter days
The wind blows the rain or snowflakes into your face. The wet and cold creeps everywhere. As if the gray skies, gray streets, and nasty wind weren’t enough everyone at the tram station is dressed as if they are coming just out of the coal mines. Gray and black everywhere, the umbrellas, coats, anoraks, scarves, gloves, bags, shoes, boots, …, you name it. A typical winter day somewhere in mid-latitudes – it takes down everybody’s mood. Everyone looks dull, annoyed and miserable. You wonder whether it is a new contagious virus. What to do about it?
Well, you can’t change the weather. But you successfully can change how you dress to up your mood and make the day less miserable. Here are some tricks to do so.
Staying warm in style
The closer the weave of a fabric is, the better it protects you from wind. My favorite fabric to keep the wind out is leather. It does not matter whether it is the outer layer (see above).
It is also important to understand that wind chills. Thus, even though it may be just around freezing (you hear the Alaskan talking here), the air feels much colder, the stronger the wind blows. Take this in mind when dressing!
A thin air layer is a great insulator. Thus, layer. For instance, a layering top under a sweater/jacket under your coat, tights under your lined pants or jeans. Boots are better than booties, longer coats better than short coats. If you hate the heavy weight of a long coat on your shoulders, go for a short coat plus insulating over-skirt (see example below).
Don’t wear a down coat on a wet, rainy day
Unless your feather puffer coat has a water repellent outer layer, it is not a good idea in wet weather. Recall the cold feather-beds when you slept in granny’s attic during your childhood! The feathers take up humidity. It evaporates due to your body heat and the evaporative cooling makes you feel cold. Thus, in general, go for fabric that lets moisture go just one way – from your body to the ambient air, but not vice versa.
Up your and your surroundings’ mood by wearing a pop of color
Wearing bright colors make you feel like a gold fish in a sea of herring and make you feel good. You can achieve the same effect by creating an interesting outfit with different structures. The secret behind this kind of outfit is that when everything seems to look the same the humans’ eyes get bored and search for something different. In the moment, the eyes fall on your outfit there is an unconscious glimpse of success in the onlookers’ eyes. It makes them and you feel better than before at least for a moment. Mission accomplished!
Striped winter coat(consigned) with head band, Kate Moss for Longchamp bag, gloves and Dior over-the-knee boots (all own) worn with the left outfit to stay warm on a windy, cold winter day
Other outfit ideas for cold, wet winter days
Try these outfits on wet, cold winter days:
- Long-sleeved T-shirt/layering top under flannel shirt, cardigan, winter coat with long leather gloves, leggings under lined leather pants, soft, but tightly woven scarf, wind-secure hat (e.g. beret, beanie, pompom hat), socks and booties
- Skinny J Brand jeans with Dior over-the-knee booties, long-sleeve T-shirt under cable-knit sweater and a long coat with scarf and hat
- Two pair of tights, skirt, boots turtleneck sweater under blazer under a long coat with gloves and hat
Diamond leopard print jacket worn over INC leather pants accessorized with beret, gloves, fuchsia 3.1 Philip Lim bag, and Clark booties (all own) worn over the outfit shown to the left
Do you style your outerwear like an outfit of its own? What are your fashion and style challenges on cold, wet days? Let me know by email. I am curious how I can help you and add more on what you want to read more about.
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When you like this post, you may also like my book How to Dress for Success in Midlife, which you can buy at this link.
Photos: G. Kramm (2014, 2015)
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