Everyone dislikes wearing down clothes due to the “fattening” effect and because they can be heavy. But when it’s cold, it’s unavoidable. Read how to look stylish in down clothes and how to avoid looking like the Michealin Man.
- Look for Tailored Down Clothes
- Hoodie Down Vest: Wear the Hood over Your Coat
- My Secrets to Look Stylish in Down Clothes
Look for Tailored Down Clothes
When it is bitter cold, you really want to put on a down vest. However, they add weight around the waist which no fashionista needs. I searched forever to find this tailored down vest. I found this vest at Nordstrom Rack in Boulder when I visited Ana from Mrs. American Made. To show the waist off I added a belt.
Hoodie Down Vest: Wear the Hood over Your Coat
The vest would be perfect if it had no hood. Don’t you also think that hoods sort of make you look like Humpack’s sis when you wear it under a coat? However, since its cut permits to pull it outside the coat it works.
My Secrets to Look Stylish in Down Clothes
If you have your issues with down clothes, but don’t want to freeze to hypothermia when the polar vortex pumps cold Arctic or Siberian air into your region, here are my secrets to still look stylish.
- Look for down coats, vests or anoraks that are tailored. While, of course, vertical down compartments have a slimming vibe, they have the disadvantage that due to gravity the downs accumulate in the lower part of the compartment. Consequently, insulation becomes uneven, but worse, the coat will look lumpy. Go for close to horizontal compartments instead, despite horizontal stripes add weight. See this guide for more on what to look for in a down coat.
- There exist down coats that have an outer fabric to hide the down compartments. While this look overcomes the disadvantage of horizontal lines, it is not obvious that you wear a down coat. You probably prefer people to know that you wear down clothes. It must get below -40F (-40oC) before I wear the down anorak shown in the photos below.
- Wear high sturdy heels or at least shoes that add some height. Looking taller offsets a bit that the downs make you look wider than you are.
- If you wear a knee length down coat, adding a long scarf creates vertical lines as it divides the “wide” appearing coat into small left and right parts and the scarf in the middle. This trick has some slimming effect as it draws the eye up and down instead of along the horizontal compartments of the coat.
- Go for a monochromatic look which has a slimming effect and looks classy.
- Choose dark colors for two reasons. First, dark colors have a slimming effect, which helps to offset the weight the down clothes add. Second, you will not look like you wrapped you wrapped your grandmother’s feather bedding around your body. 😉
- Avoid red and pink as these colors always add at lest 5 pounds.
- Avoid pastels as they add pounds.
- Try to find a piece with an interesting print like a floral down coat for your climate region.
- Accentuate your waist with a belt or look for a down piece that has features like a drawstring to give at least the idea of a waist.
- Recall the styling trick to pair bulky with something slim and lean. Thus, straight pants or jeans, skinnies, over-the-knee boots are good options to not be mistaken for the Michelin man. 😉
- Don’t make the mistake to buy the down coat that is tight to offset the weight that the down coat adds. There are two reasons for buying a coat that has at least an inch (2.54 cm) ease. First, you will look like a sausage on the grill shortly before bursting when your down item has no ease. That look is never, ever stylish. Second, squeezing out every little air package between you and the down item also squeezes out the air between the downs. However, air has a great insulating effect. Thus, your body heat would be conducted within short time to the outside and counteract to why you wear a down piece in the first place. Furthermore, this squeezing will break the downs and leads to premature aging of the down item, i.e., you would have to buy a new down piece earlier than necessary. And who likes spending money on down pieces to begin with? They are an inevitable necessity in cold climate regions, but nobody’s favorite piece in the closet.
- Identify the down coat that is right for your climate zone.
Do you own a down item? Do you wear it for fashion or because you live in a climate region where it gets bitter cold? In the latter case, do you procrastinate to wear your down coat until it is absolutely unavoidable to do so? How do you style your down clothes?
Get the inspiration, 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 want to get my style recipe book How to Dress for Success in Midlife. Buy it now.
Photos: G. Kramm
© 2013-2021 Nicole Mölders | All rights reserved