Ready or not, winter is here! And with the holiday season comes cold weather, festive parties, and a fresh batch of style dilemmas. How do you wear sparkle without looking tacky? Does a stylish parka really exist? Well, now you can rest easy, because you won’t have to go through it alone. Casey – the stylist behind our weekly looks here on Spark – has given you (and us!) expert advice to survive every winter fashion crisis. Thanks to everyone who submitted questions!
Q. “How can I go from work to holiday outings without going home to change?” Submitted by @Smoars on Twitter
A. The holidays are always a whirlwind of parties and family gatherings, which is what I love about this time of year. However, it can pose quite a scheduling (and fashion!) challenge. Fear not! I have two words that will armour you for the round of quick changes that you will inevitably face over the next month: heels and lipstick. Nothing will elevate your look faster than these staple items. A bright pop of lipstick and a pair of heels will take your office look from day to night quicker than you can say mistletoe. With that said, you still need to plan ahead. You may want to throw an extra blouse and a piece of statement jewellery into your bag to give you more to work with when transitioning your look. Lastly, it’s often a good idea at this time of year to stash a few extra costume changes at the office for those last minute soirées.
Q. “What’s appropriate to wear at a winter wedding?” Submitted by @Baydard on Twitter
A. The struggle is real. Deciding what to wear to a wedding is always a tricky minefield to navigate. "Is this too short?" "Can I get away with not wearing a bra with this backless dress?" "Am I going to be able to dance in these heels all night?" "Is it appropriate to wear white?" – these are all questions that every woman has asked herself when choosing an outfit for a wedding. You need to consider the time of day, season, and style of wedding the couple is going for, and winter weddings bring colder temperatures and blowing winds that pose quite the additional style conundrum. But don't worry – having gone through this scenario myself, I have a few tricks to help you select a winter-ready wedding outfit (try saying that three times fast!).
Trick #1: Lean towards more structured fabrics and stronger silhouettes. Drop your hemline or lengthen the length of your sleeves.
Trick #2: Choose richer colours and embrace some sparkle! This goes for your makeup as well as your wardrobe. As most winter weddings happen at night, you can afford to be a bit bolder in your colour choices. Navy, red, sage, and deep wine will all make a statement. Avoid corals or pastels.
Trick #3: Choose one body part to highlight. You will need to be a bit more covered up, so select a dress that shows off one asset. If it's your legs, keep it more conservative on top. If it's your back, go for a dress with a longer hemline. If you wear something fitted, a hemline that hits just below the knee is a great option for a classy yet sexy look.
Trick #4: Invest in a more formal winter coat. Getting all dolled up and putting on your same old parka can take some of the ‘sparkle’ out of the occasion. A beautiful winter coat will help you to create a cohesive look from start to finish.
Trick #5: If you wear pantyhose, be sure to keep them solid. Patterned tights become distracting and aren’t dressy enough for the occasion.
Hopefully these tips will take some of the stress out of dressing for winter weddings. I’ll let you worry about your dance moves!
Q. “What are some ways to dress professionally, but not similar to what your older coworkers are wearing?” Submitted by @meaghanwilford on Twitter
A. Okay, let me start off by saying that wearing the same tried and true office basics as your coworkers doesn’t necessarily mean you will look unfashionable or dumpy. Office basics are staples for a reason. Dress pants and a button-up blouse will never look unprofessional and will never go out of style. That being said, it's all about how you wear them.
In order to have a fresh and youthful look (no matter what your age!), there are two rules to live by: keep your basics tailored and your accessories unexpected. Fit is everything. Well-tailored clothing will set you apart at the office. If you wear dress pants, be sure to keep them slim and tailored. You could also experiment with high-waisted options to give the illusion of longer legs. While your coworkers are wearing thin Polyblend cardigans, you could opt for a structured jacket in a bold colour or pattern. Just make sure you balance the volume of an outfit. Either go slim on the bottom and embrace volume on top, or have volume on the bottom and go slim on top.
As jewellery makes your look more intentional, don't be afraid to go funkier and louder with your accessories. Try layering multiple pieces if you’re feeling adventurous. And don’t forget about your makeup! Adding a bold liner or fun lip colour can really elevate your basic work look.
Do you have a style question for Casey? Leave a comment below, and she could answer yours next!