How to Keep Warm and Still Look Stylish


We’re guilty of making the occasional fashion sacrifice, but wearing summery shoes in the winter can be a stretch – even for us. And, reaching for the same old pair of tights time and time again can get pretty boring throughout the course of our long winters. Before we write this off as a #WinnipegProblem, we thought we’d pick our stylist’s brain for answers.

"Looking stylish in the winter is all about smart layering,” says Spark stylist, Casey Downes. “Even a thin layer will do wonders to cut cold winter winds.” With this advice in mind, here are three ways to layer up and stay warm, without having to pull out your clunky Sorels. Bring on the snow, baby!

The solution: Knee-high stockings
When to wear it: The temperature may be below freezing, but that's no reason to put your favourite heels into hibernation. Sheer stockings are a more formal way to keep warm, and will act as a thin, but still effective, insulator against the cold. “Stockings aren’t bulky, and will show off the shape of your legs,” says Downes. That means they’ll fit nicely into your sleeker footwear, and look appropriate with more revealing shoe styles. Black stockings look especially great with strappy shoes, and create a nice contrast when worn with bright, sparkly heels. For your next formal event, try wearing knee-high stockings with a shorter hemline, to show off the length of your legs. Add a warm but flattering winter coat and shiny cross-body bag to keep the vibe sophisticated.

The solution: Leg warmers
When to wear it: Leg warmers aren’t just for cozy nights in! They’re also a stylish accessory that will keep your legs toasty warm on the coldest of days. But don’t worry, we’re not trying to relive Flashdance anytime soon. When the wind is blustery, try wearing your leg warmers with a pair of chunky boots to balance the weight of the wool. If it’s too chilly for bare legs, you could also layer them over tights, leggings, or even skinny jeans or jeggings. We recommend choosing leg warmers in a solid colour, and you can’t go wrong with cream, black, or any other neutral. Neutrals blend seamlessly into your outfit – and won’t give the impression that you’re on your way to a Duran Duran concert. Casey suggests keeping your outfit casual and comfortable, and adding your favourite toque for extra cold-weather protection.

The solution: Over-the-knee socks
When to wear it: “Extra-long socks are a fun and funky way to keep cozy,” says Downes. They provide that protection from the elements that you need this time of year, but also add dimension and interest to your outfit. Be mindful of what colour and pattern you choose, as the socks can easily take attention away from the rest of your outfit. Busy patterns or neon colours may push the overall vibe toward a more juvenile feel than you’re going for. For a subtler statement, choose knee-high socks in a basic color or subtle texture. We opted to pair the socks with a pair of chunky patent leather heels, but peeking out from under knee-high boots is another way you could style this winter staple. For a casual look, we recommend pairing the socks with a sweater dress and girly accessories. Or, embrace their preppy feel by pairing them with a button-up top and a short, high-waisted skirt to make your legs look extra long.

And there you have it – three easy ways to stay warm, without sacrificing your style. Make sure to read our NYE post if you need any last-minute outfit ideas. Have a fabulous weekend, and see you in 2016!

Visit these St. Vital Centre retailers to shop the looks in this post (check stores for availability):

Look #1: Knee-high stockings
Gold strappy shoes: Aldo,$95
Black knee-high stockings: Hudson's Bay, $7

Look #2: Leg warmers
Black studded grommet boots: Aldo, 125
Cream leg warmers: Garage, $14.95

Look #3: Over-the-knee socks
Black patent loafers: Browns Shoes (Michael Kors), $158
Burgundy and black socks: Boathouse (Scout & Trail), $10

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