We may just want to sit around in our cozy flannel pajamas this time of year, but when we finally do get dressed to brave the cold outside, what do most of us turn to? Comfort clothes (oh yeah, and comfort food, too!). So how do you stay warm and still be cool and chic? Here are 10 must-haves to see you through the winter in style:
1. The puffer vest or parka. In bright colors and prints, these old favorites are making news not only on the ski slopes but on the streets. Some down jackets even fold up in their own carrying pouch — perfect for those warmer days ahead. Yes, they will come!
2. Giant capes. One of my favorite ways to get dressed when I'm in a hurry. Easy to just throw over your shoulders and dash out the door. The best ones this year are popping up in artsy graphic prints.
3. Beanie hats. Having a bad hair day? Just pull on a knitted beanie hat. This close-fitting headgear keeps you warm and toasty, and adds a touch of color in brights and stripes. And if you really need protection from the single digits, go for the trapper hat to really block the cold.
4. And, of course, scarves. Definitely a winter must-have, scarves are taking up more and more room in our closets. There are chunky, knitted ones for casual days and cashmere pashminas for every occasion. Sequined scarves and shawls are showing up at glamorous parties. After all, some of us may want to bare our shoulders, but then who really wants to have goose bumps all night?
5. Leggings. Jeans may be on your must-have list for winter, but for many, stretchy leggings and jeggings are much more comfortable, especially in the winter when it's all about layering. There are walls of these wardrobe basics at stores now. And they're not really all that basic anymore. Vera Wang's collection at Kohl's is a winner with lots of possibilities from corduroy to satin.
6. Boots. The perfect matchup for leggings. Find a pair of comfortable boots, and you'll wear them forever, whether they're fur-trimmed ankle boots, laced-up knee-highs or rubberized Wellies. It's best to try boots on before you buy; you may need to go up a size.
7. The short sweater. One of the season's best trends, swingy short sweaters are a stylish backdrop for layering longer tees and shirts underneath. These roomy knits are also good companions for oversized scarves and capes. Shorter cardigan sweaters make great layering pieces too over skirts and dresses.
8. The faux-fur vest. An easy way to dress up sweaters and tops, in shaggy designs or edgy leather, the vest has become a great alternative to heavy outerwear, and it gives you instant style.
9. The tracksuit. Yep, they're back, but not quite as basic anymore as the fleecy ones of yesteryear. Now the athletic-inspired comfort clothes have been transformed into much more luxurious loungers. How about suiting up in a slinky silk tracksuit this time around?
10. Gotta get gloves! And last but not least, to really warm you up — of course, winter weather requires that you cover those fingers ... even when you're texting. Check out dozens of glove trends from the new tech gloves to arm warmers that will keep your fingers toasty all season long.
Sharon Mosley is a former fashion editor of the Arkansas Gazette in Little Rock and executive director of the Fashion Editors and Reporters Association. To find out more about Sharon Mosley and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.