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5 Tips for Dressing Well While Keeping Warm

by Sabrena Gartland |

Form before function, or function before form? Striking a balance is your best option, especially when function is the difference between several degrees on the thermometer. If you follow some of the basic rules of fashion while shopping for functional garments, you’ll have a much easier time of it all. Here are five tips for staying warm during the cold weather, and looking good while doing it.

Go For Layers

You can never go wrong with this simple advice – have your under layer, a light layer next, a warmer heavy layer after, and put your nicest cold weather jacket, boots and hat on top of that and you’ll have the start to your fall look. This is an opportunity to play with complementary colors, patterns, and materials, as well – each layer can add a complication to what you’ve got going on, so that you can feel comfortable in a complete wardrobe, regardless of the weather restrictions.

Turtlenecks Are Back

When putting together a list of essentials for fall clothing, you can put one new item back on the list – the turtleneck (and mock turtleneck). Not only does this provide some great wind and cold protection even after you’ve taken off that important top layer, but it’s part of a mini-mod revival happening in men’s clothing. Put some warm socks underneath a nice pair of Chelsea boots to complete the look.

Dark Jeans and Thermals

Sure, the dark jeans are the look – especially great during the cold weather – and if you add a nice, light-colored, bigger, puffy jacket, you’ll look like you just popped over from a trip to Aspen. Keep those layers happening underneath with some thermals, your best weapon against the cold in the case of jeans.

Long Scarves or Multiple Scarves?

It’s a personal choice when neither is a total faux pas, but long scarves are certainly in, and they have a tendency to keep you extra warm when you need it. Multiple scarves are a look again, too, but they need to be layered. You’ve got your light scarf for underneath (though be sure to have a scarf-friendly ensemble happening) and your heavy, outdoor one on top, and you’ll add a layer of interest to your whole vibe.

Sweats? Pick a Top or a Bottom

Sweat suits really only work if you’re exercising, but they are exceptionally warm, so pick one or the other as your middle (shirt) or top (pants) area. Combining sweat pants with a flashy jacket, or sweat shirt with a well-fitted pants and thermals, is a great way to get some use out of those sweat pieces.


You want to have options on the day just as much as you want options in your closet. Putting together a look and finding the right fit are always going to inform what you wear, but if you’re stuck needing more layers, including extra-thick ones, finding the right colors and fabrics to make it complete a look is the next most important thing beyond simply keeping warm.