Washington Square News

Don’t Trade Warmth for Style This Winter

By Hannah Starke, Contributing Writer

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Even though winter is officially in, there’s no need to think that your favorite skirts and dresses are officially out.

A winter ensemble of only pants can feel limiting. Even if you shake it up with trendy pieces like culottes or trousers, spending an entire season without an essential part of your wardrobe simply isn’t going to fly.

Thankfully, due to the miracle of layering, all hope is not lost. It might be a bit of a no-brainer to say that leggings and tights can make a skirt or dress feel marginally more comfortable, but can they also keep you warm? Absolutely.

The key here is to wear at least two layers on your legs. You can wear a pair of leggings under tights, two pairs of leggings, or two pairs of leggings under tights — because a glossy finish matters, of course. The layers will keep the cold outside of the material and keep your body heat contained — you might even find that this method is warmer than a pair of jeans.

If you’re worried about feeling bulky with all of those layers, I have a chic secret weapon for you: cuddl duds. A favorite of middle-aged Midwestern mothers, these ultra-thin thermal leggings also happen to be perfect for any fashionista slogging through these dreary winter months.

But if leggings feel too casual for a more structured, grown-up look, look no further than Zara’s body-shaping leggings.

Once you’ve built your fortress against cold, it’s time to build upon those basics to create an outfit. Since leggings and tights are incredibly versatile garments, there are a number of avenues to explore.

A simple way to look adorably mod is to pair a sleek turtleneck with a patterned mini skirt and ankle boots. Swap out the mini skirt for a midi, then pair with simple black shoes for an elegant look and elongated figure. For an instantly polished Parisian vibe, add a blazer and a scarf.

There are a number of ways to style a dress with tights for winter, and it’s probably the combo with the most ideal effort-to-compliments ratio. The tried and true method is to slip on a cozy, eye-catching dress over your layers of tights and leggings. Choose details like bell sleeves or textures like velvet to keep the look interesting. For shoes, you can choose anything from Doc Martens to patent leather ankle boots. Think less basic and more boho for this combo.

You can also rock a dress if you want to add even more — you guessed it — layers to your look. Choose a dress in a plain color and pile on a hat, scarf, and sweater for a multi-dimensional ensemble.

Layering can also take on a more mature look with a long vest and crisp edges in general. Take note of the knee high boots — they’re a chic way to draw attention to your dress while keeping you even warmer.

With this in mind, keep chic and layer on!

Email Hannah Starke at [email protected]

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