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Cold Weather Chic – Is it Possible?

We all know the dilemma: cute outfits are a little tougher to sport when the thermometer drops below 30 degrees! Suddenly, your many-layered outfit starts looking a little “linebacker” – which is decidedly not chic!

Here’s some pointers from the Budget Babe, so you can look cool, not cold:

Invest in a heavy wool trench-style coat that hits A) mid-thigh or B) falls at or below the knee so you can wear it with dresses/skirts. This will keep you warm and stylish for a good 6 to 9 months out of the year.

Next, invest in at least one thick, warm cashmere scarf, a cashmere/wool hat that covers the ears, and densely knit gloves or leather gloves lined in cashmere. Chicago winters are bitterly cold and you just can’t fool around with cheap polyester, it will do nothing against the cold wind.

Also, you’ll need tall leather boots with a low heel for walking, if you can afford La Canadienne or Aquatalia, great. Either way, invest in a couple pairs of warm wool socks (I like cashmere or SmartWool, not so itchy) and possibly even silk longjohns from (thanks to Sal over at Already Pretty for the tip on those).

Depending on how warm your office is, you can probably get away with long sleeve layering tees and cardigans, wool blazers, or pretty blouses topped with warm shawl collar cardigans. I mostly wear jeans all year round, just stick to dark washes for work. Black pants work well too.

On “warm” days (over 40 degrees) you can have fun with colored or textured tights and dresses or skirts, so long as you have that warm trench to shield you.

Hopefully this should be enough to get you started, then once you’re in the elements you’ll have a better sense of what you need. I always loved people watching while riding the El downtown or the bus (especially north-south routes near the lake). Admittedly, I always choose warmth and practicality over style (I know, blasphemy right) but that’s what growing up in the Midwest can do to a girl. Good luck!

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