Tag Archives: gloves

Warm up with winter accessories

16 Nov

With the end of daylight saving time everyone’s gearing up for the change in seasons. Our closets may be packed with cozy sweaters and down jackets, but winter preparation isn’t complete without cold weather shoes and accessories. Here are some ideas on incorporating accessory trends to stay stylishly warm in wet and frosty conditions.

Other than a good coat, shoes are one of the main components of dress that can determine whether you’ll be dry and toasty for the day, or drenched and freezing. Warm boots are an essential. Cute rainboots are a great pick for rainy fall days, but when the temperature drops, you’ll want something both stylish and functional. When shopping for a winter boot, you’ll want to look for enough insulation to keep your toes warm, so check the lining and insole material. Shearling wool makes for a warm and comfortable option as does thermal material such as Thinsulate.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

Mid-height snow boots, such as these ones from Sorel, make for a more casual look.

In addition to lining material, ensure your winter boots are waterproof and have enough traction. Wet leaves and icy sidewalks can easily lead to slips, so if you feel your favourite winter boots are doing more sliding than strolling, take them into a shoe repair shop to replace the outsole. Since you want to keep in heat, opt for slim fit bottoms to tuck into your winter boots. Pairing leggings, skinny jeans or tights with your boots will create a less bulky look. For a trendy option, try combat boots. Punk and grunge are huge for this season. Rock some combat boots with tartan jeans and a leather jacket for a punk style. Or portray a grungier sensibility by wearing combat boots with an oversized cardigan, babydoll dress and black tights.

For scarves, circular versions are still a popular option, whether as an infinity scarf or a snood. Snoods are tubular neckwear that can be either worn as a scarf, or pulled over the head and lower face like a hood. Whereas infinity scarves are usually wrapped around the neck several times snoods are a simpler, yet just as stylish, alternative. Scarves are a great way to add a pop of colour to an otherwise neutral ensemble, so go for chunky knit scarf or snood in a bold hue this winter. If you want to sport one of this season’s trends try wearing a plaid scarf. Plaids, checks, tartans and houndstooth are hot patterns for fall and winter, and accessories are the perfect area to try out a trend. Don’t be afraid to mix and match patterns in your outfit — the key is to find patterned items with a similar colour palette.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Change up your scarf routine with a chunky snood.

Just like a colourful scarf can provide some much needed brightness to dreary grey days, the same can be said for a fun winter hat. One easy-to-wear trend is a slouchy beanie. Also known as a tuque, look for beanies that are close-fitting around the head and loose on top for a slouchy style. Flattering for most face shapes, tuques are available in a variety of material, colours and patterns. Find one that expresses your sense of style or personality so you’ll be more likely to grab it before heading out the door.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque.

Cure the winter blahs with a fun, colourful tuque like this mustard version from Zara.

Gloves are another winter accessory essential. While fitted leather gloves are a timeless and elegant choice, a more practical idea may be capacitive gloves for frequent smartphone users. The capacitive threads in the fingertips will allow you to use your touchscreen devices, so now you’ll be able to change your music selection or reply a text without exposing your hands to the elements.

Dressing for the cold weather doesn’t have to mean sacrificing style. Incorporating fashionable, yet functional, winter accessories into your wardrobe will allow you to stay chic even in subzero temperatures.

[Article first appeared in the Nov. 13 issue of Richmond Review.]

Advertisements

Outerwear trends: Fall/winter coats and accessories

26 Nov

Whether you dread the rain or embrace it, being caught in a downpour would go a lot smoother if you’re also dressed appropriately. Now that winter is coming, it’s time to dust off the wool coats and put the jean jackets back into storage. For those wanting to update their autumn and winter look with new outerwear, there are a variety of jacket trends to suit every style this season.

A really popular jacket at the moment is the parka. Utilitarian and a little bit sporty, the parka (or anorak, as it’s sometimes called) is a hooded jacket with the outershell usually composed of a polyester and cotton blend. The hood is typically fur-lined and, depending on the quality, parkas can also be down-filled and water-resistant for added warmth. Black and olive parkas are pretty ubiquitous so if you prefer to stand out in a crowd, opt for a more vibrant shade. Find ones that cinch at the waist for a more figure flattering silhouette.

Keep cozy in a fur-lined parka (like this one from Zara), one of this season’s hottest trends.

Leather is another huge trend for the season. Whether you go the rocker chic route or towards something more polished like a classic leather blazer, the texture’s versatility allows it to go well with both casual and dressy ensembles. A downside is they’re not so great with rain. Keep your leather jackets for days when it’s dry out and it will stay in good condition for years to come. It also helps to store the jacket away from heat on a padded or wooden hanger, and never in plastic bags since leather needs to breathe.

A mix of wool and leather, this Mackage coat is great for dry, windy days.

For those looking for outerwear that’s a little more avant-garde, try a lacquered jacket. Made from a type of plastic or PVC that imitates the sheen of leather and snake skin, lacquered jackets have a futuristic, waxy look to them. To avoid looking like you stepped out of The Matrix, go for shorter lacquered jackets that end at the hip or pick a vivid hue, such as burgundy or cobalt blue.

Another outerwear option for the colder months is the classic wool coat. The trend this season is for sailor- and military-inspired peacoats. Characterized by epaulettes and big, double-breasted brass buttons, pair a military coat with riding boots for a structured, polished look. Those shopping for a more timeless coat can skip the embellishments and go for a minimal, streamlined tailored wool coat in black or camel.

Add some structure to your look with Mango’s military coat.

Once you have your perfect coat, don’t forget about cold weather accessories — they’re an easy way to bring your outfit to the next level. Boots are always a stylish yet practical choice. Rubber rain boots, such as Hunter wellingtons, are popular and can be found in solid colours or fun patterns at all price points. As for other accessories, infinity scarves are still a big trend. Find one in a chunky knit for those really chilly days. For headwear, beanies and cloche hats are great for the transition into winter since they sit more snug on the head than hats with wider brims. And if you’re in the market for a new pair of gloves, try ones that incorporate capacitive threads into the tips — they’ll keep your fingers warm while still allowing you to use your touch screen devices.

Rubber boots: an essential for puddle jumping and heavy rain.

Last but not least, the one accessory you don’t want to leave at home considering this city’s fickle weather is an umbrella. I’m a fan of conventional stick umbrellas. They’re much sturdier and seem to come in more eclectic patterns than folding ones. So whether you’re going for cool, like an umbrella with a samurai sword handle, or trendy like a transparent dome one, find an umbrella that suits your personal style. It sets the final touch to your look and makes grey days a little brighter.

[Article first appeared in the Nov. 14 issue of Richmond Review.]