By Kristy Kurjan
When Jack Frost starts nipping at our already freezing toes it is time
to break out the winter boots, jackets, and party clothes. This winter
season the trends are not only stylish but practical. Youre going to
love the few fresh pieces, like the faux-fur vest. The current
direction is more about smart styling than spending big bucks.
This season we break down the barriers between chic, comfort and cost.
Invest wisely in a couple key pieces and update a few old items for a
winter wardrobe that will surely earn you a kiss under the mistletoe.
Here is how:
Tis the Season to Sparkle
Holiday season is here and with that comes parties galore: Office
parties, holiday celebrations, and the biggest bash of all, New Years
Eve. This year, think sparkle. A sequin dress, a shiny bag, a great
pair of shimmering shoes. For almost any event, bring on the bling!
Take the trend to the extreme by selecting a cocktail dress made
entirely with sequin fabric. A little too much? Tone it down with
simple embellishments, like a sparkle broach on a handbag or pair of
crystal dangling earrings. Shiny touches can make a basic this
seasons hit. The trick is to compliment using a little bit of drama,
but not overwhelm.
Adding a little sparkle works for both day and night. Going to a
significant others office party? Throw on a chunky eye catching
necklace that is playful. It becomes an instant conversation starter
and is far more interesting than chatting about the weather.
For an economical spin on holiday fashion, break out last years LBD
(little black dress) and flirt it up with a sparkly accessory like a
glittery scarf or a metallic skinny belt. Fashion doesnt have to be
expensive to look glamorous.
This Seasons Splurge: Faux-Fur
Faux-fur is hot right now! Streets from L.A. to New York are filled
with stylish women in faux fur vests, coats, boots, and accessories.
This trend brings both luxury, comfort, and peace of mind. Throw a fur
vest with a simple cotton top and cotton leggings. Underneath will be
nothing but cozy but on the outside everyone will notice the
A faux-fur vest or coat can sometimes look overly voluminous, balance
it with slimming jeans on the bottom. Another tip: wear fur with
minimal flare to avoid looking over styled. Too many accessories will
leave you looking more like a peacock than a fashionista.
Invest In: Fantastic Boots
Who says living in Nordic conditions cant be stylish? Twenty years
ago it was near impossible to find practical-yet-posh footwear. Today,
boots are available in a variety of sophisticated styles from leather
flats to fur-lined basics. Most agree, they are a wardrobe necessity
for the colder months. There are two types of boots that every woman
should own: A great pair of tall knee-high boots and a fashionable yet
functional snow boot. Without these a winter wardrobe would be
Knee-high leather boots are undeniably in vogue right now. They are
the ultimate in footwear, providing versatility from office to
evening. Tuck in slim pants for a shape that is flattering to almost
every body type by creating a lean leg. These equestrian inspired
boots will stay in style for years to come.
Try them on before the purchase to make sure they are walkable and
that they fit your leg. There are multiple options out there, so dont
be disappointed if one hugs your calf a little too much. The next pair
might be the perfect fit, keep looking, a great pair of knee-high
boots is definitely worth your time!
Taking a departure from drab utility footwear, is the modern snow boot
that actually looks cutting-edge. There are many versions of snow
boots out there from military, to sporty and flirty. All of which come
in stylish options to fit anyones needs. Use it as a way to show off
personality, not just to cover feet.
When purchasing footwear that is going to be worn in all types of
weather, it is important to know what you are getting. Is the entire
boot waterproof or just the sole? Will the inside remain dry after a
three hour snowshoe adventure? Rubber soles are ideal for conditions
that are constantly changing from snow to slush.
Spending a little extra cash up front to invest in quality footwear
will ultimately save money and foot ache. A solid boot will hold up
multiple winters. Having more than one option, allows you to rotate
footwear making them last even longer. So, its okay to splurge on the
leather knee-highs and the fur trimmed flats.
Remember, however, that water and leather are not friends; therefore
it is ideal to add waterproofing protection to boots. This can be done
by applying a leather protectant, often in the form of a spray or wax.
Some of these protectants can be applied to suede as well. Taking this
precaution will ultimately protect the fabric providing longevity.
Check the instructions before any application to your investment, and
keep in mind that different materials require various treatments.
Always perform a spot check before covering the entire area, be aware
that the color might change.
Bring Back the Basics: Winter Coats
What is winter fashion without talk of coats, jackets, scarves, hats
and gloves? This year its okay to crack the storage bin and break out
your favorite jacket from last season. This is exactly what investment
pieces are for, to transcend seasons. It is not just an economical
option, but a classic choice.
There are quick and affordable ways to update outerwear from season to
season. Adding a plush scarf, a sparkly hat, or a faux fur accessory.
It is the easiest way to bring in color, texture, and style. Figure
out what is missing and add it to your holiday wish list. Small
accessories make great gifts so let it be known to your family and
friends that the hat in the window is exactly what you have been
For those that are in the market for a new jacket this season, get the
luxe look with an oversized neckline. A large collar creates a
dramatic silhouette that is deeply stylish, flattering, and
eye-catching. Another perk, an extra layer of protection from those
fierce winter winds.
Mirror the oversized neckline trend by throwing a plush scarf over a
wool coat. Choose fabrics that are soft to the touch like silk or
cashmere. The cozy fabrics will bring a smile every time they brush
your cheek. Once indoors, these layers can be easily shed.
Ladylike Legs: Tights & Pants
During the winter months women are constantly faced with the question
of sheer, opaque, nude, or patterned? Heres the good news, you have
options. Patterned sheer tights are this seasons stylish answer for
skirts and dresses. Get creative with black on black patterns or add
some color to a drab outfit with hued tights. Solidify a high-style
look with a pair of embossed tights. They will cover up, but not too
Mix up a party dress by opting for a mini skirt instead. Remember,
short is chic. Throw on the patterned sheer tights. Soften the look
with a light pink long cardigan and add the sparkle from above with a
skinny silver belt. The juxtaposition of pastel and metallic is
If you dont want to show off your legs, there is a solution. A fun
alternative is glamorous quirky pants with textured fabrics like
velvet or sequins. These fabrics are making pants party ready. Pair
them with a romantic floaty top and a sparkly clutch to play up the
Try them on. Depending on body types a pair of velvet pants might look
great on one person but flop on another. The ideal cut does not have
to be formfitting like a legging but rather draped in just the right
places creating a lean yet comfortable silhouette.
One Last Tip
Dont be tardy to the party because you are tip-toeing in snow and
ice trying to save a favorite pair of sky-high heels from being put to
rest in shoe heaven. When attending a cocktail party, it is more than
acceptable to wear boots up to the house. Then, seconds before the
door opens, throw on a breath taking pair of stilettos. Your hostess
will appreciate the effort and those fabulous red soled shoes will be
Share Holiday Spirit: Donate
Perhaps the most important fashion trend this winter is to share in
the giving season by donating new or gently used clothing to a local
charity. Clearing out a closet is one of the best gifts one can give
to a community. If you own a coat that has not been worn in a few
years, bring it to a charity like Goodwill, The Father Fred Foundation
or The Womens Resource Center. They will take it with open arms.
Through your generosity will come great joy, to both yourself and
others. Added perks: More closet space, tax deduction, and knowing
that someone is staying warm (and stylish) this winter because of you!
Donation Drop Off Locations in Northern Michigan:
Womens Resource Center
1719 S. Garfield Avenue
Traverse City, MI 49686
The Father Fred Foundation
Traverse City, MI 49686
Traverse City Goodwill
2279 S. Airport Road West
Traverse City, MI 49684
Cadillac Goodwill Store
2025 North Mitchell
Cadillac, MI 49601
Gaylord Goodwill Store
1361 Pineview Drive
Gaylord, MI 49735
Petoskey Goodwill Store
Bear Creek Plaza
1600 Anderson Road
Petoskey, MI 49770