As winter approaches, so does the age-old struggle between being warm and looking fashionable. While the gloomy weather may have you wanting to bundle up in your favorite sweats (or just stay under the covers), it is surprisingly easy to throw together polished outfits that keep out the winter chill. Here are some winter fashion ideas to help you beat the cold and show off your style.

Go monochromatic

A monochromatic color scheme can make any outfit look chic. The key here is to choose a color and then use varying shades of the hue. The use of different textures will also help to add depth and interest to your ensemble. As an additional bonus, monochromatic dressing provides a streamlined, slimming effect. I suggest using grey, blue, or black for the easiest pairings, as seen here by Susan Cernek and blogger Maegan Tintari.


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Don’t feel limited to dark or neutral colors. Brighter ones such as purple and red can be surprising wearable. Kirstin from the blog ChicAllWeek shows a monochromatic ensemble perfect for any winter day:


Pile on Layers

Layering helps to fight the cold and give a second (or third) life to various pieces of clothing in your closet. It’s especially handy if you are in an environment where the temperature fluctuates throughout the day. For easy layering, I recommend starting with a button-down shirt and jeans or tailored pants, then adding a sweater or cardigan, and topping it off with a blazer. Even your summer maxi skirts can work their way into your wardrobe this summer, just add tights or leggings underneath, and pair with a statement blouse and cardigan.


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Find a statement coat

A warm coat is a cold weather staple, and if you’re like me, you find one you like and wear it constantly during the winter. While choosing a piece of clothing to wear for the chilly months, I recommend investing in a statement coat, one that you can throw it over any outfit to add some pizazz. Go for a fun color or interesting cut, worn here by Leighton Meester and in Helene Berman’s winter 2012 collection. A great place to look for a standout coat are thrift or vintage stores, local favorites like Time After Time, Club Nova Thrift Shop, and The Clothing Warehouse often have unique coats for bargain prices.


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Add a Scarf

Scarves are an often overlooked way to express your fashion sense and keep you warm. They are one of the most versatile pieces you can own, coming in every color and pattern under the sun, and can be tied or draped in a myriad of ways. Use them to add a splash of color or dabble in a bold print. You can even pin a scarf with your favorite brooch to make sure it stays in place. For maximum warmth, I suggest a knit infinity scarf like the one seen on the bottom right. Stuck on how to wear one? Here’s a guide to help you out.


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