Find your perfect coat
Indisputably, the most important step. Your coat is the first piece that people see, and you want their reaction to be “Want” not “Whatevs.” This season’s best coats are a study in both versatility and style: MaxMara showed a range of fabrics, from corduroy to crushed velvet, while Burberry’s oversized shearling collars caused a frenzy in fashion editor circles. There may not be one single look to covet this season, but there are three overall rules: 1) Make sure it fits you as beautifully as possible (consult a tailor, if necessary); 2) You can’t go wrong with faux fur embellishments; 3) Cashmere will never let you down.
Amp up your baubles
Don’t let the sartorial realities of winter discourage you from indulging in some serious winter sparkle. Instead, take the opportunity to adorn your outerwear. Add a twinkling brooch to your coat, scarf, or hat, and slip a luxe Aldo cuff or BCBG cocktail ring over your elbow-length gloves. Statement chandelier earrings, whether in real or faux diamonds, will rival the shine of gleaming winter ice.
Discover tweeds and tailoring
How’s this for a happy coincidence? Winter’s trendiest fabric is also one of its warmest: Tweed was an elegant favourite at Nina Ricci, Michael Kors, and Louis Vuitton. The best way to wear it? In a perfectly tailored suit that hugs your curves and looks, well, hot.
Embrace sweater dressing
It’s officially the season of the sweater. At Balenciaga, Nicolas Ghesquière showed colour-blocked creations with a futuristic Bill Cosby vibe, while Rag & Bone opted for classic and cable knits in downtown-cool oversized V-necks. Fair Isle knits ruled both runway (at Marc Jacobs) and retail (in Esprit’s essential cowl neck poncho). Cardigans continue their well-deserved reign, while sweater dresses, seen this winter at Fendi and H&M, are edging their way into veritable trend status. Call it must-have cozy chic.
Learn how to accessorize with scarves and layers on page 2...
Above images of Max Mara, Fendi and Rag & Bone.
Choose statement scarves and snoods
Even scarves are getting the statement treatment these days—Chanel presented faux fur ones, while accessory favourite Banana Republic recently showed them liberally studded with pom poms. Then there’s the versatile snood, a long piece of fabric which can act as both headband and scarf—which means hours of experimental fun for the style set. Who needs Kinect?
Learn to love layering
You don’t need to wait to wear that fantastic tank you just bought for 70% off—one of winter’s top trends involves layering on an epic Arctic-worthy scale. The trick is to own the trend without casting a shadow that looks like the Abominable Snowman. Look to Rag & Bone as a runway starting point for how to look chic sans bulk: Mix and match lengths, textures, and trends. Try a knee-length knit vest worn over a plaid shirt, or a Fair Isle cardigan paired with a wool turtleneck. Jewellery helps too: Dangling earrings will make your neck look more slender, while a long necklace will lengthen your torso. Gotta love the bling.
Check out our picks for fool-proof winter accessorizing
Holiday party dressing tips
One little black dress, five ways to wear it
Fashion trend: fur
2010 Holiday Accessories Report