Now that the initial shock of winter weather has started to wear off, it’s time to start thinking outside the sartorial box. While your beloved sweats and ugly-pretty all-weather boots might have gotten you through the first brutal snowfall of the season, you most certainly won’t be receiving any invisible high-fives from the trendsetting crowd anytime soon. Besides coming armed with a slew of strategic layers (a common defense against the elements, if you will), it’s going to take a LOT more imagination if you intend on snagging best-dressed status. Sorry, not sorry, but you won’t be receiving an A for effort if we have anything to say about it. Ahead, we’re spotlighting 21 Instababes who make the most of polar vortex-inducing temperatures — cue the non-boring winter weather essentials that promise to kick a case of the outfit blahs to the curb. Surprise, surprise, your #COTD (coat of the day) is prime real estate when it comes to workin’ it on the streets like a boss.
1. Embrace C-O-L-O-R: We can’t explain it, but even the most subtle pop of color can prove to be game-changing when the skies are gray. Our only advice: Go bold or go home. Obsessed with this Instababe’s mellow yellow hooded coat would be an understatement. Put it this way — if you can’t be spotted at least a mile away, then you’re not trying hard enough.
2. Bombers FTW: Can’t stop, won’t stop reaching for our favorite street-inspired bombers once the temperatures take a dip for the worst. As a rule of thumb: If it’s good enough for Chiara, then it’s more than good enough for us. Whether you’re making a beeline for the mountains for a well-timed winter retreat or taking on the mean (and blustery) streets of Manhattan like an HBIC, a head-turning bomber that brings the drama is non-negotiable. You don’t have to tell us twice.
3. Man-Repelling Styling: Sub-zero temps, you don’t stand a chance. We love how this Instababe’s taken to accentuating the waist of her olive coat with a makeshift belt for a little extra pizzazz. No need for all the bells and whistles when you’ve got man-repelling style sensibilities at your fingertips. Just sayin’.
4. Winter Dressing LA Style: Can we just say that LA babes have it SO good. Like, what big ol’ puffer? No such thing when you’re living on the best coast. Take on a balmy 68 degrees (yes, even in the dead of winter) like a champ by opting for a lightweight jacket, streamlined skinnies and your favorite steppers. Life must be hard.
5. Preppy and Parisian: J’adore is right. In lieu of fleeting styles, there’s something to be said about seeking solace in the classics. Our favorite Parisian blogger, Daphné Moreau, has the prep uniform down to a science. Everything from her playful toggle coat to her off-white turtleneck sweater and plaid blanket scarf have got us swooning hard. Cute pooch unfortunately not included.
6. Layers, Layers and MORE Layers: More layers, you say? Sigh. You know the drill: Toss on one additional outer layer before heading out the door for maximum protection against the elements. In this Instababe’s case, it may or may not equate to dressing like a snowman (albeit a cute one), but how can one complain when your chunky knit infinity scarf looks this haute?
7. A Classic Camel Coat: Ah, yes, the ever-iconic camel coat that’s a perennial favorite season after season. Opt for a neutral palette (AKA, all black) for a West Village-inspired look that’s not messing around one bit. This babe’s killin’ it with her longline camel coat, black Chelsea boots and “stoop kid” pose.
8. All-Black-Errthang: A state of winter depression does not equate to wearing head-to-toe black, although it certainly could. For a getup that requires zero effort (seriously, nada!), don’t hesitate to reach for your trusty black turtleneck sweater, ripped black skinnies and a timeless black wool coat for an unassuming uniform that reads urban sophisticate with downtown sensibilities. Oh, and don’t forget an embellished beanie.
9. Let Your Coat Do the Talking: Simple enough. Who needs to deal with fussy layers when your street MVP-worthy topper is doing all the heavy lifting? That’s not even a question. Our girl Tamu McPherson is giving us ALL the feels with her eclectic Kenzo x H&M tiger print coat. Straight-up #goals is right. But then again, her vampy backless mules don’t hurt either.
10. Come Armed in Layers: A very important first step in any style maven’s rule book is to pack on the layers expecting the worst, only to be rewarded with (hopefully) above-average temperatures. Can we get an amen? This Instababe ditches her tights in favor of rainy day wellies and boot socks, while making it a point to pack on the layers on top with a belted plaid shirtdress, a toggle coat and toasty mittens.
11. Leopard Coats + XL Scarves: Don’t make it any more difficult than it has to be, babe. The next time you’re at a complete loss of what to wear, opt for this no-nonsense pairing that’s known to tackle cold-weather dressing head-on. Take your prized leopard print coat to the next level with an oversized scarf and old-school Chuck Taylors. At last — an outfit equation we can get behind!
12. BFF Official: Now, here’s an interesting take on combating the elements in style. When all else fails, grab your bestie and matching statement-making toppers for a #winning (and twinning) look that will slay on the streets. We call dibs on the hot pink zigzag coat on the left for limitless traffic-stopping potential.
13. Fishnets Under Everything: When it’s too cold to venture out with just bare legs, fishnets under everything (even your raw-hem jeans) will be your jam. If not to fend off the cold, then most certainly to catch the eye of random passersby. Throw in a sleek pair of metallic Oxfords or some velvet penny loafers for instant cool-girl flair.
14. Cold Weather #OOTD Equation: Longline coatigan? Check. A thin striped turtleneck layered underneath an ivory cable knit sweater for good measure? Check. To-die-for Chelsea boots? Alright, now you’re reading our mind. We won’t tell if you suddenly have an urge to replicate this entire head-to-toe look. Those Scandinavian bloggers get us every. Single. Time.
15. Après-Ski: Everyone knows it’s the festivities following an afternoon spent hitting the slopes that call for snow bunny-inspired separates. Blair Eadie does the coveted après-ski look so, so right by opting for not one but TWO stylish toppers, a plaid cashmere scarf, a pom-pom-topped beanie and retro shades. We rest our case.
16. Uggs on Fleek: Your high-fashion sensibilities want to say no, but your frostbitten toes are screaming YES. Back for round two, Uggs can be elevated with the right separates — namely, a matching shearling coat and streamlined skinnies for that comfy-cozy log cabin feeling. As long as frumpy sweats aren’t in the equation, you’re pretty much guaranteed an epic comeback.
17. DGAF Winter Layers: We get it. It’s so cold you literally could care less about looking cute, but hear us out. No one wants to be that girl bummin’ it on the streets in her stay-at-home threads. Fifty shades of freezing looks a little somethin’ somethin’ like this. Proceeds to pack on a boss babe-approved bomber, a cherry red scarf, statement-making socks (check out those matching gold steppers!) and rolled-up boyfriend jeans for maximum impact.
18. Faux Fur: We’d happily take a cold and rainy day in Paris over Snowmageddon weather any day, but that’s besides the point. As per usual, Julia Engel looks as cute as a button with her elegant gray wool coat featuring a faux fur stole and no shortage of old Hollywood glamour. Her quilted Dior bag and brimmed hat are stylish add-ons that don’t overwhelm in the least.
19. Take It to the Streets: If LA babes are known for their easy-breezy carefree lifestyles, then the NYC crowd wins our approval for their downtown-cool aesthetic. Cue the throwback Adidas sweatshirt and hipster gray beanie that every New Yorker on the block seems to have on standby. If we’re really being honest, it’s the juxtaposition between streetwear and high glamour (specifically THAT ornate lace skirt!) that’s giving us major heart eyes.
20. A Lazy Girl-Approved Robe: Who doesn’t want to roll out of bed looking flawless like Beyoncé? If you say no, then you’re lying. Let it be known that there’s nothing overly fussy or predictable about a lazy girl-approved robe that can be tossed on in two seconds flat. Round out your off-duty uniform (consisting of a t-shirt, high-performance leggings and cool kicks) with I-just-woke-up-like-this hair and minimal makeup for a ceaselessly chic look.
21. Fuzzy. Pink. Toppers.: You had us at fuzzy pink toppers that promise to work their magic around the clock. Any takers? Instead of dreading cold AF winter weather, take charge with a fab Barbie pink coat that will make you want to break out the confetti.
What are your winter layering style hacks? Follow us on Pinterest for more Instababe-approved style inspo!
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