Baby, it's cold outside // Style Counsel

The latest winter trends to keep you from shivering

By Donna Wilson

On Wednesday December 8th, 2010


photo by Benson KuaThis week in Toronto, we are experiencing the first wintry weather of the season, and that probably means many of you are thinking of replacing last year’s outerwear. Here are my tips for staying stylish and comfortable this season (yes, it is possible to have both!).

Note: these tips are mostly for the ladies. Guys, you’ll have to wait for my next column, in two weeks, for your turn.

DIY winter boots

bootsYou have been shopping for hours and hours, and you have found a few stylish boots you like, but none of them seem suitable for winter. Does this sound familiar? Unfortunately, shoe designers appear to live in some sort of fantasy world where people who need boots do not need those boots to be lined or slip resistant. My advice is to start by ignoring practicality and picking a stylish pair, like these Nine West boots ($178.95 [Ed. Note: No longer available]). Next, you can winterize them yourself by wearing fuzzy socks and taking them to the cobbler to have treads added for about $10.

Full time job = full length coat

coatEvery lawyer should invest in a classic wool jacket. If you are going to tuck your pants into your boots, make sure your coat and boots overlap. Alternatives to a full length coat include: not tucking your pants into your boots and letting the bottom of your pants get ruined by salt; wearing skirts all winter with a mid-length coat and freezing; or getting a job and apartment that are both connected to the PATH in Toronto.

There are many cute full length coats to choose from like this camel hair coat by Smythe ($835 [Ed. Note: No longer available]). The selection of full length coats in stores is actually better than online. Check out The Bay, Holt Renfrew, and if you live in Toronto, Lornes always has a wide selection of full length coats.

Add some accessories

snoodSearch for scarves, toques, and gloves in interesting colours and fabrics. I am loving the faux fur scarves in stores this season, but the hottest accessory right now is the snoods or infinity scarf. These names are used interchangeably to describe a scarf that is the shape of a circle. Check out this one by J Crew ($49.50 [Ed. Note: No longer available]) Infinitythat can be worn as either a scarf or a scarf and hood.The infinity scarf by American Apparel ($37) is much longer and can be worn in a variety of ways, even as a dress. If you are never without a scarf in the winter, now you will never be without a change of clothes.

The golden rule when dressing for winter is not to get carried away with style above comfort. After all, nothing is less stylish than a big frown from being miserably cold!

Donna Wilson is a Toronto-based commercial litigator at Affleck Greene McMurtry LLP. Her style and beauty column will appear every second Wednesday.

Photo by Benson Kua