With the temperature going down, the days becoming shorter and power cuts getting seemingly endless, one of the few things to look forward to during the winter is the fashion that it brings along. While fashion is very objective and rules are meant to be broken, advice and inspiration should always be welcomed. When the temperature drops, there is no need to waive your sartorial preferences. From turtlenecks, to hats and coats and boots, winter wear can be the epitome of fashion. 

Being warm and comfy doesn’t mean that you have to look frumpy. There are plenty of coats out there that will keep you warm but leave you looking effortlessly chic. Camel coats, a classic leather jacket, or a warm, soft cardigan will work effortlessly with your trusty jeans and a pair of boots. If you’re wearing dark, neutral colors, you can put in some color in your outfit with a bright colored bag.  Coats scream winter. They are warm and look good on anyone. A plain black coat that goes with any outfit is a winter must have, it keeps you warm and leaves you looking great. You can always beat the winter gloom with a bright coat that fits you perfectly, but remember that if your coat is bright your outfit doesn’t need anything else to scream out loud. Coats with collars and other intricate details will make you stand out and make you feel that much more special, so don’t hesitate to try and incorporate it in your winter wardrobe. 

One of the biggest faux pas every winter is not wearing enough clothes in the name of fashion. With so many warm options in the stores, you definitely do not need to skimp on clothing to look good; you will not feel good when you can’t feel your toes and being warm can always look sexy. Look for full sleeved dresses, and  if you just can’t do without a dress or a skirt, pair them with tights and ankle length boots with a coat on top because let’s face it, nobody looks good with a summer outfit when they look like they are freezing to death with blue lips in the depth of winter. 

Resist the urge this winter to stay in your comfy pajamas all day. Baggy pajamas won’t keep you as warm as woolen tights or leggings will. Layering is one of the best aspects of winter fashion that can make you look effortlessly chic but try not to overdo it and start looking like a walking pile of laundry instead! Layering also means you don’t have to go through the hassle of putting away your summer clothes! A warm cardigan, a scarf and a hat and tada!! You look uber chic and ready for winter. However, when you wear three or more layers on top, make sure the bottom looks lean, wear warm tights with jeans; you don’t want to end up looking extra bulky. Layering up every day doesn’t mean you put your fun accessories into storage. Use that winter’s basic black as a canvas to show off some quirk, style your outfit with bright, chunky jewelry that grabs everyone’s attention and makes them all want to be you. 

Putting together everything that looks trendy might actually leave you looking wacky. Remember that trends are best driven one or maybe even two at a time. Remember that turtlenecks are a winter staple too; they keep you warm but also help you look effortlessly chic when worn with a complimenting outfit. Winter doesn’t mean you have to look like a potato, contrary to what many might think. Opt for cinched-waist coats to show off that figure, even in sub zero temperatures and think of heeled boots as winter’s answer to your favorite stilettos that you have been dying to pull out and wear, but are afraid your feet might freeze. 

Invest in a few “WOW” pieces to carry you through the winter rather than stocking up on average outfits. A well-fitted classic leather jacket, knee length boots, a black coat, an oversized sweater are things that will never go out of fashion and have always been a good investment. Also, with these choice pieces in your wardrobe, you do not have to worry about how your bank balance will dwindle every time winter rolls around. Don’t shy away from being bold, play with prints, mix and match colors and don’t forget that confidence is the most important factor that ties your whole outfit together. When in doubt, throw on one of your “WOW” pieces to pull any outfit together. Accessories like hats, mufflers, gloves can pull together simple outfits while keeping you extra warm. 

Do not forget your sunglasses when you’re going out in the afternoon. Winter sun is also harmful and sunglasses will look good and protect your eyes at the same time. Get staple handbags, in neutral colors to go with every outfit or bright ones to liven up outfits. Watches can double up as statement jewelry.  Try wearing scarves, stoles and mufflers in different styles, look to the internet for inspiration. They provide a lovely texture to your outfit. Follow fashion bloggers, try to see who matches your style and incorporate the inspiration you get into your own outfits. Be aware of your body type, the same thing an actress or a runway model is wearing may not look as flattering on you because you don’t have the same body type. 

Men don’t a pass at winter fashion either, they need to pay attention to what they wear too. Men should invest in at least two winter coats, one casual and the other formal and get a pair of winter boots. Get acquainted with warmer fabrics and don’t think that winter means drab and boring. In fact, it can be more uplifting and energizing to throw in some color into your winter wardrobe. Men have a habit of grabbing and going, especially when it comes to accessories. Remember the details and understand that all gloves, mufflers and caps are not equal.  While leather gloves and cashmere scarves can go with any type of outfit, thick knitted scarves, woolen gloves look best with casual outfits. It’s better to keep these in warm neutral colors like navy blue, black, brown so they go with every outfit. Never be scared to wear a bold color or a bold print and try shirts with different patterns which will help uplift your outfit. 

International Fashion Scenario

At Paris fashion week this year, black and white dominated the runway; checks, stripes and diamonds came into play. Black and white prints at Valentino, Saint Laurent and Emilio Pucci created an optical style illusion, ready to be reflected on the street. Padded jackets were everywhere and velvet is big this season as seen in Ralph Lauren, Valentino and Chloé. Military style is still in, as seen in Gucci, with navy blue jackets with gold frogging. A Paris style classic, stripes were everywhere in the runway, predominantly in Saint Laurent. Seventies influenced patchwork and bohemian prints could be seen in outfits giving off an upscale, hippy feel. Nude is the way to go if you aren’t sure about prints as nude colored coats, turtlenecks and tops that slip on like second skin look gorgeous. Marshmallow colors like baby blue, candyfloss pink, spring chick yellow, also made a welcome change to the usual ‘sticking to the drab winter colors’ in Prada, Dolce & Gabbana and Giorgio Armani. Designers looked into punk-rock with leather, slashed pants and mini skirt over tights with chain and stud detailing. There were quite a few eighties revival outfits, with vinyl, velvet, patent leather making a comeback. Rivets took center-stage and fur could also be seen everywhere. 

The New York fashion week showed that bohemian looks are here to stay. Lush patterns, textures and prints create high drama. Though big, bold and bright seem to be everywhere this season, there was still room for the classic staples everyone loves. Though black will always be timeless, NYFW infused a gothic edge to all black ensembles with high necklines and patent leather accessories. Everyone was all about the fur whether as full on fur jackets or jackets with fur detailing. With tons of faux options, winter has never looked warmer and chicer. The 70s are in, with oversized jackets, colorful and printed coats, ponchos, faux fur, fringed everything, crochet and androgynous looks- men inspired outfits. Flared pants are in, though they do not flatter all body types. Puffy sleeves are back, and stronger looking shoulders create the illusion of a smaller waist. Suede is another 1970s material that is making a comeback with Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Gucci, all incorporating suede in their runway outfits. Victorian and Edwardian fashion with a modern twist is another trend seen on the runway with lace accents, high collars and clinched waists. 

In contrast to the sheer fabrics in summer, fall/winter 2016 is all about velvet. Velvet is definitely reputed to be a luxurious material and has definitely impacted runways in Paris and Milan. An increasing number of celebrities too have been seen wearing velvet but it can be quite tricky. Wearing a lot of velvet is definitely a no no, stick to one velvet item at a time and you’ll do fine. Velvet always looks great if the cut is sleek even though oversized and masculine outfits are also in style but more in the sweaters, jackets, coats and blazers categories. The masculine meets feminine outfits look good and are comfy at the same time. The fringe trend, while an ode to the 70s, still manages to be with the times perfectly. But be careful not to go overboard with fringe. Considering that we are all prone to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), bold colors help to dispel the winter gloom. Prabal Gurung’s fall/winter 2016 collection showcased bright oranges and sunshine yellows. 

 In men’s fashion too, 70s fashion was a big hit in the runways this year from flyaway collars to flares and graphic details. A shocking trend seen in the runway was androgynous, gender-fluid looking outfits. Burgundy is the color for men this season with brown also making a comeback. Invest in burgundy sweaters or coats and scarves. Baggy trousers are overtaking straight and skinny fit trousers this year. Oversized coats and jackets are a good way to look nice and stay warm. Turtlenecks are a winter staple, a must have. Three-quarter length coats are also in trend this winter. Denim shirts are warm, layered with a jacket or a coat, and suit just about anyone. Don’t forget to invest in at least one well-tailored suit that will have you ready for any wedding or formal event you need to go to. Try to buy fitted clothes that look good on you.

All in all, winter brings out a lot of fashion options. From different types of fabrics you can experiment with to boots and colors, winter fashion can be very versatile. Of course, everyone will try to tell you all the fashion rules about what to and what not to wear, but rules are meant to be broken. There is no way that the outfit a runway model was wearing is going to look the same on you. Create a personal style, be confident, be bold, don’t be scared to mix and match. But make sure what you are wearing looks good on you as well as body and age appropriate. A top that is a size smaller will not make you look slim, but will only show off your problem areas. With that said, have a nice winter. Stay warm and classy!