Freezing Festive Fashion No More!

By Wendy Crawford

For those of you living in the colder climates, do you find yourselves avoiding invitations to go out at night because it's freezing? Recently, I was invited to a holiday party and I was secretly wishing it was an ugly sweater party so I could bundle up and it wouldn't matter how I looked!  There's nothing worse to me than going out into the dark and getting in a cold car to go somewhere. Often I'm even cold once I get to a restaurant or someone's home because they don't keep the temperature high enough for my liking.

So it gets even more difficult when you have to dress up because often women's clothes aren't made for warmth (Why is that? Typically men don't get as cold yet they have ties, suit jackets and thicker sweaters. They should be the ones in the strapless dress!)

Well, thankfully I have figured out some options that will keep you looking festive but also warm:

Wendy at "Raw Beauty NYC" with model, Danielle Sheypuk
Start with a good basic. Probably the best fashion investment than I have ever made is a black cashmere turtleneck and one in winter white. Although expensive for the initial purchase, if you get a good quality one, it can last for years and years. (In fact, I just realized writing this article that the one that I always wear is over 10 years old and still looks like new!) They are warm, lightweight, soft and look luxurious. The only downside is that once you go cashmere, it's really tough to go back to scratchy wool!

I always wear a silky, thin layer under my sweaters. I make sure that the underlayer fits snug so the sweater will fit over and you can’t see it. You can pair a black turtleneck with a pair of leather pants (there's lots are faux leather out there that's affordable and looks real), and even waxed denim can look like leather. If leather isn’t your “thing,” pair your top with velvet pants or black dress pants and then accessorize with an interesting belt or jewelry. Now you are ready to go! (You can do the same with other colors like winter white, but keep a monochromatic palate by matching with the same color pants).

If you haven't noticed, statement pieces like big chunky necklaces and bracelets are on trend right now. These pieces can be worn over your sweater, instantly elevating your outfit into an evening look. If you do go for a big necklace or over-the-top bracelet, then I would recommend very simple earrings or no earrings at all. You don't want to wear a bracelet, necklace and earrings all at once or you might run the risk of looking like a Christmas tree! (Note: You can usually find affordable pieces of jewelry that look expensive, so no need to spend a lot).

Another important investment is a basic black pair of dress boots with a side zip. I prefer kitten heels (only when I dress up, otherwise it's always flats) because they give the illusion of a high heel but are much more stable on my foot rests and practical for my wobbly ankles! I get them slightly big and wear long warm socks. If you get a classic style, they will last forever.

If I do wear a skirt, I prefer a long one, as it elongates my body. Also it looks better since I don't cross my legs because I don’t want to cut off the circulation. You can wear this with your cashmere sweater on top, the boots and you look fabulous!

If you prefer to wear a short skirt, then I would recommend warm tights instead of stockings. You can find thigh-high stockings instead of actual ones that you pull up over your hips, which is much easier when you need to go the bathroom.

Metallic sweaters with a little sparkle have also become popular. These are so easy because you can wear them with a simple pair of pants like black skinny jeans and boots and you have an outfit! Once again, you do not need a lot of jewelry with a metallic sweater.

Another option is scarves. (I must admit that I have too many to count!) They can be put with a basic sweater which instantly transforms your look and is much cheaper than buying a new outfit. If you don't have time to go home and change, you can just add a scarf and change into dressier shoes or boots. For those of us who are “scarf-tying challenged,” infinity scarves are the ideal solution! They always look perfectly placed and won’t come undone. They even come in faux fur which look super chic, are affordable so you can rock that snow bunny look!

With these tips, you’re now prepared to head out into the winter weather for memorable holiday events! You’ll be warm and fashionable, ready to transition from day to night. Have a blast, and don’t forget to post your winter fashion photos on our Facebook page or on our twitter page,! !


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