If your scaly skin and hat head haven’t clued you in, winter is here. And you also might have noticed, as you stand dumbfounded in front of your closet, that feminine fashion and frigid temperatures don’t seem to mesh well. Throwing on a frock in the fall, spring, and summer is effortless. But pulling off a simple dress in sub-zero temps takes creativity, talent, and probably extreme-weather outerwear.
Sure, stylish cold-climate women get to drape themselves in cashmere and fine wools, but they’re also very familiar with dirty words like fleece, thermal, moisture-wicking, Goretex, and Thinsulate. By March most of those stylish ladies are weeping in their walk-ins wishing for spring.
Dressing for a the biting cold typically requires an arsenal of layers and accessories to stay warm. I know many of us are trying to make an effort to avoid the fast-fashion world, but Uniqlo sells a barely-there line of cold-weather basics called Heattech that should be in the rotation if you plan on wearing dresses this winter. They make tights, undergarments, leggings, body warmers, hats, gloves, socks—and even slips!
My favorite Heattech staples are the high-waisted leggings and the basic tank. The leggings can be folded over like a traditional yoga pant or pulled up to keep your abdomen warm. (Uniqlo also sells body warmers, which look like an extra long tube top.) The Uniqlo ultra-lightweight down jackets are also great as an under-outerwear layering essential. They are so light they will fit under nearly any coat.
To pull off this winter dress look, start with your base layers: Uniqlo Heattech slip ($12), Heattech socks (2 pack $13), Heattech tights ($15)…then add a Diane Von Furstenberg wrap around sweater dress ($427) and top it off with Uniqlo ultra light down jacket ($40) under the MM6 Maison Martin Margela Cocoon coat ($845) For shoes try the warm Acne shearling lined booties ($650) and fur accessories: Hat Attack rabbit headband ($54) and Intermix Jocelyn rabbit fur fingerless mittens ($79).
We also found several stylish dresses that are warm enough for winter but probably still call for one set of base layers. Style advice: stick to midi or mini-length dresses; extra long dresses are not functional for skipping over slush or scaling snow mounds.
From left: Ann Demeulemeester Tunic Dress ($299), Autumn Cashmere Rye brown cashmere long sleeve dress ($176), James Perse Cashmere Rib Boatneck Dress ($250), SWEATS black turtleneck dress by Norma Kamali ($99), UNIQLO turtleneck dress ($129), Michael Kors Cashmere Long-Sleeve Sweaterdress ($733)
When you just can’t imagine yanking on another layer of clothing you can always just invest in a Canada Goose down coat to keep you warm when you’re wearing the lightest of layers. This outfit is perfect for the elements and you won’t overheat at your desk.
You can probably survive another polar vortex in this lightweight Rick Owens Long turtleneck dress ($424) with a basic Intermix cashmere beanie ($98), pop-of-color Uniqlo cashmere scarf ($30) and Isabel Marant black suede knee boots ($930) ONLY if you have the right outerwear—which has to be the Canada Goose Mystique Parka ($795)… Oh don’t forget the Uniqlo Heattech tights—these are a must!
Since you’ll probably still be freezing you don’t want to look like a corpse. Slap on bright NARS Jungle Red lipstick ($26) and nail polish ($20) to match the scarf! Good luck out there. Winter has only just begun!