MY TOP 5 WINTER STYLE FINDINGS & 12 MOST WORN ITEMS

02.23.22

It’s official, I’m done with winter. Maybe it was the most recent ice storm, maybe not, but either way I’m ready to kick the snow off my boots and hang up my puffer for the season. At least figuratively anyway!

To wrap up my winter style content I thought it would be worthwhile to share some wisdom I’ve gleaned from what has felt like the coldest (read: -20 C highs), snowiest (read: knee high snow), winter in a long time.

Today I’ll be walking you through my top 5 winter style findings. A couple are more broad concepts that have been instrumental in my decisions about what to buy and my approach to getting dressed, while a couple are simple styling approaches I’ve found really helpful.

Read on for each one, including examples, *PLUS* my 12 most worn winter items!



FINDING NUMBER ONE

PRACTICALITY IS PARAMOUNT


I know, this might seem obvious, but as someone who tries to balance the sartorial and the functional merits of her wardrobe, it has been a slightly jagged pill to swallow.

Part of living farther north has meant both investing in, and wearing, clothes that are truly practical for the weather. That means high-quality, comfortable base layers, super cozy knitwear, puffer coats, warm accessories (looking at you socks and ear muffs!), and proper snow boots. And not just wearing them a few times, but EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Most of these are items I will only wear in the winter months so it can feel a bit agonizing to commit my budget, and my precious storage space, to pieces I mostly wish I didn’t need. That said, I can attest to the benefits they bring to an already hard to handle season.

My daily outfits also had to be practical for both indoor and outdoor use. Between walking Dobby, shovelling snow, running errands, gathering firewood, and all the usual lake life stuff, I end up outside no less than 4 times a day so changing from a cute “inside” look to something I can wear with boots and a puffer quickly becomes a nuisance.

Despite all the DMs and comments along the lines of, “Woah, I’d be boiling in that!”, this was the first winter my closet was actually warm enough to endure our brutally cold weather.


Note to self: Stop fighting the weather for the sake of style. You’ll lose everytime.


EXAMPLES OF MY PRACTICAL WINTER STYLE

SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2 | LOOK 3 | LOOK 4 | LOOK 5 | LOOK 6


FINDING NUMBER TWO

SIMPLIFY WITH MONOCHROME LAYERING


Monochrome layers were a major theme this winter and leaning into tonal palettes helped me maintain a sense of style and polish, despite the cold. There’s a reason I gravitate to the same hues in different shades, tones, and textures, which is precisely because they all work together to create a look that’s both functional and sophisticated.

As a lover of minimal style I’ve often struggled with feeling overwhelmed by layering and dressing for winter. In the past, I would feel like there was too much going on and get frustrated by all the different elements. This small adjustment in my approach to creating winter outfits has made a big difference in remaining true to my personal style. Not to mention how easy it is to create an outfit by just grabbing all the same colour!


Note to self: Monochrome layering is timeless, sophisticated, and never fails to offer a cohesive look. When in doubt, make it match!


EXAMPLES OF MONOCHROME LAYERING

SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2 | LOOK 3 | LOOK 4 | LOOK 5 | LOOK 6


FINDING NUMBER THREE

FOLD IT IN

My fellow Schitt’s Creek fans will appreciate this one.


This is definitely my #1 tip for turtleneck lovers like myself. Do yourself a favour and fold (or tuck) your turtleneck inward instead of folding outward next time you pull one on.

It looks cleaner, feels better, and gives a more sophisticated visual. This simple trick has completely refreshed my feelings towards turtlenecks. Not to mention how it has brought new life to a few white ones where the neck had come across make-up one too many times!


Note to self: The simplest things have the biggest impact sometimes.


SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2 | LOOK 3


FINDING NUMBER FOUR

LEAN ON FORMULAS


You know I love my outfit formulas and I’ve been relying on them more than ever this winter.

A formula (aka. uniform) is essentially just a template that can be used to build outfits. You combine a few different item types that feature regularly in your style and sub in specific items to create the outfit.

Here are a few of my frequently used winter formulas:


My daily deep winter style formula:

A fitted turtleneck / long sleeve tee

A cozy sweater / cardigan

Jeans

A long puffer coat

Snow boots

+ a mix of matching accessories


SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2 | LOOK 3


My dressy winter style formula:

Silk pants

( over leggings )

A tunic sweater / blazer / cardigan

( over a fitted long sleeve or silk shell )

A Wool Coat

Suede Boots

+ a cute bag


SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2


My after hours formula:

Sweatshirt

Joggers

( oover a matching tank & undies)

Cozy Slippers


SOURCES: LOOK 1 | LOOK 2 | LOOK 3 | LOOK 4


FINDING NUMBER 5

WEAR WHAT WORKS

{ My 12 most worn winter items, aka. my winter foundation capsule }


Go ahead and accuse me of being stuck in a style rut, but the truth is, there are only so many ways to stay warm and still feel somewhat stylish in -10 C (that’s 5 F) and below. This finding dovetails with my first note on practicality and with my reliance on formulas. Essentially, I’m resigning to the fact that during the heart of winter, there isn’t much need for style experimentation. I’ll save that for warmer seasons!

I’m not really drawn to sportswear when it comes to my day-to-day style but a MEC snow pant and jacket set for skiing and skating was really useful, while a puffer vest and liner helped to take the edge off when needed.


This winter I found myself constantly reaching for these 12 items:

Fitted Turtlenecks

The Pima Micro Rib is hands down the best I’ve tried. I have 6 colours!

Black Leggings

My favourites are the 24 Hr (so soft) and the Perform (best for lint).

Cocoon Cardigan

Use LEE15 for 15% Off my favourite one (review here), similar for less here and here.

Warm Socks

Hiking sock | Everyday sock

High Rise Skinnies

I love a black or dark wash in this style.

Alpaca Oversized Crew

So cozy without being bulky. My favourite colour way Almond is in stock (review here).

90’s Cheeky Jeans

I have the Vintage Mid Blue and Washed Black in Regular.

Long Puffer Coats

Use LEE15 for 15% Off this one, similar for less here. My full length puffers are old or sold out.

Winter Boots

I really love my Sorel Tivoli Parc IV (on sale and well stocked). More on my collection here.

Cozy Slippers

Shearling Moc Clog (use LEE15 for 15% Off) | ReNew Teddy (on sale) | Kyrgies

Lounge Sets

Tencel/Cotton: Raglan Crew & Joggers | French Terry: Sweatshirt & Joggers | Fine Jersey: Crew Tee & Joggers | Organic Cotton: Hoodie & Sweatpants (use STYLEBEECS10 for 10% Off)

Warm Accessories

Earmuffs | Beanies | Gloves | Scarf



I’ve also made a note of what doesn’t work as well, which includes: Cropped inseams (time to accept defeat), wide legs (at least not in lots of snow), dresses (if they’re not knits), tops that aren’t full coverage, and materials that aren’t warm on their own or very easy to layer.


Note to self: If it ain’t broke don’t fix it!


THANKS FOR TUNING IN!

I hope this post is to offers some helpful notes on winter style to those whom, like myself, may still be looking at a month (or more) of cold weather. Or perhaps this is a good one to return to when you’re planning your next winter closet update.

If you’re ready to plan your spring wardrobe, consider using my foundation capsule closet approach. It’s simple and you probably already have everything you need to begin!

Leave me a comment here!

  1. Nicole B says:

    Thanks Lee for all your winter dressing inspiration! Living in Canada my whole life (including 6 years in the Yukon), every time winter came around I always felt like I had nothing to wear and I was always cold. Like another commenter, I pretty much studied your posts and just decided I needed to invest in more winter clothing (that one turtle neck and one sweater was not going to cut it anymore) and this is the first winter I’ve really felt like I had a variety of things to wear to keep me warm! I also used to feel like I needed to try to buy a variety of colours and shades and so I would have limited outfit options, so I especially loved the monochrome inspiration and seeing how great it is in action. I’m also itching for spring and can’t wait to see some warm weather clothing soon!

  2. Chelsea says:

    Thanks for this post! It’s relieving and refreshing to see style posts for deep winter–for those of us that live in truly cold (well below freezing!) places. Thank you!

  3. Kirra says:

    A really interesting post, to read how you’ve found it living somewhere even colder! That’s really freezing. I think you always look stylish though, even in winter layers!

  4. Susan Telfer says:

    Thank you very much for putting it all together. I live in BC but with teaching with the windows open year round the last two years I have also been looking for ways to stay warm while looking professional. Your blog is extremely helpful.

  5. Katri says:

    Thank you for this post – and all the other cold weather themed posts as well! There are indeed people living in places (in Finland, in my case) where you need woollen socks year around and still wish to stay at least somewhat stylish… Not an easy task, so all the inspiration is much needed:)

  6. Sharon Stanley says:

    I’m thinking about just how much I’ve learned this winter studying (not just reading🙃) your posts. For so long I dressed the way I dressed because it’s what I’d always done. Your posts have opened my eyes to the all-important lifestyle/weather component of dressing, as your cold weather outfits clearly show. It’s all fine and good to love a certain style but if it doesn’t suit your actual life, it’ll just end up in the closet floor sad and forgotten. Thanks for this and so many other lessons👏🏻.

  7. Jill says:

    Thank you so much for this post. I recently moved from Arizona to northern Minnesota and your recommendations will be so helpful.

  8. Lexie says:

    I just love the work you put into your posts! Everything is useful and beautiful. Thank you!