Winter is coming — and with it, the bitter cold temperatures and slushy, icy streets to make your morning commute just that much more unpleasant. Weather such as this begs for soft, cozy fabrics and endless layers, but while sweats and a puffer coat might be your uniform of choice for off-duty days, that just won’t cut it once the work week commences. Balancing resistance against the elements with a put-together look can be a daily woe for the working woman. You could go the route of wearing your heaviest, most weather-resistance duds and shedding and swapping things out upon arrival at the office, though few among us wants to be faced with an outfit change every morning. The ultimate goal is a winter work outfit that's both warm and stylish, but still professional.
All workplace dress codes are different, so consider the practices of your particular office and industry. Still, a few key tips ring universally true. A focus on heavier textiles and luxe knits will deliver the insulation you’re after. That said, while your inclination might be to go thicker and bulkier across the board, the result can look a bit sloppy if not executed just right. Instead, opt for slim layers and cinched, tailored silhouettes to maintain a polished form without sacrificing function. Below, look to the well-dressed ladies of the street style set for eight examples of outfits that will take you from 9-to-5 in style, even when the temps are 50 degrees and dropping.
A tailored suit is winter workwear at its best. A rich, jewel-toned plaid takes it up a notch. Layer it over a fitted, bold-colored turtleneck for a chic pop, and cinch the blazer with a cool, trendy belt.
Maxi Dress And Tall Boots
Bring a summery polka-dot dress into winter territory by topping it off with a plaid wool coat for necessary warmth. A pair of tall black boots add extra weight to make the entire look more seasonably substantial.
Sweater And Wrap Skirt
A combined scarf and sweater means you can stay toasty and bundled once you're indoors without looking out of place. Pair with a leather wrap skirt that is sleek and professional, but still thoroughly stylish. Wear it all in a single bold hue, because winter is dark enough as it is now that the sun sets by 5 p.m. without wearing all black every day.
Blazer And Slim Leggings
Black ponté pants are a closet staple, but they can be a bit too figure-hugging for some office environments. Offset their slim, legging-like silhouette with a boxy herringbone blazer that's long enough so you feel covered (if that's your thing.) Pull on a pair of black sock boots to continue the leg line and make your stems look a mile long.
Blanket Coat + Trousers
Spending a chilly day wrapped up in a blanket is basically the dream, right? Well, praise be, it's doable — even at your desk. A blanket coat is the solution to going bundled up at work. Keep the rest of the look sleek and refined to balance the slouchy outerwear. A tissue-weight turtleneck and pencil-leg trousers should do the trick. Pick a bright, cherry red pant to liven things up and stave off the drear of winter blues.
Utility Dress + Slim Pants
A snuggly teddy coat and belted utility dress make for a stylish ensemble to withstand the chill, but the true secret to this outfit lies with the legs. A slim leather legging is an unexpected yet very effective way to add extra coverage — but if the dress-over-pants look isn't your thing, just swap in thick, opaque tights.
Knit Dress And Knee High Boots
A lot of attention is given to pants, knits, and jackets during winter, but a mid-length, knit wool dress is a streamlined alternative that's still comfy and cozy. Complete the ensemble with a pair of knee-high boots in sumptuous caramel leather.
Skirt Suit And Turtleneck
A skirt suit packs all the professional polish of its trousered counterpart, but feels a little more unique. Pleats or a plaid print make it feel a bit more stylish and inspired, instead of stuffy or dowdy. If you're hoping to forego tights, consider a pair of fuzzy socks as a trendy alternative to cover up your ankles.