We may moan about the cold but hey, there are so many reasons to love dressing in the chill. Style is all full of texture and we can layer one gorgeous piece on top of another while still looking svelte. But wait! Leather coat season only lasts a few months before it’s booted out by big puffy jacket weather. And out of nowhere, you find yourself feeling like an elephant. Attractive, huh? Our goal is to sleek and lean, not like the Stay Puft man, after all.

Well, don’t despair yet. Just because you’re keeping warm doesn’t mean you have to lose any semblance of shape. You work hard to stay fit, and dammit, it’s gonna show. So stay tuned. We’ve got just the tricks you need to keep make sure you look as stylishly svelte in winter as you do every other season.


1. Pick a Puffer Jacket with a Waistline

Nowadays buying a big puffy coat doesn’t mean you have to look like a big fat marshmallow. Princess seams and belts are a great way to give your winter coat personality and define your shape. Also, check to make sure your coat is filled with down or feathers. They allow you to to buy a slimmer style without sacrificing warmth. Oh yes, it’s worth the extra investment to be able to throw on a T-shirt under your coat and still be toasty.

Bonus: You can strip when you feel the sweats.

floriane_soia_kyo_classic_down_coat_with_large_hood_midnight_2_1Soia and Kyo Floraine Down Coat

2. It’s All About the Accessories

Nothing peps up a boring winter coat like a great colourful scarf. Even better, start a collection. If you’ve got at least three scarves that you adore, you can switch up your style every day. A fun topper gives your coat, and your outfit underneath, a totally different look and feel. Try to think outside the box when you go to tie them up.

Bonus: Not sure where to start? Jump on YouTube and search for “scarf tying videos”.

This one has 25 different ways to tie. jcrewscarf

J Crew Brushed Italian Wool Scarf

3. Balance Chunky with Tailored

With the influx of chunky oversized sweaters in stores this season, it’s vital we don’t walk out the door looking like we are wearing our PJs. Here are a few tips to help pull this look together.

  • Pair your chunky sweater with slim tailored pants or leggings.
  • Try pants with texture: suede, leather or a weathered denim are all good choices.
  • Remember that your shoes will define the style of the outfit. Choose them wisely.
  • Looking for a classic look? Try a loafer. Want something a little more dramatic? A motorcycle boot will look great. Heading out for dinner? Pair your outfit with a pumps.
  • In a big sweater, try a size down from your normal size. Most of the designs are meant to be worn slouchy and oversized, but you can still get that same look without the extra bulk and weight.

Bonus: You may not even need a coat. You’ll be so warm, you may only need a cape or shawl on top. nlst

NLST Oversized Turtleneck Sweater

4. Wear a Waterproof Leather Boot

It’s about time you stepped out of your outgrown Uggs and make your way toward the grownup and practical leather waterproof boot. Canada has amazing options for boots that are so sophisticated that you don’t have to take them off when you get to the office. Tip: Make sure the box states explicitly that they are waterproof and not just water resistant. You’ll find lots of options for good looking (and well-priced) winter boots at The Shoe Company, amongst other shoe retailers.

Bonus: You don’t have to carry a pair of shoes in your tote.


Sarit La Canadienne Boots

5. Stock Up on Cashmere tights

Dresses are always a favourite staple to buy because they are instant outfits. You don’t have to worry about which top goes with which bottom. So why do we tend to pack away our dresses as soon as cold weather hits? If you’re guilty of that practice, let me introduce you to cashmere tights. They are not only warm, they are also thin, so they will work perfectly with everything in your closet from your all-season wool dressed to your mini skirts. Try them with a sleeveless shift dress and a belted cardigan for a easy put together look.

Bonus: You don’t have to shave your legs every day.


Fogal Cashmere Tights

About the author

Suzanne Colmer

Suzanne Colmer is the Owner and Creator of Your Shop Girl Image Consulting. She has been featured on CBC radio, in the National Post and The Toronto Star. She specializes in teaching women and men how to love their clothes and dress for everyday life.

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