27 Fashion and Beauty Thrills That Are Jolting Me Out of a Mid-Winter Slump

fun fashion and beauty items


@ali_tate_cutler; Pictured: Who What Wear Collection Jade Square-Back A-Line Dress ($155) 

It's dreary outside, so how can I still look cute? This thought has been running through my head a little extra lately. And if you're feeling the same, then you might just want to take a look at the skincare, accessories, and fashion staples I've compiled here to help make the most depressing time of the year a little more tolerable.

Okay, so the holidays are done and everything feels a bit… bleh. It’s freezing outside and it feels like winter is just getting into full swing. Not to mention, it feels like we might never leave this pandemic behind. The months after the holidays are notoriously some of the most difficult days of the year, so I'm turning my attention to how I can draw inspiration into my wardrobe. What are some bits of self-care that I can incorporate into my routine that lightens the load?

Below, I am going to include some of the brightest bits of what can often be the darkest winter months. From my favorite outfits that are able to keep me warm but also provide some color and life, to my favorite skincare products that are my go-to for pamper days, to accessories that make these months of the year a little bit more tolerable.

1. A Modern Leather Jacket

Obviously, the worst thing about winter is feeling cold. If we can address that basic challenge, suddenly February doesn't seem so daunting. No matter where in the world you might live, different degrees of jacket protection is probably going to be required. Here in Texas, I can get away with a light statement jacket. Over in NYC, one might need heavy-duty blizzard protection. Here are some of my favorite jackets to look after our most basic body temperature needs while still looking fly.

Leather blazers have been all the rage this year, and I don’t see that ending anytime soon. Especially when they look this good and pair with everything you have in your wardrobe.

This faux-snakeskin jacket is everything I love about pea coats mixed with everything I love about leather-look jackets. It is so sassy and makes me feel so styled for the winter with minimal effort.

I love a modern take on a leather jacket, and this one is cruelty-free and so luxe. It will go perfectly with jeans or a dress and it feels like it completes the outfit, not that it covers it up.

This vegan leather jacket is your classic statement jacket. Everyone needs one of these in their closets for the turn of the season. 

I recognize that if you live in the North or on the East Coast, the previous recommendations are totally useless to you in the winter. So here is a more practical option for your relentless winters that still feels lush and light to counteract the dark days.

2. A Cozy-But-Cool Knit Dress

The last thing any of us wants is to feel cold when we head out our front door on top of all the other downers of February. The best way to avoid this is to get ourselves some trusty statement dresses that are also warm AF. Yes, the two can coexist. There are some excellent options out there for those of us that don’t want to look frumpy but also want to feel sheltered.

Going out in the winter months can be a drag. It’s dark and cold and you kind of want to just stay in your home and watch Harry Potter. But dresses like these make it fun to head out to see your friends and they don’t leave you feeling exposed in those aggressive drafts.

A covered-up look doesn't need to look frumpy and stuffy. With a tie waist like this number from Rails, we can still create a lovely shape that stops traffic even in frigid temperatures.

If you aren’t feeling the turtle-neck/covered-up vibe, then opt for a leg cutout. It’s still sexy as hell and paired with high boots, and barely any skin can fall prey to a high-wind chill factor.

It’s so important to not let the dreary gray tones get us down. The best way to pull some bright color into our lives is with our outfits! This Staud dress is bright in the best ways.

When you are as pregnant as me, comfort is the name of the game. Sometimes you just need to be able to throw something on and forget about it. This ribbed dress is one of those! Paired with chunky black boots and you've got a comfy but leisurely set.

I love everything Nanushka, and this ode to a ’70s dress is the perfect way to bring some artistry and inspiration back into February.

3. The Very Best Moisturizers

When I think of winter, I usually think of dark and cold. But for many of us, dry is another dreaded synonym of this time. My skin is always at its ashiest in these dark days of the year, and it’s at this time that I like to take extra care of myself with some of my favorite skincare brands. From moisturizers to oils to face masks, here are some of my top beauty picks that can and should be paired with a warm bubble bath and a glass of red wine.

Osea is always a must, and this Red Algae Mask is something I can’t live without in the winter. The smell is divine and takes me far away from grey skies to tropical beaches and it leaves me with the most moisturized skin.

People don’t get nearly enough Vitamin C or D in the winter, so I compensate by using Drunk Elephant Vitamin C serum. It does smell slightly like bacon, but the subtle glow I get when using this stuff rocks.

I just got my hands on some of this stuff to hydrate my body during the winter months and I am loving the way it smells. I spread it on my stomach and legs first thing in the morning and it keeps me gently hydrated all day.

Baths are an absolute must in the winter. The best way to find some respite and calm is to soak in an Epsom Salt bath. All problems seem to go away after a soak! These bath salts are delightful paired with candles and an Adele soundtrack.

If you are someone who suffers from true ashiness in the winter, look no further than the most hydrating mask I have ever tried. This Summer Fridays Jet Lag Masque is so deeply hydrating that I try to use it only once a month. It’s perfect for that deep glow under my makeup in the dry months.

Some say this under-eye cream is just too creamy. I say, bring on all the cream in the winter. It is deeply hydrating and feels oh-so-smooth before I go to bed.

4. A Chunky Knit

There is a reason that knitwear has been worn by our mothers and their mothers before them. It is because this wardrobe must-have is a time-tested classic. It always works with so many outfits, and it’s usually our most favored and comfortable piece in our closets. The chunky knit is the go-to option for winter because it's warm, cozy, and feels like an effortless option. That’s why a chunky knit piece will always be on my top winter selections.

One can never go wrong with a knit cardigan. Like, ever.

We love a '90s take on the knit cardigan, and this Re/Done option brings in some much-needed color.

Paired with some knee-high boots, a chunky knit dress like this one from Free People is the picture of winter. Yet the bright color gives it an edge and is certain to bring some much-needed warmth and levity.

I love how oversize this plush knit is. It looks like it can keep you warm on the streets or in the sheets, and that is essential in the dreary month of February.

Remember when mom told us that keeping our heads warm was the most important way to stay comfortable in the winter? Well, she wasn't wrong. This adorable beanie will make sure we are obeying tried and true advice while still looking adorable.

5. Oversize Button-Downs

Last but not least, I saved the classic oversize look. Special shoutout to the classic oversize button-down getting me through the last two years, which is why I save this particular trend for one of the most fitting of the dreariest months. Sometimes life gets hard and we just cannot summon the energy to get dressed up, or let alone expend any valuable energy into our outfits. This is where the classic oversize look comes in. It is still trendy, but mega comfortable, and requires zero thought. Oversize tops look great with jeans or tied over dresses.

I am a sucker for a striped button-down. I truly believe they will never go out of style and the timelessness of this classic is enough to make you feel dressed up in the winter, even if you refuse to put pants on.

Faithfull the Brand always delivers on the oversize button-downs. The one I am wearing in the photo above is a classic cotton shirt that goes with a matching set or can be worn on its own when lounging in your house. Covered up with a chunky knit cardigan like the ones above, this is the perfect February look.

We are all craving a vacation somewhere tropical in February, and this shirt can take us there mentally. It screams “I am OOO, do not contact.” Hey, we can dream!

I love a plaid shirt that can also double as a jacket when it gets to those frigid temps. This plaid number from LNA is versatile and gives a subtle lumberjack vibe that I am not mad at.

A classic white button-down always looks sharp. This AYR top can take you from morning coffee run to office meetings easily. It’s such an obvious choice that requires almost no forethought, which is why I love this top paired with almost anything in the cold months!

For even more fun finds, take a look at these 42 things from Net-a-Porter, Nordstrom, and Revolve right now.