One of the biggest sartorial conundrums in the bitterly cold winter is how to stay looking chic when all we want to do is drape ourselves in a duvet and call it a day. If your winter wardrobe could use a helping hand in this department—now that we’re back to work, back to meetings, and can’t live in cozy lounge pants all day—then read on for a few style tips from across the pond.
No one does cold-weather dressing quite like the French, who have perfected the art of layering, and always manage to look seriously chic without sacrificing on style. We tapped a handful of fashion-forward French women to share how they stay warm and polished in winter—scroll below for some handy style tips, outfit ideas, and their go-to cold weather fashion picks.
"No matter what look you’re going for, layering is key. It can get pretty cold in Paris, but I find offices, restaurants and cafes are often overheated so you need to be able to strip down to something chic once you’re there. Also, the person having lunch with you only really sees is your top! So your layers need to look great together but also be able to stand alone too. An oversize coat allows for the perfect coat-over sweater-over-shirt situation. And sometimes I even throw a turtleneck under the shirt—extreme layering at its finest!"
"My number one tip to stay looking chic when it's cold out is with an extra-long menswear-inspired coat over a cashmere crewneck sweater. (This one below from LouLou Studio is one of my favorites.) The look feels powerful and chic, exuding a Carolyn Bessette vibe while keeping you warm at the same time."
"I love layers in every season, and winter is no exception. I'm always running in and out and I need to be able to adapt to different temperatures. Layers are my solution. I'll usually wear a lightweight, thin sweater under blazers and coats so I can be warm without looking like a snowman."
"I make a lot more effort during cold-weather season as it can get pretty boring. Most French women wear neutral tones. Winter is already so sad, especially in Paris where it is gray most of the time, so I tend to opt for colors and prints because why not?"
"My advice during cold-weather season would be to accessorize! If I do wear gray, black, or neutrals in winter, I wear—what I like to call—my crazy shoes or a colorful bag or a cool hat. We French always have that little piece that will make a basic look wow!"
"This winter, I really like to play with neutrals—white and beige are my favorite. It looks elevated and it's definitely refreshingly different from the head-to-toe black outfit that we usually see in winter."
"I love colors during winter when the whole mood of the city is gray. I like to wear a colorful wool oversize blazer and I'll add a thin layer like a basic turtleneck underneath. I sometimes add a cardigan as well. I'll style it with Calzedonia tights and black suede tall boots from Jonak. (I wear these boots with warm, thick socks without anyone seeing them!). I'll finish my look with a faux-fur hat to keep my head warm."