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Winter is a rather impersonal season. (At least in the colder climates, it is.) When the temperatures plummet, so too do our spirits. And our high hopes that by some miracle this year will be warmer than the last are broken like icicles falling from the eaves. We find ourselves running from place to place swathed from head to toe in whatever bulky item we can dig out of our closets. The primary goal on days such as those is to get from Point A to Point B as quickly as possible, with no distractions. There is little desire to stop and smell the metaphoric roses or chat with a friend we meet on the street by happenstance. The fact is, everyone is so bundled up that we would be hard-pressed to even recognize a friend on the street.

Unless the cruel winds of winter are blowing uncontrollably and/or are accompanied by a barrage of sleety pellets, I don’t mind the cold temps. (As all my friends from California where I lived for twenty-five years roll their eyes.) My philosophy mirrors the old Scandinavian axiom that advises there is no such thing as “bad weather,” just “the wrong clothing.”  Alas, the right clothing will keep you feeling warm, but you won’t necessarily feel, dare we say, “fashion forward.” So one I wonder, can one’s clothing be functional and fashionable too?

Thankfully the answer is “yes.” Winter wear, across the board, used to be clunky, shapeless, and heavy—especially the footwear. But many clothing designers are now combining form with fashion, and with a little ingenuity and a good sense of humor, women no longer have to look as though they shop at the sporting goods store for their frosty finery.

When the weather is unbearably cold, one of my best friends is Mr. Sorel. These waterproof Cate the Great boots have seen me through a number of winters. They are funkier than most and they keep my tootsies toasty way down into the minus numbers.

Sorel Caate the Great $175

Sorel Cate the Great $175

And these wedge booties will keep you warm in a stylish way.

Reneeze Janice Wedge Bootie

Reneeze Janice Wedge Bootie

If one is splurging, these shearling-lined boots from No 6 Store are both warm and even a bit dressy.

No 6 Store $390

No 6 Store $390

Doreen Dove recently schooled us on how to shop for coats, and there are plenty of lovely ones out there, and they’re on sale!

This one from Ralph Lauren is warm and packable, which means it’s not bulky. So you won’t look like you borrowed it from Nanook of the North.

Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren

Layer a thick sweater under this Military Parka with quilted sleeves and you’re golden.

Zara

Zara

A great way to beat the winter doldrums, and still stay warm is with a fun-patterned coat. There’s no rule that says only summer clothing can be whimsical.

TopShop

TopShop

For more whimsy, a trapper hat or a woolly fleece-lined Himalayan knit can be added. You’ll have to stop worrying about your hair once  you head inside, but you’ll be warm and adorable outside.

J . Crew Trapper Hat

J . Crew Trapper Hat

Himalayan Knit Hat – Etsy

Wrap a cozy fleece infinity scarf around your neck or a show-stopping shawl over your coat, and Old Man Winter will be helpless when he attacks.

Fleece Infinity Scarf - Etsy

Fleece Infinity Scarf – Etsy

Pendelton Wool Shawl

Pendelton Wool Shawl

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