Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How to Dress for a Michigan Winter

Cold weather brings to mind pictures of snowflakes drifting gently from the sky, skiers sliding down snow-covered mountains, and quiet nights inside by the fireplace. Winter activities require a winter wardrobe to keep you warm and dry- and fashionable. Here are some tips for dressing for success during a Michigan winter.

1. Layer your clothing. While it’s cold outdoors, it can be warm inside. Wearing a fleece, sweater, or blazer that you can easily remove inside will help you adjust to whatever temperature you find indoors.

2. Spray your shoes and boots with a waterproof treatment to help keep snow and water out. Wipe down footwear immediately if you are walking through salted sidewalks or driveways, to prevent salt stains on your shoes.

3. If you only buy one coat, choose a classic that will keep you warm and will work with every occasion. A three-quarter length wool coat in either black or brown, depending on what color you wear more of, can be dressed up or down depending on the situation. If you want to build your coat wardrobe, a sport jacket is a wise purchase. Choose one with layers; many coats can be worn multiple ways- as a lighter jacket, two layers for a warmer coat, and some sleeves zip off to make the jacket into a vest.

4. A bright scarf will help keep you warm, and also adds a punch of color to your outfit. If you forgot to wear a hat, you can wrap your scarf around your head (this also works well for women who want to prevent “hat hair,”).

5. Choose your gloves based on your activity. A pair of leather gloves lined with wool or a synthetic fabric are a good glove for driving. Mittens will keep your hands extra warm while walking outdoors, and mittens that fold in half to reveal your fingers make it easy to text and use a cell phone.

6. Keep a selection of shoes at work or in your car. Wearing a pair of sturdy walking shoes or boots into work, as opposed to heels or dress shoes, will keep your feet warm and prevent your dress shoes from getting wet. Slip into your nice shoes once you get to your desk.

7. Look for boots with style- many top designers make galoshes and winter boots that look just as great trekking down the driveway of your Ann Arbor home to get the mail as they do walking around downtown.

Dressing for winter weather gives you the opportunity to play with textures, colors, and layers of clothing. Just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean you have to be cold. Wear layers for warmth, punch up an outfit with classy accessories like a nice scarf and boots, and enjoy Michigan’s winter wonderland.

Photo courtesy Flickr: fotowski

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