The Anatomy of an Cozy Outfit
I had two goals last week when I created this outfit. The first goal (and the inspiration for the outfit) was to challenge myself to wear one of the three bracelets pictured below. It was something I challenged you guys to do if you were feeling like you were in an outfit rut: pull out a few accessories and try to work one of them into an outfit tomorrow and you’ll feel better.
If you missed it, here’s where you can read about how to get out of a slump.
So that was goal number one: wear one of those three bracelets. Being an overachiever, I ended up using two out of the three in the same outfit!
But the second goal was crucial: Dress to be warm.
It’s been f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g cold here. Unlike winter in the Midwest where it’s freezing outside but toasty warm inside, if it’s cold outside in the Bay Area, it’s not a whole lot warmer inside. We have no windchill factors indoors but there’s always plenty of chill.
I decided I’d wear those two large cuffs with my brown animal print Chico’s dress. It’s just shy of being sleeveless so I had to make it warm.
My under-the-dress warming tricks
I looked in my closet for a possible sweater to wear under the dress. No one would ever see it because I had a plan to wear a brown cardigan on the outside. But it wasn’t a wooly cardigan. It’s a cardigan that could work easily in springtime. I needed some antifreeze protection and a wool Tippi sweater was the solution.
I chose this J.Crew Tippi sweater made of Merino wool. It didn’t matter what color it was because you wouldn’t see it. I chose the merlot one. So imagine the buildup:
- Bra and panties
- Tippi merlot sweater
- Full slip over the Tippi not under it because I wanted to make the sweater line disappear under the dress
I never promised this part would be pretty. These layers are only functional and for my eyes only.
I put the brown cardigan over the dress. Now what I love about this cardigan is it cuts the flash of the dress down by 50-60%. This dress is shimmery. Now add in the animal print and it’s pretty darn flashy. I am not flashy. I could never walk into a room just wearing this dress. It would be wearing me.
Warming up the feet
I looked for tights to wear but I didn’t want to totally cover my legs. I felt more feminine by wearing brown fishnets so skin showed through. I felt that showing some skin would also take some of focus away from the flashiness of dress.
Now I’d never be warm with just fishnets on so I found my wooliest SmartWool socks and put them on BEFORE putting on the fishnets. That solved two problems: keeping my feet from getting cold and keeping my feet from being uncomfortable. Have you had days where you wore fishnets and by the end of the day those fishnet lines have dug into your feet? The socks provided insulation and pain protection.
But I wouldn’t be telling the whole truth if I didn’t tell you this next part too. You know how pantyhose can feel like they’re falling down? I’m talking about in the crotch area. I hate that feeling! You end up trying to sneakily pull them up when no one’s looking … all day! I had to solve that problem immediately.
So before I put my boots on I found a pair of granny panties that I had at the bottom of my panty drawer and slipped them up over the fishnets. Was I really leaving the house with two pairs of panties on? Yes, I make no apologies. It solved the problem.
Next I added my brown suede Aquatalia boots which are waterproof. Oh, did I forget to tell you? It was also pouring down rain that day. I added my brown trench raincoat before I walked out the door.
Adding accessories to my warm outfit
Next came the fun part: accessorizing. I belted the dress with this cool belt that mixes a leather reptile looking strap with a buckle that looks like snakeskin. It’s one of my favorites and is from the Carlisle Collection. I loved putting on the rutilated quartz-and-diamond earrings. Those earrings also added some sophistication. I felt I needed some of that.
Then I decided on a very simple delicate chain that alternates gold and gunmetal links. I didn’t want to add more things to the animal print dress. It would have gotten very crowded, very fast, because of course, those wide cuff bracelets needed some room on the style canvas too! That’s where this all started!
Next came my simple-in-shape brown bag with the textured horsehair front. I heart this bag like crazy and was happy to have the opportunity to wear it with my bundled-in-brown outfit.
The result, my friends? I worked several hours in a client’s closet that day and I was toasty, super comfortable, and put together. And I felt like me: stylish, fun, and a little refined.
What else do you do to stay warm and fashionable?