Wintertime Skirts and Dresses

Just because it’s January doesn’t mean you need to replace skirts and dresses with the likes of long johns and snow pants. Sure, trousers and skinny jeans are bona fide staples, but nothing beats the combination of a dress, tights and boots “ especially paired with a classic bomber or a vintage-inspired (faux) fur coat. So instead of waiting for springtime to embrace your ultra-feminine side, here’s our guide to the winter-friendly alternatives that will keep your tight collection in rotation.

Not just a wardrobe stable, denim offers a sturdier alternative to the flouncy floral print dresses that don’t hold up so well to windchill and plunging temperatures. Paired with thick tights, an oversize cardigan, work socks and boots, a denim skirt or a denim mini-dress will ensure you’re boasting both substance and style “ especially since denim’s been carried over from its re-introduction in 2010. Of course, a beach-appropriate low-rise denim mini isn’t the answer: if you’re vying for something actually winter-friendly, opt for a high-rise pencil skirt you can wear with several layers without looking disproportioned.

A far cry from its days as a sweater ingredient serving only to irritate, wool skirts and dresses are the perfect answer to the lucrative combination of warmth and style. Whether a solid-toned, A-line cut you can pair with a button-up and classic cardigan, or a kilt to channel an alternative aesthetic (worn with a sweater or long-sleeve t-shirt), wool skirts have come a long way from their stint as primary school uniforms, channeling the 90s vibe that promises to linger throughout 2011. But if you’re not yet sold, rest assured: just because it’s wool, doesn’t mean you’re subjected to something stiff or unflattering. A cotton-wool blend will make sure you’re rocking substance, but will also offer a polished look that conceals the “sensible” fabric well.

Like the bear from the childhood books, corduroy has stayed tried and true regardless of season, year, style or trend. Sturdy, substantial and a fabric that won’t blow up regardless of wind strength, the likes of corduroy pull-overs or high-waisted skirts channel a distinctive retro vibe that works best throughout fall and winter. Of course, if you’re going to embrace this generational-friendly fabric beware: to avoid looking dated, play up corduroy’s retro qualities, vying for a kitschy vintage accessory (like a headband or necklace) and printed tights to make it fun and not matronly. 

Taking a page out of the gothic bible, velvet’s no longer just Christmas-appropriate, but can offer a warmer alternative to mini-dresses that might otherwise leave you feeling chilled. Paired with ankle boots and an oversize c, a long dress can help form a sleek, stylish silhouette, while a dress or skirt cut above the knee “ paired with knee-socks, tights and unbuttoned oversize dress shirt, is an errand-friendly outfit that will help tide you over until springtime florals. 

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Tags: best winter fabrics, denim, dresses, how to stay warm, skirts, sweaters, wearing velvet, winter 2011, wool

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