How to Dress for Winter : Day Series

canada, winter, what to wear, how to dress, cold, layers, daytime, looks, outfits

I will be writing a two part series in where I discuss strategies in dressing appropriately for the winter weather without having to look like a sad sack of potatoes (no offense to sacks of potatoes). If you live in a similar climate as mine you’ll fully understand the trials and tribulations of varying temperatures and weather conditions on a daily basis. There’s a joke we like to recite around here and it goes: “ If you don’t like the weather just wait 5 minutes and step outside again”. This alludes to the times when our weather can possibly go from a full blown snow storm to freezing rain to hail and then some warm sunshine all in one day.

This first post will concentrate on some day looks and I’ve broken them up into three categories starting from the mildest to coldest of cold.

First Level (Mild Winter Day) 0 to –9 Celsius or 32 to 15.8 Fahrenheit

This is for those pretty winter days where we can actually enjoy the beautiful white landscape.

winter, canada, layers, ootd, what to wear 1) Base Layer

The trick to winter wear is layering. Start with a undershirt or a tank top always. Since it’s not too cold out we can dress things up a bit by wearing a skirt. Wearing a skirt during the winter is okay as long as you wear thick tights underneath. These tights are extremely warm, thick and not opaque. Black is a good colour to go with as it goes with everything and doesn’t take away from the flirtiness of the colourful skirt.

winter, what to wear, cold, canada, outfits, ootd2) Indoor Layer

I call this the indoor layer because this is basically your entire outfit that you will be rocking indoors. Since we are going with a skirt on the bottom a good way to balance things out is to wear a big warm sweater. Keeping the theme light I went with a white cable knit sweater. Pair this look with a pair of cute booties.

winter, what to wear, cold, outfit, canada3) Complete Look

You can never go wrong with a pea coat. Navy is classic and really preps out the outfit. As for the accessories, I threw on a light scarf. The scarf is in pink and black which goes well with the pink skirt.

winter, what to wear, cold, canada, outfit, ootdTop it off with a hat and you’re done. This hat is more for looks than function really. In reality it’s only really keeping the back of my head warm haha.

what to wear, canada, cold, winter, scarf, j crew coat

Sweater: Old Navy / Skirt: Costa Blanca (old) / Tights: H&M / Coat: J.Crew / Shoes: Coach / Hat: Mexx

Second Level (Chilly Winter Day) -10 to -20 Celsius or 14 to -4 Fahrenheit

Things are getting a little chilly up in here. The snow is falling down, it most likely is wet and slushy outside. It’s time to start dressing accordingly

what to wear, how to dress, winter, cold, canada1) Base Layer

Just like the first look, start with a base layer. I am wearing a tank top underneath as well. Choosing a basic long sleeve tee allows us to layer easily over top with anything. This ensures that we are warm underneath regardless of what we wear over top. Sometimes wearing denim jeans in the winter can be not the most comfortable. The cold tends to cling onto jeans causing them to feel stiff and cold. Choosing a softer, denim/cotton blend can be a better option.

winter, what to wear, canada, cold, how to dress, outfit, ootd2) Second Layer

The indoor layer is going to be split up into two layers. Remember it’s chilly out, so dress accordingly. I call this the basic one two step. Throw on a button down shirt over your base layer. I went with a soft cotton-denim blend button down.

canada, winter, how to dress, what to wear, outfits, ootd3) Third Layer

Button down shirts and v neck sweaters go together like peanut butter and jelly. This allows for both layers to be seen. For this outfit I actually wore my husband’s sweater. I just rolled up the sleeves and tucked in the bottom hem.

canada, cold, winter, how to dress, what to wear, dressing in layers4) Outdoor Layer

When it’s wet and slushy out rain boots are your best bet. These particular Hunters are great because they are tall and hug the calves. This way we don’t have to worry about it raining into our boots and getting our feet wet. Just be careful not to wear rubber rain boots when it is too cold (for example the next level of cold) because they can possibly crack. Remember our science lessons! I’ve worn these rain boots multiple times during this level of coldness and they look nowhere near cracking.

canada, winter, cold, outfit, what to wear, how to dress5) Final Look

Don’t I look all bundled up! The key to winter is the accessories. Gloves, scarf, boots and head gear. The important part of any head gear is make sure it covers your ears. Your ears get cold the fastest and nobody wants a brain freeze. The circle scarf is my go to when it is just unbelievably frigid out. It’s super warm and covers every inch of my neck and can even spread to cover my chest. Circle scarves are so versatile and this particular one from American Apparel is great, I may do a post on the ways to wear it. Is this something of interest to any of you?

canada, winter, what to wear, how to dress, cold, outfitPants: J Brand / Denim Button Down: H & M / Sweater: Borrowed from Ken /            Jacket: TNA via Aritzia / Boots: Hunter / Scarf: American Apparel / Headband: H & M

Third Level (Holy Crap it’s Cold Day) – 20 or less Celsius or -4 or less Fahrenheit

These are for the days where we curse the wind and break our backs shoveling piles of snow. This is what real winter in the great white North is all about. Let’s bundle up to the maximum.

canada, winter, what to wear, how to dress, outfit, cold1) First Layer

For our final look I started with the same basic layer as our last look (long sleeve top and pants) and added a thick wool blend vest. This vest makes me feel like a ski bunny from the 80’s. Gotta love the pom poms.

what to wear, how to dress, cold, winter, canada, layers2) Indoor Layer

Layer a thick over sized sweater on top. I like this particular sweater because it’s open in the front allowing our vest inside to still be showcased. This is our complete indoor look, this is a super warm outfit. If it gets too warm inside you have the option of shedding the sweater and still having a complete look with the vest.

what to wear, how to dress, canada, cold, layers3) Before the Jacket Layer

After the winter we’ve been having, snow boots were a must. I finally bought my first pair of snow boots since I was a wee young child and let me tell you, what a savior it’s been! If you don’t have a pair of snow boots and live anywhere where it  snows more than 10 cm or 4 inches on the regular, GET SOME! No more cold, wet feet and no more slipping around on ice. Also this is the first winter I’ve gone and bought myself a proper toque. Again, GET ONE! No more brain freezes guaranteed.

canada, cold, what to wear, how to dress, layers4) Complete Look

Parkas are also a must for those cold bitter winter days. I’ve owned this particular TNA parka for 7 years now and it’s still looks and feel brand spanking new! It’s the warmest jacket I have and it’s reserved for those extremely cold days. Long parkas are especially nice because they cover our bums and thighs.

canada, cold, winter, snow, layers, how to dress, what to wearVest: H & M / Sweater: Wilfred via Aritzia / Jacket: TNA via Aritzia / Toque: Columbia / Scarf: Handmade by my sister / Boots: Sorel

Wow that was a long post! I hope you enjoyed it and learnt a little something. Look out for the Night Series, I hope to have it posted later next week.

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