Many of you might think that it’s always hot here in Arizona. And you would be wrong. It was just as surprising to us our first winter too, and thus we’ve had to adjust our ideas of how to dress for winter in AZ.
Quote of the day: “The chief danger in life is that you may take too many precautions.” Alfred Adler
Since Phoenix is the desert, the temperatures dip every night about 30 degrees. What this means is that even when it’s “warm” during the day (with highs of 65-70 degrees), it’s getting down to the chilly temperatures of 40 or below at night and into the mornings.
In fact, I described the fallacy of Arizona winters in the past.
Because of this, these are definitely times when you will be grabbing your coats and boots and maybe even your hat and gloves. In fact, if you originate from a colder area, you might even wear the same things you wore then yet you won’t be freezing your tookus off!!
Since all three of us originate from Denver, Colorado, we are well versed in layers and how to stay warm. But the reality of how to dress for winter in AZ came as a shocker.
Yet it won’t surprise you to see how different we all dressed for the exact same evening.
Lesley tends to be warmer so here is what she wore. And then I made sure to have more layers.
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Coat: Kohhls~~ Pants: Betsey Johnson-thrifted ~~ Sweater: Traverse Bay ~~ Turtleneck: Kohls ~~ Shoes: Jambu c/o~~ Scarf: thrifted ~~ Earrings: Audra Style c/o~~ Purse: Amand Smith-thrifted
Charlotte’s Idea of How to Dress for Winter in AZ
Since Charlotte is in her 80’s, it’s no surprise that she tends to be cold if the temperature is below 70 degrees. Therefore, the same layering techniques that were employed when we lived in Colorado have been used for this outfit since we were going to be outside watching a boat parade.
I’ll break down the pieces, but suffice it to say the only layer that is missing with the Arizona outfit (compared to Colorado) is the long fleece underwear.
She is still wearing a turtleneck, sweater, and somewhat heavy coat.
The bottom half is just as insulated with fleece-lined sweats and faux fur-lined shoes.
Outerwear for How to Dress for Winter in AZ
If you are having the feeling of deja vu seeing this faux fur teddy coat, you wouldn’t be going crazy. I just styled my own pink teddy coat with 6 different options.
My mother bought her coat even before I purchased mine, so it goes to show that any aged woman can wear the modern styles AND in fun colors.
This style is both functional by keeping us warm and stylish. I feel like you can’t see these coats without smiling and wanting to pet them!
I hope seeing Charlotte in this gives you a nudge to think about colorful outerwear instead of always playing it “safe” with black coats.
Under the Coat
Charlotte wore both a classic knit turtleneck and a classic cotton sweater under her teddy bear coat.
I think the bright pink turtleneck is the bomb!! It adds color to my mom’s face and ties in perfectly with the color of the scarf. Tell me you wouldn’t see this lady walking around and think how stylish she looks!
While the three of us just showcased different kinds of turtlenecks last week (seen here, here, and here), the little ‘ole knit turtleneck still has a purpose in our closet. And if you tend to run warm, you could always find a sleeveless one that gives the outfit some kind of pop or pizzazz.
Insider tip: Do you see some “winter” items that seem impractical? Like cutouts, ones that are cropped or material that is too thin. Don’t forget that layering these pieces can make them functional. Just like how I wore my open-shoulder shirt recently here. So don’t pass by a great deal and great colored item just because of those details.
Winter Accessories for Arizona
While we may not need the beanies and gloves as much here in AZ, wearing a scarf draped around a coat is certainly practical.
Not only does it add interest to the look along with a vertical dimension, it also can be utilized to wrap around your head if it gets colder later in the day.
Insider tip: Do you have a blanket scarf that is overwhelming? Or an infinity scarf that doesn’t seem versatile? Think about cutting it to make it work for you. This idea of cutting the blanket scarf was from my good friend, Mireille here.
Obviously, you need to check if it will unravel when you cut it, but if it would, you can easily add trim to it. Remember, with this adhesive, you don’t need to know how to sew.
Charlotte is wearing a pair of pink print statement earrings that you might think would be more appropriate for spring and summer. Yet I would counter that bright colors are exactly what we need during the darker days.
Even my mom’s pink purse looks fashionable with the casual winter look. Don’t discount pastels all year long! I think it’s more important to wear the colors you like and make you feel good as opposed to what we think are “winter colors”.
Joggers for Older Women?
I was beyond excited when my mom found these black embroidered joggers while thrifting. They certainly span the idea of being basic since they are predominantly black, yet they also have a bit of personality to them with the embroidered flowers on one leg.
Insider tip: The brand Betsey Johnson is known for its whimsical details.
Joggers come in many styles now. Many of them have the ribbed detail at the ankle and an elasticized waist. Yet some are called “joggers” only because of their material composition. That’s why you shouldn’t rule out a clothing item just because of its marketed name.
Remember the plaid pants that I styled here? Those were marketed as joggers yet I could have easily worn them for work.
Since I live in a retirement community, I see many older women who have given up on dressing stylishly. And the biggest clothing item I see over and over that could get the prize for being frumpy is the nondescript black pants.
While I realize everyone considers their black pants a basic item in their wardrobe, the boring, plain, unfitted ones can give off a sloppy look.
If you still like to look fashionable and modern consider black pants options like faux leather, coated jeans, a paper bag waist, or joggers.
Comfortable Yet Warm Footwear
This pair of faux fur-lined shoes are called the Willow Knit by Jambu. You can read Charlotte’s original review of the shoes when she first took them out for a test drive and styled them for a day at a museum.
Even though the shoes have a warm lining, socks are a reality for most women whose ankles would be cold otherwise. This can be done in 3 different ways:
1-Match the socks to the pants (like Charlotte did here)
2-Find socks that match the shoes (as shown in today’s featured outfit)
3-Wear a contrasting color that will stand out and be seen. I would suggest something other than white so it looks more intentional. In this example, I would think that a bright pink sock might be fun.
Winter Style for Colder Areas
There is no shortage of blog posts where we shared what to wear in winter but from Colorado. In fact, our collection of winter accessories was definitely large and varied.
Don’t believe me? Or if you still live in the colder environments, make sure to check them out.
- How to Style a Snow Outfit: The biggest takeaway? Invest in hand and feet warmers (found on Amazon here).
- Puffer Coats: Yes you can be stylish and look like the Michelin Man.
- Wool Coats: All colors and styles.
- Winter Accessories with Print Coats: Print coats can be a fabulous winter option.
Thank you for visiting my space on the internet. I like to showcase how it’s never too late to look great for women of any age, size, or working with any budget.
I feel I’m here to help move beyond the fashion rules of yesterday and evolve. Style and clothes are made to give you joy. Not cause us stress because we are worried about what others think.
My hope is that you get ideas and inspiration from Charlotte, Lesley, and myself. It’s not about copying what we wear, but about using what you already have and updating items along the way.
Most of all it’s getting us to think differently and dare I say, have fun?
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