How not to look frumpy

When Wearing a Winter Coat Makes the Outfit Better

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Wearing a winter coat doesn’t have to be a death sentence. If you have the right one, meaning one that makes you happy and is more than just “practical” you might think that it makes every outfit better.
Not to diss Charlotte’s outfit under the coat, but in my opinion, this fabulous outerwear takes a ho-hum outfit and creates something extremely special.

Do you have a coat like that? If not, maybe it’s time to get one!!

Quote of the day: “If we assume we’ve arrived, we stop searching; we stop developing.” Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell

Just because you already have a collection of winter coats, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pick up another one. Especially if you see one that is fun and interesting.

Heck, you might not even be shopping for another winter coat, because you have the basics. But the secret to successful shopping is being open to what you find whether you are “looking” for it or not. In fact, many of my best purchases were accidental. Meaning I wasn’t looking to buy that item in the first place.

Now many of you might think that’s extravagant but I find it a lot less stressful. If I’m out looking for something in particular, and I don’t find it, I consider that a failure. Yet if I’m just “looking” at everything and find something wonderful, then it’s a success.
And who doesn’t want success??

When wearing a winter coat is fun

Coat: 3 Sister-thriftted ~~Pants: Talbots-thrifted ~~ Cardigan: Belford-thrifted ~~ Top: Pierre Cardin ~~Boots: Softstyle~~ Earrings: ~~ Purse: The Sak

Finding Joy in Wearing a Print Winter Coat

Not that winter is a bad time of year, but the shorter days and colder weather can be a downer. That’s the best reason for wearing a winter coat that adds more than just warmth.

Now Nancy, my stepmom, just showcased her colorful, mid-thigh length coat to prove that even shorter women can have fun with wearing a winter coat. I’m also petite and wore a long winter coat.
Then again, Charlotte is only 5’3″ tall, so don’t ever think that your height limits what clothing you can wear.

I will talk about the details of Charlotte’s polka dot coat along with how it compares to her outfit underneath. But suffice it to say that a print coat can have a couple of advantages:
1-Since it’s print, it hides stains wonderfully.
2-It definitely doesn’t show wrinkles.
3-Prints are also a great distraction from a red nose and chattering teeth, haha.

The Shorter Winter Coat

Compared to Nancy’s winter coat, Charlotte’s is shorter yet still longer than waist length. The silhouette is more of a swing style with ample room to fit bulkier items under it. Then again, you’d never realize that because the print camouflages that detail.

And can you guess where Charlotte picked up this beauty?? If you guessed at a second-hand store, then you would be right. In fact, I plan to pilfer this beauty off her at some time (but, shhh, don’t tell her!)
As I was expounding about earlier, this was not a planned purchase, but when my mom saw it and tried it on, she couldn’t leave the store without buying it.

In fact, even though it’s not what I would consider the best colors for her complexion, the whimsical print makes up for that. Sure, I believe it’s nice to concentrate on the colors that make us shine, but there are just some times that rules are made to be broken.
Besides, all eyes are going to be on this coat, so who is going to notice Charlotte’s complexion anyways?

The Winter Accessories

In the close-up shots maybe you can appreciate all of the different textures in this coat. There are velvet circles as well as different prints and pops of yellow. Yellow is a good color for my mom, and even though there is a lot of black, white, and grey in the coat, the yellow gives off a warm vibe.

You can see how my mom added a black infinity scarf to the coat. The great thing about an infinity scarf is you can wear it more than one way. See below for how Charlotte changed it up when she was removing the coat to give the outfit underneath more interest.

Insider tip: I just showcased an infinity scarf that I knitted on Instagram and talked about how important it is to stop categorizing our items but describe them instead. You can see how I wore my infinity scarf in 3 different ways.

Also notice that my mom wore some fabulous earrings while wearing her winter coat. Just because you are outside and bundled up doesn’t mean you can’t put on the extras also.
The owl earrings don’t make a huge statement since they are somewhat delicate, yet when you get closer, the reality that they are owls, makes you smile.

I’d also like to point out the little bits of red in the look. My mom is wearing a red bezel on her watch, a red ring, and then the red lipstick. Trust me when I say, it’s never a bad idea to wear red lipstick. Many of us shy away from such a bold color, but it can give your face the bit of color it deserves.

Insider tip: Looking to find a lipstick that really stays put all day. I compared 10 different brands and found 2 that work the best for me.

Black boots with charcoal pants

Basic Boots

I’m sure we would all agree that black boots are a basic footwear choice for the winter. Finding a pair that is comfortable and will work with all of your outfits isn’t always easy. That’s why I think you need a couple of pairs.
A pair for walking, a pair that is sexy, and then an embellished or interesting pair (you know, like ones with studs, or how about different textures?).

I mean there are black booties, and then there are BLACK BOOOOOTIES.

Charlotte has had this pair of black booties for over 10 years. In fact, this is the pair that she wore when all three of us showcased black booties and she was wearing them with dark denim then. The wedge heel makes them easy to walk around in and the shinier leather gives a more dressy vibe.

What on under your winter coat?

Now What’s Under the Coat?

It is no surprise that my mom wore a pair of black pants. We all have them and depend on them for so many occasions. But I will suggest that you don’t have more than 5? 10? pairs of black pants in your closet.
Because even though you realize they have different details, I bet you a million dollars that everyone else doesn’t see those details. Therefore, it just looks like you wear the same black pants every day? (Not that it’s necessarily bad to wear black pants every day, and in no way am I trying to say that. BUT if you do want to have variety, then try for different colored pants or even a skirt.)

The top part of what Charlotte was wearing under her winter coat is a white mock turtleneck and yellow cardigan.

IN fact, did you notice that her cardigan hung below the winter coat in the first photos? Even if you did, I don’t think it should be a deal-breaker for wearing this length of the jacket especially because the color blended so well.

And then my mom repurposed the scarf to be part of the outfit. Originally the infinity scarf was doubled around her neck, so we undid one loop and then created a knot in the front.

Insider tip: This is the best way to make sure you don’t lose your scarf when you remove your outerwear. Just plan on grabbing a scarf that works with the outfit underneath your coat and you’re good to go. And don’t think you are limited to only “winter” scarves. Even a cotton or silk scarf can be very functional.

Wearing a winter coat style

Photo credit: Rob Filogomo

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