Tips for Dressing Cold When It's Not Cold

by - November 17, 2023

Cooler weather has finally arrived in the South, and it looks like it's going to stick around. Although we' have had a few colder days recently, it's not been enough for me to break out my thick knits or pile on the layers just yet.

That doesn't mean dressing for the season is completely out of the realm of possibilities, though! You just have to be creative. Here are some of my favorite tricks for dressing cold even when it's not.

Wear Darker Colors/Patterns

This is the easiest way to usher in the season. Trade out your bright, summery colors and prints for darker hues and patterns. I'm a big fan of burgundy and olive green, but blacks and browns are always good choices.

It's also the season for plaid! I don't typically wear plaid on its own. I like to layer it over a graphic t-shirt or solid-colored shirt or underneath a jacket, like in the photos below (all from last year).

If you really want to be on trend, try shades of red and color blocking.

Add in Leopard Print

This might be my favorite trick. It's really been too warm here to bust out a full cold weather wardrobe, but a little leopard print goes a long way. Leopard-print sneakers have been my go-to here lately as a way to incorporate the season into my daily looks, although apparently I've taken zero pictures of outfits with them. I've been mostly pairing them with darker-colored graphic t-shirts and a variation of different bottoms.

Of course, sneakers aren't your only option. If you work in an office, try a pair of leopard-print heels or sleek flats or even a leopard-print belt. Not enough? Go the extra mile with a leopard-print skirt. It doesn't even have to be the traditional brown leopard print. Try black or green!

Think Texture!

Texture is a quick way to give the appearance of cozy warmth without giving yourself a heat stroke. Silk is one of the big trends this year, which is great for me considering my love of silk slip skirts, but you can also try corduroy, leather, tweed, suede, wool, or a ribbed knit that's not necessarily a sweater - I'm seeing a lot of skirt options.

One of the easiest ways I've found to incorporate texture is with a jacket. I have a cropped corduroy jacket that I love, a wool-blend shacket that is the perfect weight, and a brown leather jacket with a hood that is my go-to for almost any occasion.

Another easy way to add some texture is with a skirt, like the ones below. Houndstooth is a classic that never goes out of style; faux leather adds a bit of edge to what would otherwise be a standard outfit; and you just can't go wrong with plaid wool.

Need some ideas for how to layer different textures? Check out this helpful how-to guide.

Try a Sweater Vest

Instead of a full-on sweater, try a cooler option. This is one of those trends that I love but struggle to style on myself. I never know what shirt to wear underneath my sweater vests other than something with a collar, and I just can't bring myself to wear them with nothing underneath. 

Change Your Shoes

I feel like this one should go without saying, but I'll say it anyway. Swap out your sandals for ankle boots or sneakers. It hasn't been cold enough for tall boots here yet, but my high-top sneakers and Chelsea boots are going a long way to converting my looks to be more seasonally-appropriate.

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  1. Totally darling choices! All of these looks are attainable on most budgets - especially when you focus on an accessory that will ring in the holidays just for you. Great post!