How To Dress Professionally During The Cold Snap


In case you hadn't noticed, it's getting quite cold outside. Plummeting temperatures have turned much of the U.S. into giant walk-in freezer--but barring all public transportation being shut down, you are going to have to make it to work somehow. When you get there, you need to look professional even though it's absolutely freezing. Here are some tips on how to look good at work even when the weather outside is frightful.

Embrace the tights. For the ladies, this may seem counterintuitive, but pants can actually be your worst enemy in the winter--especially ones you can't easily tuck into boots, like skinny jeans or leggings. If you're wearing a pantsuit, the cuffs will drag and get bad salt stains. A skirt with tights (like these "dig-free" opaque ones from Commando) and a pair of boots are the way to go.Scarf it up. This season, it's all about the scarves--and we're talking big scarves. Blanket scarves are all the rage right now (and double as a blanket for your legs in the office). Opt for a colorful scarf or a fun plaid pattern. You can keep the rest of your outfit pretty plain, with a lot of blacks and grays.

Long underwear is the way to go. Professional style blogger Kelly Larkin of Kelly in the City says it's all about the thermal underwear: "It adds warmth to my outfits without the bulk, and it allows for versatility. Who wants to wear a wool sweater every day?" She recommends Uniqlo's HEATTECH line (which is for both men and women). "I've tried the leggings and long-sleeved shirts, and I'm hooked. They're super soft and stretchy, and designed to absorb moisture and retain heat," says Larkin. She also loves Anthropologie's fleece-lined leggings, which are perfect for wearing under work pants.

Opt for a wool coat instead of a puffer. Yes, those huge puffy coats do keep you warm, but they aren't always the most professional looking. Unless it's literally the coldest day of the year, try a beautiful wool coat like this one from J.Crew (or this one for men) along with the layering technique discussed above.

Turtlenecks. Lucky for us, turtlenecks are all the rage this winter. "Turtlenecks are everywhere, and completely acceptable in the workplace when paired with wool pants and statement necklaces!" Larkin says. "I'm a big fan of J.Crew's Tissue Turtleneck, especially in the striped pattern."

Prepare for a quick change. Another approach: be prepared to do an outfit change when you get to the office. You're going to want to take off your wet boots anyway, so consider bringing a different pair of pants or a skirt to change into once you get to the office. Then change back into your boots when it's time to go home. After all, you never know what will happen in this kind of weather going back and forth to work.
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