How To Wear Outerwear

Posted by    |    December 7th, 2011 at 7:00 am

This post is dedicated to our amazing Social Media guru here at YouPlusDallas, Laura Stillo.  Like many of us, she expressed her struggles with how in the world to wear outerwear.  (Remember when they used to be called winter coats? Outerwear sounds much fancier.) The problem with outerwear is sometimes we aren’t sure if it’s just a layering piece, or if it’s supposed to make the entire outfit.  Leave it on? Take it off? Add a belt?

Here are some tips on how to get the most mileage from your outwear, since it probably hangs forlornly in your closet most of the time.

1. Have Outerwear Staples.

These are the standard black and brown coats  you can throw on to add warmth to just about any outfit.  I’d pick a dressier version (such as wool, tweed, or yes, fur…faux or otherwise,) in one color, and then a more casual version in the other color.  By casual, I mean the ever-popular puffy jacket or a lightweight peacoat/tea-length version.  Use these when you are actually trying to stay warm while outdoors or in a very chilly place for extended periods of time. These are meant to brave the elements, and can or should be removed once indoors to reveal your fabulous outfit.

2. Have Outerwear Sussies.

Do you know what a sussie is? It typically means a small gift or a treat.  Well, outerwear sussies are the items that aren’t necessarily traditional and can’t be worn with everything, but you treat yourself to them nonetheless. These can be “outfit makers”…the items you incorporate into your overall outfit and aren’t sporting to simply stay warm or dry. YOU DO NOT TAKE THIS PIECE OFF. For instance, a red blazer adds a pop of color to virtually any outfit, so keeping it on all day makes the entire ensemble. More examples are a fur vest, a chunky sweater knit with a belt (did you see this one by Ugg?), or a cape.

3. Add Accessories.

Sometimes outerwear is just plain boring, so don’t be afraid to throw on an obi belt or skinny belt to mix things up.  If your outerwear is a thick fabric, this tip might not work as well.  Instead, try a wide leather belt or a belt with an elastic waist. Another idea is to sew/clip/velcro on a faux fur collar or ruffled collar.  This instantly transforms a coat into a statement piece.  You can find faux fur scarves that can be trimmed with scissors to make a new “collar” for your coat.

Lastly, scarves are the soulmate to outerwear.  Lots of colors, patterns, styles, and fabrics will dress up or down your basic coat, and will give you a warm accessory to keep on once you’ve shed your coat.  My favorites are Burberry scarves, which are timeless, classy, and soft as can be.

Here’s to keeping warm and looking hot….

-Hilary Kennedy is a contributing author for YouPlus Style and YouPlus Dallas, focusing primarily on Style, Arts and Entertainment, and Dating and Relationships. Hilary also stars in many videos for YouPlusMedia and has her own show, The Hilary Kennedy Show.

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  1. Laura Stillo says:

    Thanks Hil. Now only if someone would go shopping for me…