What winter dressing is really all about.

January 20, 2021 4 min read

J.Crew coat, DAGMAR SPICHALE slip dress, Jennie Liu cashmere sweater.

I love the ease of summer dressing. On most days, I get away with one great dress. One garment means one single decision, and no time spent on trying to match colors, fabrics and/or silhouettes. 

While I have always been quite daring when it comes to combining colors or prints or both, sometimes two pieces from my closet won’t work with each other, simply because the particular shades of a color are just off. With separates, this can easily result in a wardrobe full of neutral or black-color basics, or the dreaded “full-closet-but-nothing-to-wear” syndrome. 

An easy summer dress is a whole different story. While the cut and fabric will determine whether the dress is more casual or dressy, the color and pattern is where the fun comes in. The only limits are personal style and what will suit a specific skin tone and hair color, but even those can be stretched. So at the end of the day we only have to decide which shoes we are in the mood for!

(Side note: my obsession for color and pattern is THE reason I’m launching my dress line!)

I used to wonder if I could carry that ease into the colder months. Was there one garment that would stand out enough to carry the entire outfit? I spend a lot of time thinking about these things -- I deeply feel that a streamlined wardrobe with fewer but deliberate options gives us more time to enjoy what’sreally important.

J.Crew Harling Ross trenchcoat

#Reposting from @jcrew: https://www.instagram.com/jcrew/

Then I realized, the one piece of clothing that, in the colder months, pulls even the most casual outfits together is a great, standout coat or jacket. Think about it. When it’s cold outside, the majority of the time that you are out and about, you will be in your coat or jacket, and that will be the first piece of clothing that people notice. Shopping, running errands, going to the supermarket all require a coat. So why not make it a great/ beautiful/ fun one, one that gets (us) noticed and lifts our spirit!

Instagramm Jenny Walton

#Reposting from @jennymwalton: https://www.instagram.com/jennymwalton/

And as singer-songwriter John Legend puts it:

“I like cool jackets - a nice fall or winter coat. You can get a lot of use out of it, and you’ll wear it frequently, so it can really set the tone of your uniform for the season.” - John Legend

Let’s look at some examples for how versatile one fabulous, standout coat really is:

J.Crew faux fur coat, sweater, and pumps. Levi's jeans.

1) Everyone’s favorite “Get-dressed-in-2-minutes” option gets elevated by a showstopper coat. I can tell you from personal experience that when I wear this pairing, no-one even comments on the glitter shoes -- all eyes are on the coat!

J.Crew faux fur coat, pumps, sweater set. Vintage GAP leather skirt.

2) When color is introduced into timeless pieces, the result is a style that is contemporary yet rooted in Classic. Experimenting with color combinations is rewarded by lots of fun and an uplifted mood, while the coat almost takes a backseat here.

J.Crew faux fur coat, Vintage GAP leather skirt, Jennie Liu cashmere sweater, Louboutin heels.

3) Classic and timeless, the skirt-and-sweater combination is easily updated by swapping out the more expected wool skirt for e.g. a leather one. The neutral color palette makes this outfit slightly more “serious” than the colorful options from above do, yet it is still easy to wear.

J.Crew faux fur coat and turtleneck, Adidas sweatpants, Valentino heels.

4) Pairing comfortable sweats with a decidedly more elegant coat is a must try. The effect is cozy yet chic, in a “don’t-mess-with-me” way. Sneakers or dressy flats are totally acceptable, though giving a pair of sexy heels a try is very much recommended.

J.Crew faux fur coat and PJ style set, Manolo Blahnik heels.

5) The choice of shoes determines whether a colorful silky pajama style set goes to the supermarket or to lunch (as soon as those become a safe option again).

J.Crew faux fur coat, DAGMAR SPICHALE slip dress, Louboutin heels.

6) With the help of a cute sweater and a gorgeous coat, your favorite summer dress can be winterized. Slip dresses work great for this treatment! A cashmere turtleneck can go under or over the dress for added warmth, and the pumps can be swapped out for boots - my favorites with print dresses: animal pattern ones!

Finally, let me just point out that the standout coat I have been referencing doesn’t have to be a faux fur coat. There are so many gorgeous options available. Tweed, or Herringbone, or Plaid coats come to mind, or a beautiful puffer coat, or a great vintage one. Or choose one in your signature color -- chances are if it is beautiful all on its own it will go with many more outfits than you can probably imagine right now. It’s always worth trying something new!

P.S.: If you would like to receive more style tips to your inbox, sign up here!

P.P.S.: If you have questions or would like help with a particular style dilemma, send me an email to dagmar@dagmarspichale.com. I'd love to help!





Faux fur coat: J.Crew Collection, all other clothing & shoes: please hover cursor over image to show source.

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