Is it even possible to look when it’s cold? Can you really look stylish while wearing three layers and your hair is all full of static and your lips are chapped?
Sure, looking super cute is slightly more challenging when it’s -20, but it can be done (as evidenced by, oh, the entire population of Scandinavia). As a third-generation Minnesotan, I’ve figured out a few ways to stay cute and warm this winter, some of which you might not know!
How To Look Cute Even When It’s Really, Really Cold
Wear fleece-lined leggings
These are nearly as life-changing for us cold-climate ladies as the invention of heated car seats. These leggings have 1,100+ 4.5 star reviews AND A WIDE WAISTBAND which means none of that segmented-worm-body syndrome we all struggle with.
For a long time, I’ve been trying to pretend that my silk long underwear were leggings. While they’re amazing and warm-keeping, they can also get a bit baggy around the knees. Not these leggings!
Wear Merino wool everything
Is Merino wool expensive? Yes. Is it an investment in the quality of your winter life? Also yes. Gap carries Merino sweaters that are $49 and you can pretty frequently find 100% wool sweaters at thrift stores.
Tuck serious socks inside your stylish boots
Want to wear those cute, pointy-toed black leather boots? You can stay warm if you wear a pair of not-particularly-cute wool socks inside your cute boots. And if wool makes you itchy? Layer thin ‘business’ socks between your feet and the wool.
Try shoe inserts
Now, I’m a missionary for Dr. Scholls inserts because I’m a vain weirdo who’s concerned about varicose veins. But you know what else they’re good for? Adding some much-needed distance between your feet and the cold, icy ground.
If you don’t need the arch support, you can just get fleece inserts. (But don’t use the gel inserts because that ish will freeze.)
Keep separate shoes/boots at work
If you have to walk any distance on your way to work (home to bus, home to office) chances are that your Warm Footwear and your Office Appropriate Footwear are not one and the same. Make things easier on yourself by keeping 2-3 pairs of shoes at work and changing into them when you get there. No one will be the wiser!
Also, this year I’m getting Yaktrax ice cleats. I am so tired of slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks a-holes can’t be bothered to shovel.
Buy real, actual winter clothes
Like, investment pieces. That aren’t from Target.
When I first moved back to Minnesota, I made the mistake of buying a pair of cheap, cute, slouchy cloth (!!!) boots and thinking that I could wear them to walk to the grocery store and dig my car out of snowbanks.
Spoiler alert: they dissolved in about a month and I nearly lost a toe to frostbite. Be ye not so stupid as me.
Those Norwegians are onto something when they say “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes” and I’m sorry to say most of those ‘bad weather clothes’ are from Target, Old Navy, and H & M.
Now is the time to be a grown up and buy an actual wool coat (again, you can totally thrift these) and real winter boots. (I liiiiive in these.)
Buy a winter coat with a zip-in liner that’s long enough to cover your butt. If you’re hair-obsessed (like me) get a jacket with a hood; it’ll keep you warm, protect your neck + carefully styled-to-look-slightly-messy hair.
Use serious moisturizer + conditioner
Yup, it’s time to switch it up. I use this moisturizer exclusively in the winter and this leave-in conditioner.
Run a humidifier with essential oils
Yes, I’ve banged on about humidifiers, like, 18 times. Because they work. They make your home feel warmer, they’re good for your skin and hair, and they can actually prevent you from getting sick. If you want to feel fancy, add a few drops of essential oil – lavender to feel calm, peppermint to boost your energy.
Use coconut oil or petroleum jelly on your nose, cheeks, knuckles
Just about any body part that has contact with the great outdoors will get chapped and dry, I’m afraid. But if you oil up before you head out, you can keep things smooth and supple.
Put translucent powder on your lashes
SO THEY WON’T FREEZE TOGETHER. What? Yes. We choose to live in a place where frozen eyelashes are a viable concern.
Washyour hair waaaaay less
Winter is that excuse you (aka: I) have been seeking to only wash our hair once or twice a week. I go for ye olde ‘wash my bangs in the sink’ trick and use a lot of dry shampoo. Also: 15 hairstyles for dirty hair.
Do you live in a cold climate? Share your best tips or products with us in the comments!
P.S. 29 ways to actually enjoy winter + How to make your house cozy when it’s grey + horribly outside