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Saturday, February 17 Living

Ilse Inzunza: Keeping warm in style

Looking stylish and staying warm is a juggling act many find impossible to keep up when temperatures plummet.

Who really cares about fashion when your toes are nearing frostbite and icicles are forming on the tips of your eyelashes? This girl!

My mama taught me many things and one of them was never to be a quitter. Where there's a will, there’s a way and the great thing about fashion is the many avenues you can take to get the same result. In this case, the result we want is staying warm without defaulting to sweatpants.

If you're anything like me, the days you put a little extra effort into how you present yourself are the days you have a little extra pep in your step. Something about taking a little pride in what you look like sets the mood for the rest of the day and translates into confidence. This spills into how you navigate everyday life and even those pesky winter blues.

A good set of rules when it comes to winter wear can keep you from hibernating and leave your marshmallow-looking days behind. There’s no need to sacrifice your fashion sense, and certainly not your warmth, this winter. Staying stylish and warm is a lot easier than you might think.

Keep your feet warm

When we dress for cold weather, our mind often goes to the type of coat we’re going to wear. Good start, but let’s be more strategic. One of the most important things not to overlook is what we’re putting on our feet to keep our toes toasty. Nothing’s worse than having our feet go numb, so it’s important to take care of our shoe and sock selection first. It’s not rare to find faux sherpa-lined boots these days and the selection keeps getting bigger and more stylish. Don’t stop there: double sock to get the most warmth. First put on a regular sock, then layer with wool socks to keep any heat from escaping. This trifecta is a must when temperatures hit the negatives and our day involves a lot of outdoor activity. The best part is this layering is hidden so we won’t lose style points while feeling snug as a bug.

Fabric is king

Just because a garment looks like a coat, wears like a coat and says it’s a coat doesn’t mean it’s going to do the job like a good coat should. Well-made winter coats often come with hefty price tags so we tend to look for cheaper, maybe lesser-quality options. The result is miserable winter days on top of miserable winter days. Do yourself a favor and research coats before buying. The best time to shop is during the winter to spring transition when stores are getting rid of winter inventory and you can score stylish coats for a discounted price.

Choose a fashion-forward color

Black is timeless, chic and goes with everything. I’m sure by now we all own a black coat. So why not add a pop of color to your wardrobe by switching it up this year? Emerald green, mustard, red, even camel are colors that will elevate an old boring winter style to the next level. Think about the last time a coat caught your attention? It was probably the unique color selection that made you take a second look. When color takes center stage, the piece takes on new life and it’s no longer a necessity to keep you warm; it’s an accessory.

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Teddy coats are ‘it’

Peacoats will never go out of style, but if you want to dress stylish and warm, this season it’s all about the teddy coat. Teddy coats are super soft, fluffy and faux fur or sherpa lined. They come in any color imaginable. You can opt for longline, an oversized silhouette or hip-hitting length. It’s an easy way to stay on trend and keep cozy.

Jazz up accessories

Fleece-lined leggings under jeans, faux fur hats, mittens, blanket scarfs and pockets are must-have accessories to look stylish. The trick is to incorporate them in trendy and sophisticated styles. I understand that you want your basics to be versatile, but one of the tricks to looking stylish is choosing basics with fun details. Novelty gloves, scarfs with fringe detail or buttons in fun metals add a signature touch to your look. This is one of the most cost-friendly and simple ways to channel your inner fashionista.

Visit fashion and lifestyle blogger Ilse Inzunza, of Stamford, at www.livelearnluxeit.com

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