Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Dressember Essentials: How to Stay Warm During Dressember

One of the scariest things about participating in Dressember in northern states and cold regions is the idea of wearing dresses all December. It can be intimidating to think about trekking through the snow in a dress. However, if this is the biggest thing keeping you from participating, let me encourage you: it is totally doable!

To take some of the uncertainty out of it, I've made a list of items that will help you stay stylish and warm all month long. I call these my "Dressember Essentials" for my girls in the Midwest and other cold areas. I recently did a Periscope video on this, so if you missed it, you can catch up on what I talked about with this post.

Dressember Essentials

1. Versatile dresses. The best place to start is in your closet. Pick out the most comfortable and versatile dresses you own, even if they are more fit for summer. You don't have to go out and buy a whole new wardrobe to participate in Dressember. If you do want to add a new dress to your collection, I recommend pre-ordering the Dressember Dress, shown in wine on the model above. It is ethically made by a sewing center in Nepal.

Last year I styled many dresses that were intended for warmer climates, including all of the dresses featured in this post, and in this post. In fact, pretty much all my dresses were made for spring/summer with the exception of a sweater dress. I like to think of the dresses as blank canvases that I'll pair with my winter-ready essentials.

2. Tights and leggings. I love wearing leggings and Dressember is the perfect time to pull them out! If it gets really cold where you live, stock up on fleece-lined leggings or layer tights under your leggings for added warmth. If it's chilly but not really cold, I like to stick with just tights. I also like to wear athletic-type leggings for their non-clingy texture.

Another item to consider are ponte pants, they're like a thick version of leggings. They typically aren't see-through, plus the thicker the material, the warmer you'll be. I first got introduced to Loft's ponte pants while working there, but you can find them just about anywhere.

3. Cardigans and sweaters. On this board I chose button-down and open front cardigans, but you can also add pull-over sweaters and jackets. Really any type of outerwear is great and can be layered in multiples. I love the look of an open cardigan, I think it adds a pretty, flowy dimension to an outfit. Plus pockets are an added bonus!

My tips for choosing a cardigan or sweater are to think about the climate where you live and also what will work well with most of your wardrobe. If you're in a cold climate, go for a thicker, chunky-knit sweater. If it isn't as cold, go for something lightweight. Choose neutral colors if you have bold or bright dresses, or if you want to be able to easily pair your cardi with other outfits in the future. If you have a lot of solid-color, neutral dresses, go for a red or berry color to brighten things up.

4. Layering add-ons. If it gets really cold where you live, invest in some good layering pieces. These can include long-sleeved tees or undershirts, thick scarves (especially good for dresses with low-cut necklines), wool socks, knit hats, and of course, mittens! With all of these, the thicker the material, the warmer you'll be.

5. Boots. Boots are a style lifesaver when there's snow on the ground. You can look cute while keeping your feet warm and dry. Plus knee-high boots will hide your wool socks. ;)

6. Cute accessories. Let's not forget to top off the look with some fun accessories. Just because it's cold doesn't mean you can't add on pretty details. I especially like belts to cinch in the waistline (which, let's be honest, can disappear under all those layers) and sparkly jewelry to add visual interest and dimension.

These are my Dressember essentials, but I want to know: what would you add? If you have done or are planning to do Dressember, what are your essentials? How do you keep it cute and cozy during the winter months?

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