How To Look Chic When It’s Cold Out

The ultimate dilemma: how to look chic when it gets cold out.

I don’t know about you, but I get very stuck on whether or not I feel cute in cold weather coats and jackets. I see how other women show up with the most perfect outfits while I layer on the cardigans and shiver! My nose gets red, my arms get crossed, and I feel very un chic..

Living in Chicago all my life, I’m still not used to our autumns and winters. The chill goes straight to your bones!

So when I decided to write this post, I decided to look at how others dress up and show up in winter. Here are some of the things I have noticed about other women who look beautifully chic in the cold.

Look Chic When It's Cold Out | The Petite Bijou

Look Chic When It's Cold Out | The Petite Bijou

Wearing: Abercrombie & Fitch Sherpa lined Cardigan // Paige High Waist Denim Jeans // Striped Tank Top // Caslon Booties // Grey Beanie // Grey Gloves





1. Expensive Looking Layers

Not sweatpants, not sweatshirts, not baggy cardigans, but expensive looking layers are the KEY to showing up in the cold while looking chic. Think wool coats, blazers, long sleeve blouses, and gorgeous scarves. They don’t have to be expensive, they just have to look like you put some thought into it.

The easiest thing to do is put on a sweatshirt and a puffer coat. So instead of going for the biggest and coziest layers, try to practice layering with multiple pieces that put outfits together: vests, blazers, cardigans, etc.

An expensive looking layer I’ve recently found is this sherpa lined cardigan that doesn’t look like your average cardigan, it’s luxurious! But without the luxury price point. This cardigan was cozy enough to take off my coat or put it back on if I got too cold. It still looked wonderful with or without another layer. That’s the key to the problem: everything needs to work with each other.


2. Keep Location In Mind

If you know that you will be walking in the cold to the restaurant, then you know that you’ll need layers warm enough but also good enough for the location you are heading to. Keep location in mind. You can walk into a sit down place with a puffer coat, but you’re probably going to feel awkward taking it off to reveal a sweatshirt with your alma matter plastered all over it. instead, you can bring a layer with you (perhaps a light weight shawl) that will match the location perfectly.

On the flip side, if you want to look great ice skating outdoors, you can pretty much wear whatever you’d like underneath a beautiful coat. No one need to know….

Look Chic When It's Cold Out | The Petite Bijou

Look Chic When It's Cold Out | The Petite Bijou7*4/

Coat above: Abercrombie & Fitch Wool Blend Coat in Camel





3. Consider Minimal Cold Weather Accessories

It’s easy to just purchase the latest cold weather accessory you see on #allthebloggers or something advertised in Vogue, but being more mindful of your accessories is important. You want to be comfortable yet stylish. And you can do that by realizing two things:

  1. What kind of accessory you are lacking in your wardrobe (is it a warm but stylish hat? gloves?)
  2. Reading and taking into account reviews

I never buy an accessory without at least asking myself these two questions. Do I need it? If yes, then what do other people say about it?

This is how I chose my gloves, which unfortunately are not in stock anymore (similar here), but had really great reviews for keeping other women warm in the cold. The color made them great for any occasion…because they were bland!

Yes, bland. I wanted a bland accessory because sometimes I want my coat and hat to be the “stars” of the show. I don’t need every accessory to look fabulous, but I do want them to work.


4. Distract! With Accessories or Makeup

And if you can’t get away with wearing the right layers, then just distract.

It’s a wildly used tactic. A bright red beret….deep purple lipstick…an electric blue purse. My favorite trick is the bright red lip. It never fails, even if I’m wearing a puffer coat with my old trusted beanie and chunky scarf. There’s something unique about a woman who can pull of a red lip or statement piece while wearing her most underwhelming clothing. It’s the opposite of the tactic above, but it does work! Just have to try it out a few times to get a knack of how to pull something off that suits your personality and style.

Get creative with your look and at the end of the day, if you’re comfortable under all those layers, that’s all that matters.


What’s your favorite way to look chic when it’s cold out?? I would love to hear your personal styling ticks! Love learning from you all.


Behind The Blog

The Petite Bijou is an online destination featuring wholesome yet sophisticated living and styling tips for women. The site is run by the family and friends of survivor, lifestyle influencer, and writer Mariam, who passed away in the summer of 2020.  Mariam also hosted The Bijou Show, a self help podcast.

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