Ever put together a gorgeous outfit only to realise in the last moment that you'll be covering it with a huge coat that you won't be taking off all day ? Or, created a delicious outfit around a jacket and then had to take that jacket off at destination ?
After that happened to me a couple of times, I realised that there are two kinds of outfits for cold weather: Going-In outfits and Going-Out outfits.
Going in is when you plan to spend most of your time indoors, with a short commute to reach the destination. On arrival, you leave your outer layers in the hall. That would be a visit to a friend, a concert or partying at a club.
Going out is when you spend the whole time outdoors, and not only you'll keep your coat on, you might need warmer clothes since you'll be spending a lot of time in the cold. Going out is sight-seeing and shopping (although if shopping for clothes, keep your outfit neutral and easy to take off).
What to wear when going out:Coordinate your scarf, gloves, boots and handbag with your coat or jacket. What you wear underneath is much less important (I usually slip on a simple golf sweater). If you own just a basic coat in a neutral colour, spice it up with colourful gloves, hat and scarf.
Don't bother with jewellery unless it's chunky earrings that will be visible between the cap and the scarf. Think about how you'll wear your hair so that you can get the scarf and cap on (and so it doesn't get damaged with all the rubbing on the scarf and coat).
What to wear when going in:The fun part here is that often you don't need to match your outer layers to your inner top layer. If your blouse won't be visible, then just make sure your coat, scarf and gloves match your shoes and trousers. The outer layers are meant to protect you during transit, so wear a nice outfit underneath that you'll show off on destination. Yes to jewellery, a cute top, layers, and more elaborate hairstyles.
If you'll be taking off your boots on destination, don't forget to match your socks to your trousers or skirt.
And for those in-between times:
Just match everything with everything (ha, like that's easy), and don't forget to check out the various stages of undress in the mirror.
I used a lot of gray here since I think it's such a sophisticated neutral and way more interesting than predictable black.
Do you have such dressing rules in the winter ?