How To Dress Warmer, NOT Wider

When the weather can only be described as "Holy F— It's Freezing Out," you're probably dressing with a few matters in mind: keeping your ears from snapping off, your ankles from turning blue, and the tears in your eyes from freezing on your lashes. And, "looking cute"? Not really a huge concern.
But, feeling like a dumpling as soon as you step indoors is a downer, especially for someone for whom style is a lifestyle and not just a hobby. The key to staying warm is in the details, and we've come up with a few clever tricks so you can trap in the heat while maintaining your killer outfit combos. Ahead, find 10 tips (and 30 shopping suggestions!) that'll help you dress warmer, not wider. And, even though these editorial images don't show models wearing tights, you know better than to brave the temps outside without at least a 50-denier pair, right?
Advertisement


Like this post? There's more. Get tons of style secrets, insider shopping dish, fashion news, and more on the Refinery29 Fashion Facebook page!
1 of 40
Photo: Courtesy of Uniqlo.
Deserves A Good Ribbing — Ribbed shirts, tights, and dresses might get a bad rap for being a Midwestern-suburb mainstay, but there's a reason they're so popular: Ribbing is warm. Trapping pockets of heat in your clothes while lengthening the lines of your limbs, these cottons are indispensable in a wintertime wardrobe. Wear them under sweaters, shirtdresses, and more.
Advertisement
5 of 40
Furry Sure — A thin lining of shearling, velour, velvet, or fuzz will give you one more layer of protection against the cold. Find jackets with built-in lining, or throw on a thin, shrunken cardigan underneath.
9 of 40
Photo: Courtesy of Madewell.
Like Silk — Silk is one of the warmest fabrics, and it isn't bulky. Swap it in instead of your cotton button-downs, and wear under dresses, jackets, and sweaters for another layer that adds both style and insulation.
12 of 40
13 of 40
Think Loose And Long — The quickest way for a winter outfit to look sausage-like is if it's too tight. In long lines and looser cuts, you'll be able to layer more snug-fitting, long-underwear layers below without turning your limbs into The Michelin Man's.
14 of 40
17 of 40
Love On Top — You lose heat evenly throughout your body, but you feel it most in your torso. If you bundle up on top (like, really bundle with a sweater, jacket, coat, and scarf), you'll be able to go slimmer down below.
21 of 40
Material Girl — Even in more spare cuts like a V-neck or sleeveless top, a heavy-duty material like leather or pleather can keep you way warm. Look for pieces in streamlined, modern silhouettes.
25 of 40
A Tiny Puff — Super-thin puffer jackets are a dime a dozen these days, and they're one of our favorite pieces to wear underneath slimmer coats or layered on a contrast-look topper like a jean jacket.
26 of 40
28 of 40
29 of 40
Photo: Courtesy of J.Crew.
Underneath It All — Don't discount long underwear as an old-fashioned item. Lots of technology goes into creating heat-trapping basics, and a simple, long-sleeved tee will go a long way in keeping you warm — without building up bulk.
31 of 40
33 of 40
A Smart Sub-In — For the days when tights aren't enough but you want to still achieve the look of them, sub in a pair of thick leggings. Wear them with long hemlines and ankle boots, and no one will ever know!
35 of 40
37 of 40
A Vested Interest — Especially in the office, when you can't sacrifice mobility (sausage arms, anyone?), vests are indispensable. A big, cuddly vest will become your security blanket. Plus, if you keep fabric off your limbs, it'll make your whole look more streamlined.
40 of 40