Dressing for cold weather can be tricky on any day, but it’s made much trickier when trying to dress for a night on the town. After all, you want to look stylish and trendy—not bundled up like you’re expecting a blizzard. But it is winter, and even a brief snow shower can feel like a blizzard when the wind is blowing. Still, that doesn’t mean you should stay inside and miss out on a well-earned night out. You just have to know how to dress. Here are our tips for beating the cold when you’re out on the town.
This might seem like a no-brainer, there’s winter weather, and then there’s winter weather. One day might be crisp and clear, but then an hour later, you might be fighting sleet blowing at you sideways. That means choosing heels and a pencil skirt for a night on the town can now only leave you uncomfortable and wet, but also put you at risk of slipping on ice and hurting yourself. Checking the weather forecast before going out can make a big difference in how your night goes when there’s any chance of wintery conditions in the forecast.
While dressing in layers won’t keep you any warmer than wearing a nice thick sweater, it can ensure that you stay comfortable. Some establishments keep thermostats higher than others, so dressing in a thick sweater to beet the cold can actually be counterintuitive, making you feel sweaty and uncomfortable. Dressing in a nice shirt with a cardigan over it keeps you warm as well, but it won’t make you overheat since the fabric of the cardigan is open in the front. Layering T-shirts is also smart since you trap air between the layers while avoiding any bulkiness that thick sweaters may cause. Ultimately, if you’re certain that your destination is typically a chilly one (like a movie theater), you might prefer a thick warm sweater. But if you’re not certain how warm it will be, dressing in layers can be a big help.
One of the tricky things about going out on the town during wintertime is making sure you’re warm enough while outside while making sure you don’t overheat once you get inside. A lot of places—like shopping malls and theaters—require you to carry your coat with you or even wear it. So that coat that kept you warm outside can turn into a sweltering, heavy burden once you’re inside. That’s why it’s important to dress for the occasion. For a night out that involves the need to keep your coat with you, opt for something that’s lightweight but also warm, like a packable down coat. For something more formal where you won’t have to carry your coat with you, a long wool coat keeps you warm from head to toe while looking professional and “dressed up.” Overall, consider your activity, the length of time you’ll be outside, and whether you’ll be stuck carrying your outerwear with you for the night.
A warm scarf, hat, and gloves, or mittens can make a winter outfit look cute, but it can also really make a difference in keeping the chill at bay. Not all winter accessories are created equally, however. There are some that are too thin to really make a difference or are made with the wrong materials. When choosing winter accessories, consider the brand and type of material. Lands’ End, for example, makes gloves with the finest quality wool, cashmere, and leather to keep your hands toasty. And at our headquarters in Dodgeville, Wisconsin, we know all about keeping warm in cold weather.
Dressing for warmth involves more than just choosing an appropriate outfit; you also have to put thought into what you wear on your feet. While it would be nice to wear whatever dress shoes you’d normally wear during spring, summer, or fall, doing so could leave you incredibly uncomfortable during cold, wet weather. Even just a sprint from the car to the restaurant could involve jumping over an obstacle course of puddles and icy spots. Traction, warmth, comfort, and style are equally important when going out on the town during wintertime. The good thing is that there is a wide variety of women’s winter boots to choose from.
When choosing the best boots to wear for a night on the town, try to pair them not only to your bottoms but also to your jacket. If it’s jeans and a wool peacoat, for example, you can wear lots of different types of boots—from casual duck boots to dressy knee-high leather boots. If it’s a skirt you choose for bottoms, you may want to stick with leather ankle booties with warm tights. The look is stylish, and the boots will keep your feet and ankles warm. Make sure they have traction on the bottom, too, so they can handle slippery conditions.
Don’t let winter get the best of you. Plan a night out on the town with these tips in mind for beating the cold.