Cold-Weather Style for Professional Women

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Last week, an arctic cold front swept through much of the nation, hitting us full-force here in Toronto. The front brought the coldest temperatures so far this winter – the type of frigid cold that seems to bite when you step outdoors. Nevertheless, business as usual proceeds and we must dress for the occasion. But a few wardrobe additions can be made to cope with the cold but still look professional: here are a few tips many professional women in the northern climates could use – those grappling with arctic temperatures in the wintertime but don’t want to look like arctic explorers on the way to the office.


How do you get the warmth of an insulated jacket with the elegance of a fine wool coat? The answer is simple: a combination jacket with layers. This convertible Reina jacket by Canadian designer Soia & Kyo is a great example, with a double-breasted wool coat exterior but added (and hidden) puffy down cuffs and neck warmer. This coat and other similar styles additionally are good choices for the fluctuating Canadian climates, as the down inserts can be removed when the temperatures increase.


In the milder moments of fall and winter, leather gloves are sleek accessories for both men and women keeping their hands warm. When the temperatures dip into the frigid range, the average leather glove may not do the trick. Kick up the warmth but maintain the style with leather gloves with shearling lining.


When traveling to and from the office and out on the town after hours, combine form and function with footwear that protects from the cold and snow but is appropriate indoors, too. Equestrian-style riding boots in black or brown leather are a fashionable answer to this style quandary.

If the weather is simply too frightful and the slushy, salty snow would damage fine leather boots, bundle up in heavy-duty winter boots like these classics by Sorel, and keep at least two pairs of heels or professional flats hidden in your office or under your desk.

When attending a formal event and boots are not an option, be sure to make arrangements to be dropped off at the door!


Even in warmer months, a pair of sheer or dark hose goes alongside the professional skirt or dress. In wintertime, add a level of warmth with thicker tights, which essentially look the same as opaque hose but keep you warmer outdoors.

Alternatively, wool tights are warmer but add a different look with their texture and pattern, like these wide-rib Italian wool tights from J. Crew. Their alternative style would fit well in more business-casual settings.

Dressing for success takes planning and practice, and winter can often throw a wrench in a carefully chosen wardrobe. Don’t let the cold temperatures hamper your style; simply make a few adjustments to stay warm but still look chic!

To learn more check out our Wardrobe Planning Guide.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic /


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