Diana Amaya- November 06, 2020

Genius Styling Tricks for Staying Warm from a Former Montrealer

Hello winter, my old friend, it’s time to dress for you again. And while our new reality has compelled us to take most of our social interactions outside, we at Meg still live by our fashionista ways as a means of expression, joy, escape, and yes, warmth, because staying warm doesn’t mean compromising style. Take it from me, a decade-long New Yorker with two years of living in Montreal under my belt.

I found it heartening that in Montreal, the coldest city I’ve ever lived in, there is a culture that embraces the great (freezing cold) outdoors, even more so than New Yorkers with their much milder winter. Huge crowds flock to outdoor music festivals in the dead of winter, ice rinks can be found at every park, and dog sledding adventures are a stone’s throw away. Perhaps more telling is the fact that coffee lovers will chat over an espresso on the terrace the minute temperatures reach a balmy 30 degrees Fahrenheit. And while I once thought this weather required looking like a lumberjack (no offense to lumberjacks), I have picked up a number of practical tricks to keep it cute, even when the air hurts your face. 

Use Wool Felted Shoe Inserts

While you may have already considered thick socks to keep your feet warm, stuffing them into certain boots might feel and look a little sausage-y. And perhaps thick wool socks don’t exactly jive with your fabulous ‘fit. A simple boiled wool or alpaca insert is an inexpensive lifesaver. This little layer of moisture-wicking natural fibers somehow seems to do exponentially more for warmth and comfort than any sock I’ve ever owned. A quick google search will render countless results but may we suggest shopping with a small seller via Etsy here.

Lug-Sole Shoes Are Your Friends

Quick storytime: when I first moved to New York from North Carolina, utterly unprepared for the northeast climate, the only pair of all-weather shoes I owned were a pair of painfully dated Merrell hiking boots. Now there is a time and a place for a good waterproof hiking boot, and strolling the streets of Soho is not one of them. I eventually came to realize that unless you are traversing the Arctic, all you really need is a lug sole (thick rubber sole with traction), and a waterproof or treated leather upper, even in a few inches of snow. As it turns out, this combination is pretty ubiquitous in the fashion world and can be found in styles from sporty to high-heeled and sleek. Just be sure to protect leather with a waterproofing wax like this one.

Some lug-soled favorites: The shearling lined Darbette Moto boot  and a high-heeled lace-up bootie from Coach

Invest In a Great Coat

If you’re in an outdoor setting for an extended period of time, your outfit is anchored by your coat, so invest in something with great fit and construction and if you can, have a little fun with it. We’re big fans of a well-made camel coat as a chic everyday classic and we’re partial to a bright puffer when the temperatures really drop. 

@girlknewyork in the Meg FW'19 Chartreuse puffer coat

A chic camel coat look and our favorite lavender puffer.

Double Up on Stockings

How cute is this look? 

Ok, it’s not groundbreaking to add on layers to stay warm, but hear us out. If you’re in the mood for a dress or miniskirt, thick opaque leggings are generally a very dated no-no. Your best bet is a pair of classic sheer black stockings, but how is one to stay warm with nothing guarding the gams but a barely-there layer of nylon? The trick: start with a pair of thicker nude opaque tights, or even nude leggings, and then top with sheer black stockings. The nude tights will appear like your skin under the sleek sheer stockings on top. Voila! 

Have Fun With Accessories

Sometimes you're Carrie Bradshaw in a fur coat on New Years and sometimes you're the Michelin man in a practical parka fending off slushy rain. Whether it's the former or the latter (but especially when it's the latter), a brightly colored hat or a fun fur stole does wonders for the spirit and the look! 

Nathalie Martin via Woahstyle