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Winter Style Watch

Trends to keep you both stylish and warm

By Taylor Shillam

Months of winter weather require strategic outfits, warm accessories and lots of layering. When days get dark, those extra layers grow heavy, and when your primary goal is to keep from freezing, fashion can quickly fall down the list of priorities.

This winter will be a different story; allow the season to become a shift in your perspective and an opportunity to freshen up your look.

The trending winter layers of 2020-2021 are far from frumpy, with plenty of options to keep you balanced between fashionable and warm. The goal is not to choose between glamorous and comfortable; instead, embody a bit of each, and keep your confidence (and temperature) elevated throughout the season.

Stark contrasts and sleek silhouettes will make this winter anything but dark and dreary—a few key pieces, choice colors and statement accessories are sure to be the cure for those winter fashion blues.

Staple Sweaters

Stay warm and stylish with one of the season’s essentials: the oversized sweater. This year’s large, plush cardigans will pull your look together while locking in layers of warmth. With cold temperatures sure to stay awhile, start with a stockpile of sweaters in solid neutral tones of grey, black, cream and tan that will allow you to mix and match endless outfits with ease throughout the long season. To your base of neutrals, add a pop of color with statement sweaters in this year’s trending animal prints or plaids. Layer up with tanks, tees or thermals; or keep your sweater in focus as the standalone top, buttoned up or off-shoulder for a fresh twist.

Form-Fitting Flair

Go beyond bodycon this winter. This season’s dresses don’t require a choice between figure-flattering or cozy; there are ample options that incorporate both. Shape-framing sweater dresses are out in abundance, ready to be layered under structured blazers or warming pea coats for any occasion.

Perfect Puffers

Change your perspective on puffer coats with this winter’s more fashion-forward renditions. With an eye-catching top layer, even a casual run to the grocery store can be your moment to make a statement. The puffer coats of this season can be dressed up or down, with deep-set details like cinched waists and well-placed zippers making them just as much a style statement as they are a shield from low temperatures.

Capes and Caped Coats

For a look that embodies drama, adventure and ease, look to caped coats. Capes of all colors and patterns, including plaids, houndstooth and bright solids, are in and here to stay for the season. Proportional balance is key; when completing your outfit, opt for a simple, high-necked blouse with a long skirt or form-fitting jeans tucked into tall boots. An equally chic and functional garment, the cocoon-like cape will provide a chance to stand out while staying cozy.

Bulk-Free Booties

Boots that carry you through the snow and seamlessly into your next social gathering? It’s entirely possible with this year’s array of boots that are equal parts stylish and functional. Brands like Sperry and Sorel have stepped up their style game with waterproof options that look anything but bulky. Shop Sorel styles like the Out N About duck boot, Joan of Arctic zipped wedge or Ainsley Chelsea boot for waterproof options that will keep you dry, safe from sidewalk slips, and stylish in all forms of winter weather.

Statement Jewelry

Thick, eye-catching metallic chains are the new everyday necklace this season. Right now, the chunkier the chain, the better, providing an effortless way to embolden your look for the holidays. Whether your go-to style is more dramatic or minimal, you can choose one statement piece or layer several smaller necklaces or bracelets to achieve this trend.

Clutch Purses

Handheld clutch purses are a go-to this season, in abundant tones from colorful to classic. An accessory perfect for providing a pop of color, your clutch can bring effortless contrast to an otherwise neutral winter ensemble. Orange and yellow accessories are particularly on-trend when paired with outerwear in warm neutrals. Opt for a clutch big enough to hold your essentials and small enough to relax under your arm with ease.

Head-turning Hats

Hats are a key accessory this winter. Level up any outfit with the simple addition of some stylish headwear, with the ability to complement an ensemble either casual or dressy. Choose a bright beanie or baseball cap to brighten your look with a pop of color, or tie together a casual jeans-and-jacket look with a wide-brimmed hat. This year’s runways also saw head-to-toe looks, with wide, floppy hats completing a monochrome ensemble of neutral beige or black.

Glamorous Gloves

Take your glove game up a level with this season’s more glamorous takes on hand-warming accessories. This winter, long and leather is the name of the glove game, locking in heat while turning up the elegance. Other bold options include floral accents, beaded detailing and a touch of fur.

Local Finds

Each new season brings the opportunity to refresh your wardrobe. With a long winter ahead, we are primed for readiness to treat ourselves amongst the hustle of seasonal activity and holiday shopping.

Don’t forget to look to local options, with the Inland Northwest being home to local boutiques promising the latest pieces that will help you smoothly transition into the cold season. From Tiffany Blue’s multiple North Idaho locations, to downtown Coeur d’Alene’s Garment District and Marmalade Fresh Clothing, to Spokane’s Swank and Boutique Bleu, there are plenty of reasons to shop local this winter.

Tiffany Blue carries top brands from Sorel to Free People, providing styles that are both current and functional. Each of its locations has its unique feel and personality, with the downtown store being a top source of trendy pieces from premium brands and Riverstone location being the perfect mix of fashion-forward and budget-friendly.

Downtown Coeur d’Alene’s Sherman Avenue offers an afternoon’s worth of boutique shopping. Options include Marmalade Fresh Clothing and Garment District, which takes pride in a clothing selection that embodies comfort, style and affordability, from their outerwear pieces to trending athletic sets.

It’s easier now than ever to shop locally from wherever you are, with many boutiques offering online options. Both Swank and Boutique Bleu have shoppable websites and well-maintained Instagram accounts for those looking to buy from home or simply preview a boutique’s selection before visiting.

This winter, allow yourself to be inspired by the trending looks of the season. With a few choice pieces and pairings, you can fall back in love with layers and embrace the winter season with style and ease.

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