Fashion Tips for Surviving a Cold Winter

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We’ve had a few mild winters in recent years, but we’re expecting more typical winter weather here in Pennsylvania this season, so I thought I’d share some fashion tips for surviving a cold winter. Best of all, these can all be found at Nordstrom, for easy one-stop shopping!

coat (M) // jeans (29) // boots (8.5) // tote

I realize it doesn’t get as cold here in Philly as it does in parts of New England and the upper midwest, but it can still be challenging to dress warmly and look stylish, so let’s discuss!

#1. Invest In A Proper Winter Coat (Or Three!)

I grew up in Virginia and then went to college in Boston, and those temperatures were startling to me. One especially cold winter day, I was complaining about how cold I was, a friend suggested that I get a proper winter coat.

I know… Duh! Right??? But it was a lightbulb moment for me.

I was wearing a lightweight wool peacoat with everything. but what I really needed was a full-on winter parka. The North Face, Canada Goose, Save The Duck, and Bernardo are some of the brands known for making a good quality winter parka; and they can all be found at Nordstrom.

The North Face Metropolis Water Repellent 550 Fill Power Down Hooded Parka has been my most worn winter coat for the past few years.

This coat has 550-fill-power down filling with a fuzzy brushed-tricot collar facing that keeps warm and comfortable, even without a scarf. It also has hidden side-zip pockets, plus a convenient interior zip-welt pocket for stashing valuables if you don’t want to carry a purse.

The hood is removable, and the back elastic waist keeps it from looking too bulky and shapeless, but the best part is, it’s super warm and cozy. I can wear this coat on the coldest of days, and it keeps me toasty warm. This coat runs true to size for The North Face; I have the medium, for reference.

I recently added this Bernardo hooded puffer jacket in Pewter Grey to my winter coat wardrobe. So many of my coats are black, and since metallics are trending this season, I thought it might be fun to have this option in my coat closet.

Bernardo Bundle Up Hooded Puffer Jacket (M) // Tissue Weight Wool & Cashmere Scarf // PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Flare (29) // Blondo Sadie Waterproof Boots (8)

Bernardo is a Canadian company, so they know how to make a warm coat. Their lightweight EcoPlume™ recycled-polyester insulation is made from 100% recycled plastic bottles, for those who like to purchase from more sustainable brands, and the shell is water-resistant.

This coat is a versatile mid-thigh length, and I really like the way the quilted pattern defines the waist. It has an attached hood, which is convenient in inclement weather, and the zip-front closure also has snaps for extra wind protection.

Sanctuary Summit Stripe Sleeve Sweater (S) // Bernardo Bundle Up Hooded Puffer Jacket (M) // PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Flare (29) // Yurman earrings

When I need to dress up, shearling and faux fur are especially warm, and they also happen to be trending big time this year. I’ve been jonesing after this 3/4- length Vince faux shearling coat, but while I wait and see if Santa leaves it under my tree, I grabbed this cropped faux fur.

Sanctuary Going Out Faux Fur Coat (S) (option) // Vince Weekend V-Neck (S) (option) // PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Flare (29) // Yurman earrings & necklace

While it doesn’t do much to keep your bottom half warm, it’s cozy-warm on top, which is where I usually need it when I’m just running to and from the car. I love the zip-up style and spread collar, for a sporty vibe.

I rounded up some more winter coat options for you below, including a couple of long wool blend coats, if you need one of those.

#2. Have A Variety of Stylish Waterproof Boots

To survive a cold winter, you also need several pairs of boots that are both practical and stylish.

For a true snow boot, the UGG Adirondack has been around for years, and for good reason. These are consistently rated among the best boots for winter weather because they’re shockingly lightweight and flexible, considering how bulky they may appear.

UGG Adirondack III Waterproof Bootie (8.5) // MOTHER The Dazzler slim straight ankle jeans (29)

Plus, they’re completely waterproof and fully lined withUGGpure™ – a textile made entirely from wool but designed to feel and wear like genuine shearling. They’re so cozy and soft inside that I never wear socks with mine.

When I want to level it up a bit, I love Aquatalia and Blondo for weather-proof suede or leather fashion boots.

These Blondo Sadie Waterproof Boots are surprisingly comfortable, with the memory foam footbed and walkable block heels.

They pair well with flares and wider leg jeans, like these PAIGE Laurel Canyon high waist flares. I’ve also had good luck with Aquatalia and La Canadienne boots, but they tend to be a little pricier.

Sanctuary Going Out Faux Fur Coat (S) (option) // Vince Weekend V-Neck (S) (option) // PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Flare (29) // Blondo Sadie Waterproof Boots (8) // Yurman earrings & necklace

Here are some more stylish winter boots that are available at Nordstrom for your shopping inspiration:

#3. Layer It Up with Cozy Sweaters & Scarves

I realize not everyone can wear wool and cashmere, but if you can, it’s absolutely the warmest way to layer. The Nordstrom brand cashmere gives you a great bang for your buck, and I’m wearing their camel cashmere turtleneck here. I have the crewneck version, as well, and it’s still fully stocked.

coat (M) // turtleneck (S) // jeans (29) // boots (8.5)

I love the classic styling and easy relaxed fit. It comes in tons of colors, and it’s currently on sale, so this is a great time to stock up on this winter wardrobe essential.

Another good option is the Vince Weekend V-Neck. I have it in black and grey, and it also comes in ivory and camel.

I love the way the black layers under the faux fur jacket along with the washed black PAIGE flares for a sleek, monochromatic look. This faux fur jacket is similar, with more sizes available, and both are currently on sale.

Sanctuary Going Out Faux Fur Coat (S) (option) // Vince Weekend V-Neck (S) (option) // PAIGE Laurel Canyon High Waist Flare (29) // Blondo Sadie Waterproof Boots (8) // Yurman earrings & necklace

When you need even more protection from the elements, this wool & cashmere scarf is a great way to accessorize a winter look, and it adds warmth too.

I also have this cashmere scarf in the camel, which is really soft and cozy, and definitely helps keep me warm, even when I’m not wearing a winter coat.

Nordstrom Cashmere Scarf // KUT from the Kloth Jacqueline Denim Jacket (S) // Nordstrom cashmere crewneck (S) // Vince Crop Leggings (M)

I hope this post gives you some winter style inspiration, and helps you if you’re trying to refresh your winter wardrobe.

As always, when you shop at Nordstrom, you get their free shipping and free returns. And don’t forget about their BOPUS (Buy Online Pick Up in Store) and contactless curbside pickup options.

And if you aren’t already a Nordy Club member, be sure to sign up so you can start earning points toward Nordstrom Notes when you shop. You also get to enjoy exclusive perks like members-only access to sales, offers, and events — like the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which will be here again before we know it!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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13 thoughts on “Fashion Tips for Surviving a Cold Winter

  1. I found a similar Bernardo puffer at Nordstrom Rack a couple years ago, and took a risk on it even though I had never heard of the brand before. I’ve started seeing them more lately, and it’s good to hear more about them! (Mine is dark purple and I love it)

  2. I remember ALSO only wearing a light wool pea coat in Boston for college – maybe if I had had one of these parkas – I would have stayed with you at Gordon all 4 years!!! 🙁 Thank you for keeping us all stylish while it snows! 😉 I’m headed for a 3 day “winter” camp in Northern California in February – and might need some of these items! xo

  3. Great post. I had a Bernardo puffer years ago and it really did keep me warm through the COLDEST days. I’ll have to check out that North Face one you’re wearing. Updating my jacket/coat wardrobe has been a major deal for me as I updated and upgraded my wardrobe this year. I gained enough weight during the pandemic that my prior coats didn’t fit well, which was such a depressing situation that I did not deserve to be in for as long as I allowed it to go on! Now I’ve again got 10-15 jackets and coats of all weights that all fit and and look good on me.

    1. I love that you decided you did not deserve that situation and went out and bought what you need to fit the body you have now. I’m sure that you wear all of them, living in NYC.

  4. I love your Bernardo jacket in silver. I bought a similar short jacket 2 years ago and just this year purchased a longer puffer in a beautiful teal blue/green. I have so many black, grey, camel coats, I needed a pop of color. And for around $100 it was so worth it. My collection of coats is growing. I live in New Jersey and our winters have been mild lately but expecting much colderweather this season. It’s interesting that we wear warm coats and boots, but just wear jeans on our legs. I love to layer a pair of leggings under my jeans if I plan to be outside for longer periods of time. I even have a pair of fleece-lined leggings for that purpose! Awesome!!!!

  5. I live in Maine so I’m all about outerwear! It’s basically part of my outfit. On an unrelated note, did you see that Mother now has petite length in some of their styles?? No more having to mend, cute or awkward knee placement!

  6. All of your coat options are spot on! It does not get as cold down here in south central Georgia, so I don’t need super warm outer garments.

  7. I don’t know if there is anything you can even do about that but I thought I would let you know that your posts haven’t been showing up in my Feedly app for a few days now.

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