Beauty on a Budget: Keeping Warm Yet Staying Fashionable

stella morrison celebrates Fashion Friday…


What do you dare to wear this winter to keep warm?

If you’re like me, the cold is a welcome respite from the disgusting, muggy New Jersey summer. But along with the cold comes the temptation to throw on every piece of clothing imaginable to keep warm.

My approximate size after I’m done dressing for this week’s cold front, as modeled by Lady Gaga.
There’s a thin line between dressing warmly and dressing to the point where you look like you’re drowning in a sea of sweaters. As you know from last week’s column, I don’t have close to anywhere near Gaga’s money, but I can certainly strive to look rich in layers of warm comfy clothing, the winter 2013 trend that’s as functional as it is fabulous. Take some examples from this column on how to appropriately balance the amount you’re wearing to keep warm—and how to do so on a budget.

Sweaters: Dare To Go Bold
As long as the rest of your outfit is pared down, don’t worry about too ridiculous in a loud sweater. Obnoxious sweaters made the runways this season, so if you’re feeling brave, go ahead and rock the look. If you’re looking to pinch pennies in any area, though, pinch it here. An in-your-face sweater covered in colors and shapes reminiscent of a Bowie concert may not last until next year, so be prepared to buy this and never wear it again after the first day of spring.

“Cooperative Fair Isle Kitsch” sweater, $59, online only at

Crab Print Sweater, $22.80, Forever 21

By the way, notice how both these models are wearing tights with shorts? That’s part of the whole layering fad going on right now. Tights or leggings under shorts are a great way to incorporate layering into your outfit, if you dare to bare in chilly temperatures.

Try to Avoid Clashing Patterns
While your co-workers and friends might pardon any transgressions for the sake of being warm, the fashion community won’t. Stripes on polka dots may work on the runways, but it doesn’t work in real-life. A good way to ensure that you stay in these boundaries while getting as much as you can out of your outfit is to keep the accessories you buy as basic as possible. While the scarf covered in pompoms may be cute, it won’t work when paired with the crab sweater.

The best bet is to invest in an infinity scarf, which is a big, giant loop can be loop-de-looped around your neck two or three times. In a basic gray, black, or camel (always hot for winter), it’s both functional and fab.

Heather gray Spacedye cowlneck scarf, $19.99, Gap stores and

Definitely buy an oversized sweater.

Oversized sweaters don’t only pack on added warmth. They turn every day into lazy Sunday.

Oversized cardigans and sweaters are a carry-over from last chilly season, which suggests that it could remain for the next year. Pick a piece that you know you’ll be happy with, because I guarantee that it’s one that you’ll turn to again and again as the winter dredges on. It’s like a warm, welcoming hug that’s there for you every minute of every day. Maybe buy two while you’re at it.

Because the piece is so big and unshapely, consider buying a sweater with an accent like elbow pads or a tasteful screen print. These little bits will give the oversized sweater some much-needed interest points, since overall patterns are too much “busy” on one sweater. And for the love of God, don’t wear it with anything else “big” on your body when you bring out this sweater. One big piece is what separates the decently-dressed to the clear conversation starters (see Lady Gaga, above).

Sweater, H&M, $17.95

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