Abbey Breitenfieldt, product manager at The House, a local winter sports and apparel shop, insists it doesn’t have to be that way.
“It’s definitely do-able to find a personal style that’s also warm,” Breitenfieldt said.
For a practical jacket, look for snowboard or ski jackets.
“[The winter sports brands] just have the best technology,” Breitenfieldt said. “They know how to look cute, and they know how to keep you warm. It’s all wind resistant and water proof. And while some of their features are meant for the hill, they’re usually detachable for the street.”
While down jackets still run the show, many companies are developing equally warm jackets without the bulk. Burton leads the pack with the Gore-Tex jackets, which are breathable and light but warm.
“In women’s winter fashion, the timeless piece is always going to be the down North Face style,” Breitenfieldt said. “It’s almost iconic. But the direction they’re headed is less bulky.”
To layer, brands like Burton, Columbia, Icebreaker and Smartwool offer light-weight, medium-weight and heavy-weight base layers that are antibacterial and water-wicking.
They provide a layer of warmth and don’t get wet or smelly.
Brights and neons are on their way out. Neutral tones, utilitarian and camouflage styles are on the rise, she said.
“A lot of people used to wear the crazy bright colors,” Breitenfieldt said. “But it’s a lot more toned down now. You can definitely have a bright color, but maybe go for a faded or color-blocked style.”
Anorak, half-zipped pullovers are coming back in style. So are textured prints. A good example of both styles is the Burton Cinder Anorak jacket, which combines the anorak
cut with a textured tribal pattern.
Unfortunately, winter apparel can be expensive. The good news is last year’s styles are probably much more affordable.
“The styles carry over from year to year,” Breitenfieldt said. “So you can buy previous year jackets that look really similar to what is coming out right now. The only difference is some of the statement-making stuff or different colors might not be available.”
Breitenfieldt’s suggestions below — meant for different personalities or occasions — illustrate how these trends work in practice.
The Fashion Forward
Fashionistas looking to stay ahead of the curve should look for collaboration pieces. Many companies, like Roxy or Burton, team up with designers and artists to create collaboration lines. Breitenfieldt recommends one of Burton’s collaborations with L.A.M.B., especially the OC Insulator, which is simpler, or the Misfit Bomber jacket, which is more patterned.
The Clean Cut
For an effortless look or something more professional, stick with a down jacket and neutral, color-blocked tones.
“In a professional setting, it’s about blending in and staying warm,” Breitenfieldt said.
If looking for something a little more fashion forward than the stereotypical North Face down jacket, Breitenfieldt recommends the Holden Estelle down jacket, which is simple but more dynamic.
Winter fashion can also be gender-neutral without compromising style.
A number of companies are making raglan baseball tee jackets and hoodies. Breitenfieldt recommends Burton’s Shaun White TWC Maverick in a neutral color.
Otherwise, Breitenfieldt recommends the DC Downtown jacket, which has a layered look at top and bottom but is still fitted in the waist.