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Baby, it’s cold outside. And, with the current state of things, we’re staying home … a lot. It’s a difficult time of year to feel polished. The holiday come-down on top of a COVID resurgence certainly puts a damper on our most hopeful style intentions for 2022.

Even in the ‘best’ of years, my clients struggle in January and February to look put-together, while trying not to look too relaxed or slouchy. During these months, we tend toward items that are comfortable and oversized, and it can be hard to feel confident. But, there are plenty of ways to freshen your wardrobe to achieve a fashionable look while staying warm, and without sacrificing the ‘comfort’ factor. Here are three timely trends (plus shopping and styling tips!) to help you achieve a polished and comfortable winter look.

3 Winter Style Tips for Polish + Comfort: Puffer Jackets, Comfy Dress Pants, Leisure Sets

Polished in a Puffer

It’s easy to just pull your old-reliable wool coat out of the closet every year and make it work. But currently, the puffer coat is the winter item you need in your wardrobe. It will ‘finish’ your outfits and keep you warm in the process!

The puffer coat has been a staple on the slopes and on the runways for the past few seasons. The easy, cozy, and stylish look has exploded this year, and the options are endless. There are flattering looks for different body types with every color and fabric represented. The lengths can be cropped/short, mid-length, and three-quarter length to long, and here’s what to know about each option:

Cropped/Short: These cropped jackets are usually oversized. They are more popular with workout attire, giving a Hailey Bieber vibe. They can also hit at the waist.

Medium: This puffy jacket covers your bottom or hits mid-thigh. It is a good length for most heights and not as overwhelming.

Three-quarter-length or Long: This coat hits below the knee, and it’s available in a variety of lengths to suit your height. This style is a must when added warmth is called for.

Here are a few different puffer looks: 

Bold, colorful jacket from CeliaB

As a lover of color and fun, this is one of my favorite statement puffers. It’s perfect to layer with neutral clothes. It has a very flattering neckline with a big ‘collar’ that opens up or zips for warmth. Image: CeliaB

Black medium-length down coat from SAM.

This is a fabulous medium-length puffer coat that creates a polished look. It’s classy and long-wearing, and it has an added edge with the shiny fabric. Plus, the belt makes it one of the more figure-flattering styles. Image: SAM.

Medium-length neutral jacket

Here is another neutral winter white medium-length puffer. This will work dressed up or down, making it a great piece for a polished winter look. Image: Herno at St. Bernard

Tan Lululemon puffer jacket

The three-quarter-length puffer coat is warmer and can be very chic. Wear it open with athleisure as pictured, or create a cool monochromatic look with daywear. Image: Lululemon

Winter fashion tips: North Face x Gucci jacket

This piece from the North Face X Gucci collection creates a luxe look. This is a new collaboration this winter with a few sporty elevated pieces. Image: Gucci

RELATED: COVID Revenge Dressing Is Totally a Thing (Goodbye, Sweatpants!)

Tips for Buying + Styling a Puffer Coat

Check out these tips for choosing a puffer coat to suit your needs. Also worth noting, coats are starting to go on sale. Keep your eye on your favorites and put them in your shopping cart. In the next month, more will be added and you can find a deal on a lasting purchase.

  • Be sure you have enough room under your arms and across your back to move comfortably. Don’t size down just because it feels bulky.
  • Make sure the color or style you choose is versatile and works with your wardrobe. It can be a statement if your clothes are usually neutral, sporty if you wear more athleisure or streetwear, or classic in a neutral color.
  • Be sure it provides warmth. If you are in a cold climate, you will need a longer jacket.
  • Patch pockets are a nice detail, but concealed pockets create less bulk across the hips and thighs.
  • Hoods are great to have but also nice to take off at times. Check to see if the hood is removable.
  • Make sure the length and style are the most flattering on your body type:
      • Try a more tapered coat for a slimming look.
      • Try a jacket with a belt or tailored waist for less bulk.
      • The three-quarter-length and longer jackets work best if you are 5’5″ and above.
      • Mid-thigh-length or short usually works best for more petite women.
      • Collared jackets that can open to a ‘V’ are most flattering and draw the eye upward.

The Comfy Dress Pant

Athleisure-inspired and figure-flattering, these pants work for both professional and dressy attire. Most importantly, they are comfortable sitting on a ZOOM call, running errands, or on an airplane. The go-to workout brands have upped their game to provide women with versatile options. The once-casual leggings and sweatpants are now defining an elevated look. They fit well and wear well throughout the day.

There are styles for different body types, including the wide leg, jogger, straight leg, and flare. Fabrics are a mix of soft cotton, flannel, and Spandex. Sizes range from XXS to 3XL in many brands, so everyone can find the right fit.

Back Spanx pants

The perfect pant, ‘slim straight’ works well with sneakers, but you can swap in lug boots or slides for a different look. The straight leg is on-trend. These would be my daily go-to from errands to lunch dates to work. Image: Spanx

Balance Pant Athleta

Wide-legged pants with a fitted top or blouse update the casual look. Image: Athleta, Balance Pant

"The Perfect Pant" Spanx

So flattering, comfortable, and chic, this flared style looks best on taller women with both curvy and straight body types. Image: Spanx

The Elevated Leisure Set

Monochromatic jogging suits and tracksuits offer an updated version of the matching sweatsuits we’ve seen over the past couple of years. Higher-end brands have taken the cue as well as the athleisure boutiques, and they have given us great options for everyday wear. You can mix and match the two pieces with other items from your wardrobe, but wearing them together is more polished. They work with sneakers of course, but look great with lug-soled boots. The pants vary from wider leg cuts to more slim-fit jogger styles. The slimmer the cut, the less it looks like a sweatpant. I’m seeing this trend in varying styles on both young girls and women.

Green Something Navy sweat suit

This set comes in different colors and textures — cotton and velvet. It’s a newer brand with a few new boutiques around the country. I love the green for winter, and the ruffles add a youthful feel. Image: Something Navy

Tan and camel sweat suits

Camel and tan neutral looks will always be on-trend. Adding a black puffer or chunky scarf polishes this up even more. Both the hoodie and the henley work with this jogging suit. Images: Athleta + MWL by Madewell on Shopbop

color-blocked, powder blue sweat suit from Baum und PFerdgarten

Color-blocked and powder blue, this mid-weight plush knit suit will keep you warm. Style with sneakers. Image: Baum und PFerdgarten

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This season, try working in the puffer coat, the comfy dress pant, and the elevated leisure set to look more polished AND stay warm and comfortable all winter long.

Cynthia can be found online at cynthiakelleystyle.com or on Instagram. Do you have a burning style question of your own? Email us at [email protected].

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