The Young Working Woman’s Wintertime Wardrobe Woes

Temperatures are dropping and with them, are our creative clothing options. For many of us (dare I say all), winter tends to limit how much fun we can have with clothes. Perhaps you disagree, but consider this: you’re wrong. Button-down collared shirts and those oh-so-thrilling black pants creep their way into the droll workweek. I suppose it’s possible that you might be feeling punchy one day and sport a turtleneck sweater. Ah yes, Jack Frost has won again.

Maybe not, this year, experiment with some options. Liven up your professional look with accessories, funky footwear and shockingly bright nail polish. Summer allows us to wear long pants, Bermudas, skirts, dresses, crops you name it. Winter lends itself to long pants….and…..uhh…longer pants. Boring, I’m bored. Well, don’t pack those skirts away yet. Try thick, opaque tights in more exuberant colors. Go for fun (not Miami Vice fun), neutral shades (and I don’t mean beige). Think steel, aborigine, maroon, or dark peacock. Worried about the cold and going “sleeveless” on the legs? Don’t be. Personally speaking, I have chicken legs resembling decaying toothpicks with ten digital extensions and even I can stay warm with the right pair of high quality tights.

Winter is a great time to flaunt that stylish eye of yours with some interesting accessories. Don’t be afraid to go big and bold. I say this because in the winter, we’re often more layered up than Jon Bon Jovi’s coif. Invariably, this layering effect adds bulk to our look so a chunky piece of jewelry will tend not to look so out of scale. Try throwing a ring or two on a necklace chain. Experiment with costume-y baubles. Brooches can also make a really great statement. You may even be able to rummage through mom’s old crap and find a real gem.

It seems regardless of the season, people are afraid to try different, unique-looking outfits at work. I think this is a big mistake. Your boss probably doesn’t care a whole lot if your tights are dark purple. In fact, I think wearing some mildly daring ensembles is reflective of a confident, competent and capable individual. I find even if you do honestly look pretty stupid, people compliment you on the look; presumably for doing something different…or maybe they feel they’re commending a mentally challenged individual for putting on her own clothes. Whatever the reason, compliments are nice and clothes can be fun. When I’m at work, look down and see my red patent leather 4-inch wedge heels each adorned with their own little red patent bow tie, I smile. Maybe I’m simple but it’s better than living day in, day out in the gray blur that is office life.

Ana Taffel

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