Maximum style, minimal effort

Winter accessories

February 5, 2014 | Wardrobe essentials

I tend to go a little crazier with my accessories — I mean, they’re the only part of my wardrobe with color, for pete’s sake! They’re a great, easy (and often cheap) way to change the personality of any outfit in your winter wardrobe.

1. Watch

Whether feminine or masculine, a classic watch is your go-to piece of everyday jewelry.

2. Statement necklace or earrings

Statement pieces add flash to any outfit, and dress up your basic winter uniform.

Necklaces

Earrings

3. Black gloves

Keep your digits — or dial some digits if you get an iPhone-friendly pair — with leather gloves.

4. Beanie

A black beanie can get dressed up or down depending on your outfit. He never looks out of place.

5. Basic scarf

This guy goes with everything — from a blazer to a parka — and keeps you warm throughout the colder months.

6. Statement scarf (optional)

A patterned statement scarf adds pizzazz and a dash of color to your winter wardrobe.

7. Belt

This little guy keeps your pants up and cinches your waist when you’re wearing a shirtdress or oversized sweater.

Bags

January 29, 2014 | Wardrobe essentials

I only really use one bag daily – a basic tote that can handle my laptop or groceries or a new outfit or hopefully someday a cute kitten that needs a friend and a home. Still, there are a couple situations where my tote doesn’t quite do the trick, so here’s my list of winter wardrobe essential bags:

1. Day bag/tote

This little buddy is your best friend, accompanying you to work, brunch, and the airport. Sturdy handles are a must, and a secondary strap is a nice-to-have so you can carry him multiple ways. A cross-body strap allows me to throw my tote on my back if I jump on a bike between errands.

2. Clutch

This is the go-to bag for dressing up your ensemble. Even though I usually eschew ornamentation, a clutch can handle (eh?) some snazzy detail. Also, my clutch usually doubles as my jewelry case when I pack for travel.

3. Weekender

I travel a lot for work, and they’re usually short jaunts requiring limited wardrobes. I find a weekender is much easier (and cheaper) than a rolling suitcase for domestic flights and train rides.

4. Backpack (optional)

Since I bike everywhere once it gets nice out, it’s good to have something I can strap to my back. Backpacks are also a great travel alternative to the everyday tote if you’re going to be going on short hikes or sightseeing. I’d go with something a little more casual that you don’t mind getting dirty or banged up.

Winter workday | High: 52 Low: 13

January 27, 2014 | 40-50 degrees Outfits

There’s a big temperature spread today — this morning was almost balmy and this evening is going to get pretttttty chilly. High-waisted jeans, tucked-in silk camisole, cashmere turtleneck, thermal socks, and tall boots form a protective shield against drafts. Wear a long wool coat open to keep you from overheating during the day, then button closed and turn up the collar to combat winter winds in the evening. Keep a beanie and gloves in your purse to help warm you up as the sun starts to fade and polar temperatures set in.

Winter workday

Winter workday by midtownminimalist featuring a long black coat

Boots

January 27, 2014 | Wardrobe essentials

To be truly minimal, I would own only two pairs of boots (one dressy, one casual), but in actuality I own four… and have a fifth in my sights. All my boots (like most of my wardrobe) are black, but gray or brown would do, too.

Here are the boots I think are essential for a winter wardrobe:

1. Tall boots

These will dress up basic jeans and a sweater, and warm you up when worn with a skirt. Pick a heel height that you’re comfortable with, and steer clear of embellishment so that these boots can go with anything.

2. Ankle booties

Ankle booties

These slightly dressy fellas work with skinny jeans or skirts and tights. I’d recommend something in a mid-height heel or wedge to keep them work-appropriate and accommodate walking.

3. Rubber boots

These are your foul-weather friends. They’ll keep your toesies dry in rain, sleet, and snow. They’re about function over form, so they don’t have to be pretty.

4. Flat ankle booties (optional)

A flat pair of booties are great for weekends and walking around town. They’re the dressed-down brother to the heeled guys.

5. Over-the-knee boots (optional)

These can take the place of your favorite going out shoes in the dead of winter. They’re fun and flirty with a dress, but still keep you warm.

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