I recently converted my closets from summer to winter and realized how much I hate dressing for work during the winter. My job is strictly business professional Monday through Friday. I've only ever worn jeans to my job once and it was on a Friday when my boss was out of town and I was cleaning the office. And even then someone made a backhanded comment about it. In the winter, all I want to do is get into some big, over sized sweaters and comfy Ugg boots and relax at my desk. This is highly frowned upon. Here's how I stay professional (or at least somewhat professional) during a cruel Minnesota winter.
1. Tights. I always have 7 pairs available. Mostly black. I also invest in the thicker "sweater" tights. Those come in really handy in January and February.
2. Flat black knee high boots. I have to walk a significant ways into the office, across a bridge, uphill (BOTH WAYS)! Anyhow, the sidewalks are hell on nice footwear. Last year I bought a nice pair of flat black knee high boots that had some traction on the bottom. I wore them every day. I always keep a pair of black heels at my desk in case I want to change into something a little more fancy, but the boots were a lifesaver.
3. Thick socks. I have found that when your feet are cold, you cannot get warm. I always buy thicker socks for the winter and when I know I'll be walking through a lot of snow, I often carry a spare pair in my bag in case my socks get wet. There is nothing worse than wet, cold feet.
4. Long-sleeved black dress. I now have a couple of these. I like dresses for the office because it doesn't require a lot of thought. It's hard to find good long-sleeved options, but I love them in the winter.
5. White long-sleeved tissue tees. I realize that tissue tees aren't going to give me much warmth, but every little bit helps. Sometimes it's also nice to have that extra layer keeping your body heat in. The thin tissue tees can go under almost anything and not show any extra bulk. I stock up at Target and wear them under almost everything from December through April.
6. Sweaters that look like blazers. I should probably wear a suit to work, but I am always freezing when I only have a blazer on. I need that extra warmth from a sweater. I've gotten a few collared button up sweaters that are warm and cuddly, but also look professional.
7. Pashmina type scarves. One of my really sad stories is that i had this awesome black pashmina that I bought in Florence, Italy and lost last winter. I think what happens is that I would wear scarves into restaurants and then would take them off when I was eating and forget about them. I'm pretty sure that's what happened to that one. I like having scarves that can function both in the cold and sitting in the office as a fashion statement. Pashminas can also become shawls if you are really cold.
I am really dreading this winter and hoping for an early spring time!