As the temperature drops, we need to prepare our cold weather wardrobes with warm accessories that will keep us comfortable no matter what the weather throws at us. While lots of people fill their closets full of warm sweaters and pants, it is the accessories that tie in outfits and really add warmth to parts that are normally left out in the cold.
If you would like to know what the must-have cold weather wardrobe items are, check out our list of the top 5 must-have cold weather wardrobe items.
If you are going out to meet some friends, planning a day out skating or just commuting to work, your hands tend to be the first part of your body that starts to feel cold when not protected with gloves. A good pair of gloves will not only keep your hands toasty warm, but they will also protect your skin from drying out and cracking (because no one likes to have rough cracked hands).
You can find many different glove styles that will suit your needs. Some people like gloves, some prefer mittens and others need something warm and functional.
One of the cutest hand accessories have to be mittens. They look adorable and keep all of your fingers together, creating warmth from your own body heat. The only problem with mittens is the fact that it may be difficult to hang on to things like phones and cups of cocoa.
A great solution to awkward classic mittens is a fingerless version. They look like regular mittens, but the top half by the fingers will have a section that folds down, exposing your fingertips. There are also fingerless gloves that are a great solution to texting outside while keeping most of your hands warm.
If you are the type who must have warm fingers but still wants the option of texting on your smartphone, you definitely need a pair of smartphone gloves. They are specially made gloves that allow you to touch your smartphone screen without having to expose your fingers to the cold.
Hats, Headbands and Ear Muffs
Protecting your head and ears is very important in cold weather. Our ears are sensitive and very easy to get frostbitten when it is especially cold out, and a cold head will only lead to problems like headache or a head cold.
Besides just hiding a bad hair day, there are many different hat styles that can really bring an outfit together. Try each one out to see which one works best with your head and face shape. Just like our clothes, some accessories are more flattering on us that others.
The classic beret will give you images of the Eiffel Tower and romantic walks by the river Seine. This flat round hat is a favorite for many ladies who do not want a hat to ruin their hairstyle. It can lightly sit on the head, keeping it warm and looks very stylish when shifted slightly to the side.
A beanie has two different definitions. In one case, a beanie, also known as a “skull cap”, is a paneled fitted hat without a brim. In another sense, a beanie is a knitted hat that often has a pom pom at the top.
A hunter’s hat is another common accessory in very cold weather. Also known as a trapper hat or a Russian ushanka, this type of hat has a square shape and long ear flaps that can be tied up or down. The hunter’s hat is normally made of fur or shearling, but there are now many synthetic options available.
Bubble (big round hat)
A bubble hat is a unique style that helps to keep the top of your head warm. As the name suggests, the hat looks like a round bubble. It is often made of fur, but today, most of them are made of wool or synthetic fibers.
This is a common cold weather hat style that many people like to wear when it feels cold out. This hat style is a cross between a beanie and a hunter’s hat in the sense that it is a soft knitted hat with long ear flaps. Sometimes these hats will have a tassel or pom pom at the top.
A bucket hat is perhaps better known for fishing and other summer outdoor sports, but there is a great selection for cold weather as well. The basic design of the hat is round with a flat top and wide rim. Often made of light cotton, winter bucket hats come in a variety of warm fabrics like wool, fleece or warm synthetics.
A cloche is a classic 1920’s bell-shaped hat that looks very much like a rounded bucket hat. The word cloche is actually french for “bell”. This is a lovely deep hat that covers the ears and sits just above the eyes. Most cloche hats are made of thick wool, though there are many variations available today.
A papakha, also known simply as the “Russian hat”, is a tall cylindrical looking hat that sits on top of your head and does not cover the ears. Originally made entirely of fur, there are many tall Papakha hats made from an array of fabrics including wool.
A fedora is best known in men’s vintage styles, but there are now many women who love to wear this hat style to add something unique to their look. A fedora is a structured hat with a wide rim and pinched sides and they come in a variety of colors and styles.
A cap is a type of hat that is made up of panels and has one visor attached to the front. The most popular cap style is the “baseball cap”, but there are also other styles that have a flat top and shorter visor. Generally used in warmer weather, you can now find many caps made of warm fabrics like wool and fleece to keep you warm in the cold.
If you are looking for something that will keep your ears warm, without messing up your hair, ear muffs are the answer. They are soft cushioned covers that go over your ears, protecting them from the cold. There are tons of cute styles and designs, you are bound to find a few pairs to work with your style.
Headbands and head wraps are a cross between ear muffs and a hat. They have more coverage around the head than ear muffs, and unlike hats, they leave the top of the head exposed.
Everyone has a couple (or a few dozen) scarves in their wardrobe. Some scarves are for the cold weather and others are more as a simple accessory to get a certain look. To really give your cold weather fashion some variety, try different scarf styles to change your look and keep you warm.
An infinity scarf is a neverending knit loop that you wear around your neck. You can loop it over your head as many times as you like to give you a different look and to keep you warmer around the neck.
Similar to an infinity scarf, a snood is a wide and small loop of knit fabric that you pull over your head. You can wear it like a scarf, or pull half of it over your head to look like a hood. Great for those days where you want to stay warm without messing up your hair.
Also similar to a snood, a neck warmer is a fairly narrow tube of warm fabric that you wear around your neck for added warmth. Neck warmers are a safer alternative to a classic scarf because it does not have any dangling parts that may get caught while skiing, snowboarding or outdoor work with machinery.
A cross between a shawl and a scarf is a stole. It is a long and wide piece of fabric that keep the neck and shoulders warm. It can be worn off the shoulders, wrapped around the neck as a scarf and will usually have either a button or pin closure.
A cowl is a cross between an infinity and a snood. Often made as a chunky knit, the cowl can be worn as a scarf or a hood. There are many tops and sweaters that have a “cowl neck”, which is the big droopy neckline that many love to wear for the cozy look.
A boa is a tube-like scarf that is normally made of fur or feather. You can wrap it around your neck or just let it rest on your shoulders.
Shawls, Capes and Ponchos
If you are looking for something that will offer you more coverage and warmth than standard cold weather accessories, try a large shawl/wrap, a cape or a poncho. They are large pieces of warm fabric that wrap around your body to add layers and warmth.
Also known as a wrap, a shawl is a wide piece of fabric that a woman can wrap around her neck or shoulders to keep them warm. Some styles will have a straight edge, while others will come with a fine fringe or tassels.
A cape is a sleeveless layering item that is wrapped around the body and has a closure near the neck. Very similar to a poncho, it comes in a variety of lengths and fabrics, and is generally worn on top of clothing instead of a jacket or coat.
Just like a cape, a poncho is a sleeveless layering item that is normally pulled over the head and worn on top of clothing, instead of a jacket or coat.
Arm Warmers and Leg Warmers
Sometimes we need a little extra warmth on certain parts of the body, but having to add more layers all around can feel too bulky and uncomfortable. The solution? Arm and leg warmers. They are simple tubes of warm fabric that slip over your arms and legs to keep them warm. You can even put them over clothes like long sleeve tops, tights and skinny pants.