Sandra Pittana, style expert at "CityLine" on Citytv, gives us her tips on how to stay both warm and stylish all winter long.
1. Update your coats -- on a budget
"If you wear a button-up wool coat, I would consider visiting a fabric or second-hand store for an update of either vintage or new buttons," says Pittana. "Although you won't be able to change the size of the buttons, because the existing buttonhole predetermines that, you can certainly change the colour and probably improve on the quality of what is already there."
With colour blocking being a strong trend the past few seasons, why not try cobalt blue or candy-apple red buttons on your black coat, or Kelly green or saffron buttons for your chocolate-brown coat? "Add in coloured gloves and a handbag and you've totally revamped your coat for a new season," she adds.
If you have a down-filled puffer coat, you probably have a zip closure. "In this case, you can update this look by adding great fur accessories -- real or faux," says Pittana. "Whether it's the cuff of a glove, a great collar or hat, or the cuff on a boot, fur is this season's must-have update." Keep it to a maximum of two fur accessories only, though. If you go overboard with fur, you risk getting swallowed up in your outerwear.
2. Keep shoes and boots in mint condition
"Shoe and boot protection begins with a good leather or suede protector to ward off salt and slush stains," says Pittana. "Round up your winter footwear before the first snowfall and give your shoes and boots a conditioning polish first, and then a few coats of protectant spray to get them ready for the harsh conditions." Remember to repeat these steps every few weeks during the winter to keep your footwear in top condition for years to come.
Page 1 of 2 -- Find expert advice on how to wear stylish furs, scarves and belts with your winter wardrobe on page 2
"As for your handbags, any good shoe-repair store carries products to clean and remove stains from suede and leather," says Pittana. "You'd be surprised how a nourishing cream polish can give new life to your favourite bag." The time you put into taking care of your leather and suede truly determines the longevity of these items, so be sure to make that extra effort this season.
3. Make the most of winter accessories
• Fur: "Fur, fur and more fur -- it's both timeless and fun," says Pittana. "And this is not about the traditions of yesteryear," she adds. "This is all about treating fur (faux or otherwise) as any other fabric accessory, except that it offers the look of luxury purely because of its rich, soft texture."
• Infinity scarves or "snoods": "If fur is not your thing and you're ready for a new scarf, look for the infinity scarf (the knitted circle) that you can wrap two or three times around your neck," says Pittana. Infinity scarves make tying troubles nearly obsolete as it's impossible to wear this chic scarf style the wrong way -- it's an effortless accessory in the truest sense.
• Wide belts: "Look to the wide belt to cinch in your coat of last year," says Pittana. "The new silhouette is slimmer to the body, and the bonus is that it keeps the wind out." Find your natural waistline and layer your wide belt over top, cinching it so you can get a tailored look while still having the necessary breathing room.
Updating your winter closet by no means requires spending a lot of money. A few tweaks to items you already own can give your winter wardrobe a whole new lease on life. And don't forget to protect all of your leather and suede to keep these expensive items in top condition -- they will last for years and act as the anchor to your otherwise updatable winter wardrobe.
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