Winter Fashion: Wrap Yourself in Something Wonderful

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Though many count the days till spring, I must admit I like winter. There are unexpected flurries outside while I write, and I like that, too. Sitting at my laptop, sipping a steaming cup of coffee feels cozy and nice.

Though it will be frigid when I get up tomorrow morning, the sun will be sparkling. I’ll put on a chunky sweater, cashmere scarf, furry boots and my shearling coat. I like that, too.

Though I adore the chicness of black and grey, once it’s past New Year’s I like the lighter look of bold color, pastels or neutrals against them. Berry red and khaki. Sky blue and pearl gray. Rich cream with black. Or, most luscious of all, winter white from head to toe.

Eggplant-hued shearllng vests offer warmth and style. Photos provided by Jacques Ferber

Pull out your leather jeans and velvet leggings. This is the time to really wear them. Add a beautiful sweater or flowy blouse, put on a pair of fabulous boots and you’re out the door.

Whether you travel often or never leave town, if you buy one new thing, try a fabulous cape or big wrap or shawl. The meaning of seasonless. The newest are fur-trimmed (real or faux), adding warmth as well as beauty, and can surely be worn on a chilly evening in Florida or a warmer day as we turn toward spring in Philadelphia.

A travel must-have, I never leave home without my camel cashmere wrap — mine is ruffled, rather than fur-trimmed, truly a 12-month piece. Perfect over everything I own, it serves as a blanket in a freezing hotel room or on a plane.

But back to February in Philly.

Styles come and go, yet there is nothing more luxurious — or flattering — than a fur jacket, again real or faux. A smashing look that looks good on every woman, there is a new casualness to them. Choose from minimal three-quarters length to your thigh in sheared mink or beaver; or chubby and cropped to your hip in fox, chinchilla or a fuller fur.

Sometimes removable, contrasting collars in spiky silver fox or Toscana lamb add additional warmth while kicking the fashion up a notch. Wear these super lightweight jackets like a dressy sweater, over everything from an evening gown to new wide-leg pants to jeans.

Though I know little about economics, I believe this is what you call a blue-chip investment.

A full-length fur, to the knee or midcalf, is a forever option as well. Always elegant, always gorgeous. And warm. Years ago, I was doing a photo shoot at Jacques Ferber, then in Ardmore. Spying a super-slim sheared mink, I slipped it on and fell in love. Sheared fur was just starting to be fashionable — the end of the big bear look — and I had to have it. One of the prettiest things I’ve ever owned. So many years later, I’m still wearing — and loving — that coat. Talk about a good investment.

Above: A mink coat is a blue-chip investment.
Photos provided by Jacques Ferber

The flipside of fur is puffer. Down jackets and coats become sleek and slim, functional and fashionable, newest when mixed with other fabrics like leather and suede — no longer forcing you to look like the Michelin Man. Many now have zip-out linings and sleeves, giving you a coat and vest in one item.

Top of the line is Moncler, but styles are abundant at every price point, from designer ski jackets to moderate priced lookalikes to discount brands (lots are on sale right now). Never forget, a stunning wool coat looks great, too. Go for something military with big buttons or something eclectic with embellished collar and cuffs.

And last, nothing makes a winter wardrobe pop faster than a fur or fun-fur scarf.

Knitted or sheared, neutrals are universal, but bold colors look best right now. Knitted red beaver scarf on a black coat. Magnificent.

And for the girl who has everything? A fur muff or evening bag. Once more, wear it with a cocktail dress or with jeans. Super cool, super in, try a bright color for ultimate fabulousness — a wonderful way to go from day to evening.

Temperatures drop and wind whips, and we still want to look terrific — whether you are in Philly or Florida, Aspen or L.A. I, for one, certainly look better in a turtleneck than a bathing suit, happy in my winter wardrobe as I reach for powdery pastels and creamy white sweaters, mixed with black and gray, velvet and fur.

Wrap yourself in something cozy. Look like an icicle. Look like a snowflake. Stay safe and enjoy every chic, chilly moment. Grab that wrap and remember spring is just weeks away.