The temperature drops, the number of layers increases; the inversely proportional relationship threatens to destroy any hope of you feeling your sexiest as you struggle to fend off the chill. As summer turns to autumn turns to winter, how do you evolve your style to be weather-appropriate and yet head-turningly appealing?
To foster an even more practical approach, go for layers – without covering the dipping neckline that keeps the whole thing looking high-impact. A long, heavy, relaxed winter coat worn open over the top of another plunging jacket makes for a chic wintery look.
Photocredit: Plunging neckline at Thyeskens Theory, F/W ’13.
The mysterious, film noir theme running through this year’s trends means the runways were splashed with femme fatale sleepwear inspired slip dresses and sheer lace boudoir gowns. In themselves, these are not particularly winter-ready, but with the addition of a heavy wool or fur coat, the whole look takes on a wintery charm. Imagine you’re sneaking out at midnight to catch a (steam) train to a new life, throwing on a pair of heels and overcoat as you run out the door. Vintage inspired sheer, lace or silk slips work best for the noir theme. Add beading embellishments for a more glamorously evening take. To keep this look from feeling stuck in the past and instead giving it that modern edge, add dishevelled wet look hair. The new noir vixen isn’t too polished. Fur (or faux fur) coats work perfectly, as do heavy wool coats with slightly masculine shoulders.
Photocredit: Sheer dresses and heavy coats at Louis Vuitton, F/W ’13.
An alternative mood to indulge in is to go full grunge. The messy hair and smudged eyes are still present, but so is the soul of the ’90s. Saint Laurent did it best with spider web lace layered under long coats.
For the grungy mood, look for slips in satin or abstracted lace, paired with coats in leather, fur, or plaid. Saint Laurent added fishnets and boots. You can also smarten the look up with a pair of pumps.
Be wary of vintage pieces that are too worn or that lack quality, you’re best looking for those still in great condition. Modern grunge has some glamour and a bit of polish. Some smudgy kohl eyeliner is the perfect accompaniment.
Photocredit: Sheer dresses and heavy coats gone grunge at Saint Laurent, F/W ’13.
Throwing a heavy coat over any short little nothing is the party girl’s go to process in winter. That much you know. But each new season brings freshly trending ways of interpreting this winter ritual, and for this winter, it’s all about maximum contrast.
Photocredit: Sexy winter layering at Pucci, F/W ’13.
If you wanted a simple guideline for sexy winter dressing it’s probably this: choose one thing to expose and cover all else. That’s where you’ll find balance between comfort and suffering, looking appropriate and looking hot. A peep of midriff in between heavy wool pants, a cropped knit and a jacket. A hint of thigh between a skirt and high-high boots. A jacket worn shirtless exposing a sweep of décolletage. The latter was one of the most popular examples to grace the fall runways. It’s not great for the office, but can be perfectly elegant yet sexy after hours, or viable during the day with an invisibly low-plunging top underneath.
Photocredit: Plunging jackets at Max Mara, F/W ’13.
An invention of the Prada mind, anything with buttons and enough of a wide neckline can be partially undone and worn off-shoulder. Prada did it with layers of wool waistcoats and knits, but you can experiment with anything from cardigans to heavy knit dresses for your own sensual dishevelment.
Photo credit: Off the shoulder appeal at Prada, F/W ’13.
Another option for mixing light and heavy is with an open-weave knit under a warm coat. As with the options above, the warmth of the coat negates the icy wind creeping in through the holes of the knit, and you can wrap it tight around yourself as you stride from taxi to venue.
Photocredit: Open weave knit and heavy jacket at Missoni, F/W ’13.