My Winter MVPs

It’s here y’all, the holiday season. This means millions of Americans are in a glorious frenzy of shopping, wrapping, and giving. Wreaths are hung, lights are draped, and Christmas trees stand taller than they have all year.

But in a little house in Silver Spring, Maryland, your girl is cold. The holiday season signals that winter is no longer coming, it’s here. And no matter how many winters I endure on the East Coast, I don’t like it. The freezing rain, the snow, and the blustery winds that make it necessary for something called a “wind chill” to exist—it can all go to hell.

What all these years have done, however, is helped me prepare, build a warm winter wardrobe, and keep myself cozy all the way until bottles pop on Memorial Day weekend. I’ve relied on winter’s Most Valuable Players for the past 20 years, since I was in college at the University of Maryland, walking what seemed like miles between the Life Sciences and Journalism buildings. My MVPs are lovingly stored in a plastic tub for 6 months of the year, only to emerge and land in constant rotation as if we’d never parted. These wardrobe players make it possible for me to operate normally, venture outside, attend holidays parties, and remain close to my family.

MVP #1: Fleece-lined Black Tights

[Find under $7 at Marshalls/TJ Maxx, or $10-14 @ Target]

In the fall, I start wearing black tights of normal thickness, slightly opaque, extending the wear of summer dresses even longer into the year. I don’t mess around with patterns or funky stitching or anything that will compete with the dresses I already own or make my shoe choice too busy.

But soon after, it’s off to the races with the thickest, blackest tights I can find. I wear these tights under jeans, work slacks, even sweatpants. I even have larger sized “winter jeans” just to accommodate a pair of tights underneath. And believe it or not, as temps dip below 20 degrees, I double up and wear two pairs of tights, especially on weekends!

 

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Back to Black. šŸ–¤#AndBackInTheHouse #MDsnowday #whatiwore #blackpanther #blackhistorymonth

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MVP #2: Fierce Leather Boots

Black tights all winter can make an outfit look a little dowdy, so I like to dress them up with a pair of chic black boots, which, honestly, can elevate the dowdiest of fits.

I got these boots from Zara for about $99. They are some of my favorites, that’s for sure.

 

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un aƱo. šŸ“· by @tayloredbyapril #washingtondc

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These are my first pair of over-the-knee leather boots, from Stuart Weitzman.

 

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Mike and I(ke). #JayZ444Tour #CapitalOneArena #WashingtonDC

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MVP #3: The Sweater Dress

There is no simpler piece of clothing, on any day of the week or for any occasion, than a dress. Put on a single item and you’re done. For this reason, a sweater dress can’t be beat in the winter. It doesn’t have to be form-fitting, just warm. I’m small-busted, so my dresses normally feature a v-neck or scoop neck. I’m already covered from head to toe with the aforementioned black tights, so I show a bit of skin for a more balanced look.

I got this sweater dress from H&M. Believe it or not, I’m wearing it backwards!

Boots: Guess.

MVP #4: The Statement Coat

Do you have one item in your closet that makes you feel like a million bucks? For me, it’s my Mackage leather-sleeved coat, which I got from Nordstrom a few years ago. I’ve got other coats in almost every color of the rainbow, but they all have taken a backseat since this one.

Boots: Modern Vintage.

 

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Lauriol Plaza, Washington, DC. #ootd #ootn #washingtondc #modernvintage #mackage #nightphoto #fujix100t #mlkday #secrethuddle

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Landover Landover

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MVP #5: The Knit Hat

Last but not least, never leave home without your warm knit hat. But not just any knit hat. It has to be big, like a mushroom cap, and stretchy, so that it can accommodate any hairstyle and leave you without helmet head. I get my hats from a variety of places, but the most consistent place to find the type of roomy knit hat I love might be a surprise: my local beauty supply store!

 

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#matchbox @aprhil0409

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MVP#6: The Chunky Sweater

This item may be my favorite of all, because I can wear it in the house, outside as a coat, and it makes for an easy transition through the fall to winter and winter back to spring. I bring chunky sweaters on flights, to the movies, and I even use them in the summer for air-conditioned venues.

 

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@Plumrufflesstyling birthday dinner. #oldtown #alexandria #novemberbirthdays #ootn #zara #agjeans

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At the beach. #Thanksgiving #allblackeverything

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As you can see, these outfits get a ton of airtime, mixed and matched all winter. You might also notice the honorable mentions: the extra long hoodies and high top Nikes I employ throughout the winter as well. I do whatever I can to chill without a chill. So far, it’s working!