Winter down south is something else. Snow isn’t exactly rare, but bone-chilling temperatures aren’t the norm. Our winters are mild compared to other spots, but since folks down home are used to humidity and higher temperatures, winter-wear is still essential. Learn how to keep it cute and cozy through the chilly season with these southern fashion styles, whether you’re kicking up your heels in Charleston or painting the town red in Atlanta.
Snow happens down south, but not as often as in the rest of the United States. The temperatures don’t often drop down to freezing and the region’s humidity can lead to relatively mild winters, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have some kind of outerwear. In many Southern towns, the vest is the winter wear of choice. From soft fleece down vests to fabulous faux fur pieces, a vest can give your winter outfits the perfect amount of off-duty edge while keeping you toasty.
The Anchor Dress
Out of all the dresses in your closet, you need at least one dress that’s simple but stylish. A well-fitted midi dress with a straight skirt, for example, is a chic, versatile piece you can wear all throughout the winter. Make sure it’s a neutral color, such as black, navy blue, charcoal, dark brown, or taupe. Try to find a dress you can easily dress up or down depending on your accessories and footwear. That way, you can turn it into a dynamic daytime dress or a date night stunner.
Leggings are a mainstay in the south, but the style is different from what you find in the northeast. Instead of pairing your leggings with Uggs, you can enjoy wearing lightweight bottoms all through the Southern winter, paired with cute booties and a sensational sweater dress. On chilly days, slip on a pair of leggings beneath your favorite mini or maxi skirt.
Jeans are a staple during Southern winters, as well. With a cozy turtleneck, they help to create a casual look. Throw on a nice top and a carelessly knotted scarf, however, and you’re ready to head out for a holiday stroll or dinner and a movie.
Not Just a Coat, But a Statement
Although vests have their place, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have a coat. It’s unlikely that you’ll need a fluffy puffer coat or a heavy wool coat down south, but a statement jacket can come in handy. Consider a long trench coat, a leather—or vegan leather—jacket, or a cute pea coat to add a bit of flair to your overall outfit.
Long-Sleeved but Lightweight
Ultra-thick sweaters are a little much for Southern winters, but long sleeves are still on-point. You just have to think lightweight. Cashmere and cotton sweaters make more sense than wool. Crisp button-down shirts will serve you well, as will long sleeve tees and fancy blouses made of silk, satin, and cotton.
More Layers Than an Onion
You can create dozens of stylish outfits when you layer, which is a practical option for mild winters. When it’s cold outside, layer up with a denim jacket or blazer over a light sweater, a button-down, or a tee shirt. Throw on a vest or statement coat. That way, you can remove layers as the weather dictates.
Fabulous in Flannel
Flannel is a must-have for winter, no matter what the climate. In a pinch, a flannel shirt on top of a tee shirt or a thin sweater is an acceptable alternative to a jacket or cardigan. Wear your flannel over a turtleneck for an ’80s-inspired throwback. Add a belt, a midi skirt, and thick tights to take your aesthetic to another level.
It’s easy to keep warm with the right accessories. And accessories add to your status as a fierce fashion maven, too. Stock up on scarves that highlight your outfit in addition to protecting you from snow flurries and windy weather. The same goes for knitted beanies and wide-brim wool hats. Include gloves and a vintage-inspired coat with a full skirt to turn your winter wear into an outfit all its own.
Fashionable but Functional Shoes
You might want a pair of heavy-duty winter boots on standby, along with rain boots, for all those winter showers. But down south, your cold-weather footwear collection can be broad and wide-ranging. Dare to wear your ballet flats and booties. Knee-high boots are best for the days that see snowfall, but you’ll also have ample opportunities to wear your fashion sneakers and killer heels. Use your shoes to shift the direction of your outfits. With high heels, jeans and flannels take on a sharp appearance. Boots can transform your midi dress into something edgy.
Let us know some of your most stylish winter outfits. How do you exhibit your Southern fashion style when it gets cold outside?
About the Author
Tess DiNapoli is an artist, freelance writer, and content strategist. She has a passion for yoga and often writes about health and wellness, but also enjoys covering the fashion industry and world of fitness.