Baby, It’s Cold Outside! How to Heat up Your Wardrobe

By Erin Donnelly

pic12The Iceman cometh. Unfortunately, so has Mr. Right, and you’re frantically debating whether it’s better to wear something slinky anyway (hypothermia be damned!), or to bundle up in your thickest wool turtleneck and hope for an Eskimo kiss.

Plan B? Update your winter wardrobe with these stylish cold weather fashions (for all ages) that will get both of your temperatures rising.

pic23The Sweater Dress

Ah, the sweater dress. It’s cozy, it’s sexy, and it’s a date night must when the temperature drops. Jazz yours up with thick black stockings and some killer knee-high leather boots to keep your legs warm. One caveat: The good thing about sweater dresses is that they show off every curve. The bad thing about sweater dresses is that they show off every bulge too – so get thee some Spanx!

In Your 20s: With its dramatic disco-ready bell sleeves and an edgy downtown hoodie down the back, the gray cashmere-blend Karoo Dress with Hoodie (shown) has enough attitude to head straight to the clubs.

In Your 30s: Banana Republic’s Cap-Sleeve Twist Sweater Dress has an alluring, intricate bodice to capture his attention (hey, a little sex appeal never hurts).

In Your 40s: This bold Catherine Malandrino Rip Collar Sweater Dress provides a bit more coverage without sacrificing sex appeal.

In Your 50s: Lauren Ralph Lauren’s Cashmere Stand-Collar Dress (shown) proves that you don’t need to flash some leg and décolleté to look sexy. Great for curvaceous body types.

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Sassy Sweaters & Cardigans 

If the first thing that comes to mind when you think “sassy sweater” is Cliff Huxtable, think again. Look for form-fitting knits with glamorous details, not baggy, shapeless sweaters that give you the torso of the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man. Add your finest butt-framing black trousers and heels before heading out to meet your man.

In Your 20s: A dangerously low neckline is predictable – but a plunging back? Now that’s sexy. The Merino Wool Boatneck Sweater from Victoria’s Secret (shown) is perfect for a cool and confident woman who’s not afraid to use the rowing machine at the gym.

In Your 30s: Go girly in this cute-as-a-button Karen Kane Poet Sleeve Silk & Cashmere Sweater. Nothing says flirty like pink. pic4

In Your 40s: Shawl collars – like the one on the Laura Clement Wool-Blend Wrapover Sweater (shown) – drape the body beautifully and create an elegant frame for a seductive little lace-trimmed camisole worn underneath.

In Your 50s: The Spiegel Dolman Sleeve Cardigan is the cure for the common turtleneck, thanks to the sexy (but subtle) semi-sheer sleeves and bodice.

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Top Coats

A heavy hooded parka might get an Arctic dogsledder all hot and bothered, but closer to the equator you’re better off looking for overcoats with a bit more polish. This season opt for brighter hues to help you beat the winter blues, plus narrow cuts, cinched waists, and fashionable embellishments for a look that’s more high fashion and less North Pole.

In Your 20s: Make like Molly Ringwald and go pretty in pink with this flirty ¾ Length Wool Coat from Express. Yes, it’s girly, but hey, so are you.

In Your 30s: This stylish Mulines Overcoat from Mango is a great example of how form-fitting tailoring (not to mention a hot black leather belt) can take a classic coat to the next level.

In Your 40s: No wonder they write songs about ladies in red. This Audrey Hepburn-esque crimson Theory Panya Coat is a real stunner thanks to pintucked details and a chic sash around the waist.

In Your 50s: This glamorous French Connection Wanna Coat comes in a regal purple hue that looks amazing over a little black dress (or slacks, on those really chilly evenings).

With the right clothes even the most cold-blooded gal can look like a hot mama during a deep freeze. And if you start to feel a chill coming on, just remember to layer on the best accessory of all: body heat.

More SMW Fashion & Beauty Advice:

10 Floral Fashions We Love

10 Eco-Friendly Dresses

The Woman’s Guide to High-Tech Beauty Tools