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Chicago Designers Share How to Dress for the Cold

Four designers share their must-haves and tips on how they maintain their personal style in the midst of brutal winters.

In the midst of a brutal winter here in Chicago, you can spot two types of people: The ones who waddle around like penguins layered in down jackets and the ones who look like they are in a fashion magazine but a minute away from their frostbit limbs falling off.

So how does one remain fashionable without getting frostbite or looking like the abominable snowman? We asked four local designers for tips and their must haves.

Cashmere leggings. Photo: J. Crew

Liz Patelski of Remi Canarie

Tips: You don’t have to go crazy like you look like you’re going skiing or to snow blow your driveway. I always like to layer an Under Armor shirt underneath my button up to stay extra warm.
Have you ever considered moving? Every time the temperature goes below 20 we say, “This is it! We’re done! We’re moving!" Last winter we were so convinced that we were going to move to California because it was so cold out, but once it was March we all forgot about it!
Must have winter apparel: I wear my CZ Salconer cashmere leggings under my jeans.
You can find similar cashmere leggings at J.Crew (900 N. Michigan)

Luxe Mohair Throw. Photo: Restoration Hardware

Andrea Reynders of AndreaReynders

Tips: It’s all about being practical. Not properly dressing for the weather can actually cause health issues. Bundle up and stay mysterious, wrap your face in a scarf and let your beautiful eyes show through. People are way too exposed in the summer, so why not do the opposite during the winter?
Have you ever considered moving? We all dream about it from time to time, but I love being able to live through all four seasons in a year—gives me a bigger wardrobe.
Must have winter apparel: I have this woolen throw blanket made of Mohair from South Africa that I wrap around my waist like a skirt and secure it with a safety pin. It’s so light but keeps you so warm!
You can find a similar Luxe Mohair Throw from Restoration Hardware (938 W. North Ave.)

Fox fur vest. Photo: ScoopNYC

Azeeza Khan of Azeeza

Tips: Layering is key, along with investments in pieces like cashmere and fur.
Have you ever considered moving? Doesn’t every Chicagoan? But I will say, we are all talk and we are here, rain or shine. I think that fantasizing a move gets us through the winter but Chicago will always be our home. Luckily I get to go on business trips to locations such as Paris, Mexico, and Miami.
Must have winter apparel: At the moment, it’s my military green FW15 fox fur vest that is in current prototype. Given it’s part of my signature one-size-fits-all collection and quite roomy, I am able to pair over my coats for an extra added layer of warmth and style.
You can find similar at ScoopNYC (1009 N. Rush) 

Bluetooth beanie. Photo: Smart Gear

Allison Slingluff of Three Circles Chicago

Tips: Layers, layers, layers! And black of course, you can never go wrong with black.
Have you ever considered moving? Yes, but my family is here and Chicago is a great place to call home despite the winters. I travel often to escape the cold, recently I visited the Bahamas and Colorado.
Must have winter apparel: My husband got me a Bluetooth beanie for Christmas this year and it’s been so useful. You can listen to music or connect it to your phone. Keeps my hands free from the cold and my head warm!
Available at Smart Gear.


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