We live in a wonderfully weird country where the snow falls in the morning, the sun blazes in the afternoon, and the wind howls in the evening. One day it could be -28 degrees outside and then the next it will feel like a balmy autumn afternoon.
There are no other words to describe it: the weather in Canada is frustrating, annoying, and just plain crazy.
The challenge becomes this: how to dress for your workday when the temperature can change at the drop of a hat. The solution, dear readers, is layers.
Coats, Jackets, and Cardigans
The key to layers is putting together an ensemble that is warm and professional at the same time. A long-sleeved cardigan paired with a sleeveless printed shirt is the ultimate winter professional look. You can also try a long-sleeved shirt or turtleneck with a blazer — both cover your arms and it makes it easy to shed a layer if the heat in your office is blazing.
If it’s going to be a very cold day, you can always put a jacket over top of the cardigan, over top of a sleeveless shirt. This look can get a bit complex for the inexperienced, but I promise the outcome will be worth it. Keep the layers light so that if you are taking public transportation you don’t sweat through your clothing. One layer is sleeveless, the second is a light cardigan, and the last layer can be a something a little thicker like wool or cotton.
The knit sweater
Knit sweaters used to be something you hid in the back of your closet, but now it’s time to bring them out. Pairing a colourful sweater with a pair of dress pants and a white blouse as an under layer — collar showing above the neckline — can be a professional and transformative look. If it starts to get warm out, just remove the sweater and reveal the business-ready you!
Another option is to wear a tank top under a knit sweater with a pencil skirt and leggings.
Wrap a scarf around it
Sometimes, all it takes to stay warm is a good scarf around your neck. A thicker wool scarf can be paired nicely with both a winter jacket and a light sweater or cardigan in the office. Or change it up and wear a lighter scarf with a thicker sweater. The best part about scarves is that there is something for every outfit — whether you like silk, shine, matte, fringe, wool, patterns, or knit-wear, a scarf will always be there for you. They are the easiest of the layered accessories.
If all else fails, remember that it’s okay to bring an extra pair of shoes to leave at the office. No one wants to walk in 15 inches of snow with heels, or spend the entire day in waterproof boots that make their feet sweat. It’s okay to leave one “layer” at work while sporting the other on the road.
Do you have a favourite layered look? Tell us about it in the comments below!