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What Should I Wear to School in Winter?

Last update: 2023-11-05

Picking out an outfit for school each day can be tricky, especially when the weather turns cold. The winter months bring their own unique wardrobe challenges. You want to stay warm and comfortable, but you also don't want to look like you're heading out on an arctic expedition! Here are some tips for dressing fashionably and practically for school in the winter.

Keep Layering in Mind

Layering clothing is key for warmth and versatility when temps drop. Start with fitted long underwear or leggings as a base layer. Then build up with looser layers on top, like a long sleeve tee, sweater, and jacket or coat. Bring along a hat, scarf, and gloves to protect extremities. Having several lighter layers gives you more options to add or remove items as needed. Throwing a vest over a sweater is another stylish layering technique.

stylish attractive young smiling woman walking in street in winter outfit with coffee wearing checkered coat, white knitted hat and scarf, happy mood, fashion style trend

Choose Cozy Fabrics

Opt for soft, warm fabrics in winter that provide insulation. Wool sweaters are a classic choice, as the material retains heat even when wet. Cashmere, fleece, and flannel are other cozy fabrics that help block out the cold. Thicker cottons and ponte knits also work well. Steer clear of silk, linen, and other cooler weather fabrics that won't provide much warmth.

Prioritize Function in Coats and Jackets

When picking outerwear for frigid temps, go for function over just fashion. A durable, heavyweight winter coat is a must for staying toasty outside. Look for insulation like down, PrimaLoft, or Thinsulate, a weatherproof exterior, and a hood for added coverage. For school, a parka-length coat or thigh-length puffer jacket with cuffs helps seal out drafts. Save those cute cropped jackets for milder weather.

Choose the Right Footwear

Stylish woman with trendy beige bag on stairs outdoors, closeup
Insulated, waterproof boots with good traction are ideal for trudging through snow and ice. Brands like Sorel, Columbia, and Kamik make styles specifically for cold and wet conditions. For days with less precipitation, pick roomier boots with thick soles (Ugg or combat boots work) or casual leather shoes you can layer with thick socks. Always wear closed-toe, fully-enclosed shoes in wintertime.

Accessorize for Warmth

Hats, scarves, and gloves aren't just fun accessories in winter—they genuinely help keep you warm! Beanies or earmuffs cover your head and ears. Look for gloves with touchscreen-friendly fingertips so you can still use your phone. Infinity scarves wrap around your neck for maximum coverage, or layer a scarf under your coat. Hand and foot warmers are great for keeping extremities toasty outside too.

Play with Texture and Patterns

Add visual interest to your winter wardrobe with cool textures and patterns. Knits like cable, ribbed, and waffle weaves add natural texture. Faux fur accents on boots, hats, and coats are cozy too. Plaids, fair isle prints, and Nordic patterns complement the season. Sprinkle in winter motifs like snowflakes, deer, trees, etc. Layering different textures and patterns together creates a stylish cold weather ensemble.

Incorporate Trendy Touches

Outdoor portrait of young beautiful fashion happy smiling girl wearing winter trendy pink faux fur coat, light blue beanie, scarf, posing on snow covered street
You can blend current fashion trends into your winter wear too. Oversized silhouettes like puffer jackets, boyfriend jeans, and lug sole boots are popular now. Monochromatic tones and earthy neutrals are always chic for winter. You can also have fun with seasonal jewelry like snowflake earrings or pine tree pendants. Dress up outfits with faux leather leggings, metallic boots, or bold berets. Don't be afraid to get creative!

Mix and Match Basics

Build up your winter wardrobe with versatile separates you can mix and match into different outfits. Keep your tops, sweaters, bottoms, and layers neutral for easy pairing. Then simply swap out statement accessories and outerwear to create fresh looks. Having go-to staples in different weights lets you adapt pieces as temps fluctuate. With a solid foundation of wintry basics, you'll always have something stylish and weather-appropriate to wear.

Stay Organized

Juggling hats, gloves, scarves, and bulky layers every time you go out the door can be a hassle. Get organized to streamline winter dressing. Designate baskets or bins to store cold weather gear. Use hooks by the door for coats and reusable shopping bags for transporting items. Keep extra pairs of gloves and lip balm in your backpack too. A little organization goes a long way in making winter dressing drama-free.

Attractive young woman wearing purple warm coat, white wool knitted cap and scarf in cold winter weather in park.

Now that you know how to bundle up in style all winter, you can head to school prepared for whatever weather comes your way. The key is wearing soft fabrics that insulate, sealing out cold with wool, down fill, and weatherproof outer layers. Throw in some cozy accessories and trendy flair too. With the right winter wardrobe additions you'll stay warm, comfy, and cute no matter how low the temperatures get!

5 Frequently Asked Questions About Dressing for School in Winter:

1. What kind of coat is warmest for winter?

For maximum warmth, choose a parka or puffer coat with down or synthetic insulation like PrimaLoft. A thigh or knee-length silhouette with a cinchable hood provides great coverage. Look for outer shells made of weatherproof fabrics like nylon or Gore-Tex.

2. Should I wear leggings or pants in winter?

Leggings layered under dresses, skirts, or tunics are a comfy way to add insulation on frigid days. Fleece-lined leggings are extra cozy. For more coverage outdoors, try wool trousers or jeans in heavy-weight denim. Waterproof snow pants also seal out chill.

3. What type of boots work for winter weather?

The best winter boots have insulation, waterproof exteriors, and rugged traction. Look for brands designed specifically for cold and snow like Sorel, Kamik, or Columbia. For milder days, Ugg boots or leather boots with thick lug soles are good too.

4. How do I accessorize outfits for winter?

Essential cold weather accessories include gloves, hats, scarves, and socks. Try a beanie or fleece-lined headband to cover ears. Mittens are warmer than gloves. Top off outfits with blanket scarves or shawls. And don't forget the thick socks! Hand and foot warmers also come in handy.

5. What fabric is warmest for winter coats and jackets?

Wool and down are the warmest jacket fills. Wool provides great insulation even when damp. Down is ultra-warm but avoid getting it wet. For shells, nylon ripstop and Gore-Tex excel at wind and water resistance while still breathing. Fleece and shearling give off cozy natural warmth too.


Dressing for school in the wintertime calls for strategic layering, weather-appropriate fabrics, and cold-fighting accessories. Start by building up light layers topped with insulating wool sweaters and fleece. Bundling up in a parka, puffer jacket, or wool coat will lock in heat to withstand frigid temps. Waterproof snow boots and touchscreen gloves are winter essentials too. With the right blend of fashionable and functional pieces, you can create cute cold weather looks perfect for heading to class in style all season long. Don't let the dropping temperatures cramp your fashion - just use these tips to rock your winter wear at school!

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