How to Dress In a Blizzard

A Philadelphian's guide to bundling.


Yesterday, I watched as a girl walked very precariously down an icy street in pointed-toe heels, no socks. I walked behind her for a block before I realized that I was holding my breath, the same way I do when a performer walks down stairs on stage or does some crazy dance move: Don’t. Fall.

We’re in the midst of a winter that will not loosen up its chokehold. As I write this, the snow has just started to fall in Center City. Soon, if you listen to all those reports, it will change to a “snow and sleet sandwich”, which will surely be fun for all.

It can be confusing, dressing for a blizzard (or an ice storm). There is nothing cute about being pinged incessantly with tiny ice pellets as you walk down the street. No, winter storm dressing is not fun. Winter storm dressing is about survival. Here is how to do it right. 

1: Leave the heels at home. (Or, better yet, in a shoe bag tucked in your purse.)
This is not the time to show off your fancy footwear. Keep it simple: Wear snow boots, rain boots or riding boots (look for a rugged rubber sole in each of these). Here’s a great video on how to style your winter boots.


Images via Elle, The Times.

2. Wear the biggest scarf you can find.
I swear by a thick black infinity scarf (knitted for me by my very domestic assistant editor Marina). My other standbys: a wool blanket scarf that I wrap around my neck a few times, and a thick vintage fur stole that threatens to swallow up my head.


3. Wear a hat.
Okay, so the old wives’ tale about losing most of your heat through your head might not be totally true, but wearing a hat does keep you warmer. And why turn down an extra accessory? Use winter as an excuse to play with headgear, from fedoras to floppy brims.


Center photo by Bridget Fleming.

4. Layer, layer, layer.
Lots of people get hung up on this one. It’s easy, really: Start with the layer that’s the most form-fitting and thin. This might be a simple henley or a basic turtleneck. From there, add a button-down. Next, add a sweater. From here, you can continue to add — a fur vest, perhaps? Then toss on a coat, a scarf, a hat and you’re set.