How Do I Break My Cycle of ‘Blah’ Day-to-Day Style?

Expert advice from stylist Maritza Bernard on how to enhance your winter wardrobe and style.

It’s winter. Crawling out from under the covers in the morning takes a Herculean effort, never mind putting together an outfit that will make you look (and feel) good. “Often in the winter,” says Maritza Bernard, creator of shopping and styling agency Milkshop, “people’s focus is on staying warm, and they do not care what they look like.” 

Here, the Westchester resident shares her ideas for easily invigorating your appearance, and attitude, when you’ve contemplated leaving the house in a Snuggie and UGGs. Key, says Bernard, is to “stop yourself from always being conservative and step outside of your comfort zone once in a while.”

How can women—and men—avoid a daily dressing rut when it’s freezing out? At the beginning of the season, style out a few  ‘go-to’ outfits so that on days when you’re so chilly you can’t think about what to wear, you have a few outfits you can choose from to throw on and know you’re walking out looking like a hit. 

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Warm, heavier pieces tend to be costly. How can someone revamp his or her look midway through the season without spending a fortune? Invest in a great jacket and timeless sweaters that you can get two-plus years out of. Then, in-season, add accessories to your cold-weather wear. Add scarves and hats to an outfit. Costume jewelry is another quick update: Add a fun, sparkly or chunky necklace to a simple black sweater. Lastly, a great pair of boots can change any look in an instant.  

What are some ways to liven up a ‘uniform’ of knits and neutrals? An easy way to add some life to your wardrobe is by wearing a coat in a ‘pop’ color like red or green. A coat or jacket is the first thing people will see on you, and it adds so much personality to a neutral sweater underneath. 

Where do you shop for add-on pieces? Anthropologie for hats and beanies. Jackets and shoes from ZARA are affordable and great quality. For costume jewelry, Forever 21 and H&M, as well as BP at Nordstrom and Banana Republic. I also love Bloomingdale’s because of their great sales!

Other ideas for keeping things inventive during the long colder months?  I love layering and mixing prints and textures—wearing plaid on plaid; a polka-dot shirt with a leopard skirt; adding bold-colored tights under a printed dress and an army jacket on top. I like adding a masculine piece to a very girly look to balance it out.

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