Stylish Ways to Stay Warm

Yesterday I set up at the Harvest Fest in Downers Grove, IL. I was there at 6:30 in the morning, and I knew the weather report said it was going to be a beautiful, sunny fall day, so I wore my capris and a short-sleeved ice-dyed shirt.

But at 6:30 in the morning, it was still dark and freezing. I stared at my clothing rack full of beautiful longsleeved ice-dyed shirts longingly. No, it wouldn’t be right to wear something I’m trying to sell….but I’m freezing!

So throwing all caution to the wind, I grabbed one and it fit perfectly and I felt so much better. The rest of the morning was a piece of cake, and as the day went on, the sun shining on my covered arms felt even better.

Fall IS a great time to start thinking about how you’re going to stay warm this winter…or fall!

Winter, however, can be a challenge. Sure there are many ways to make your outerwear stylish, but sometimes, you just have to get to work.

  • You sleep late because it’s dark outside and you don’t want to get out of bed (this would be me).
  • You’re on a budget and you don’t have time to buy that perfect wool winter coat with the wide collar and cute little matching belt.
  • Not only do you need to get out the door, feed the dog, possibly walk the dog…you also need to get in your morning workout, shower, and dress, wake your kids up, feed them breakfast, make sure they get dressed and get to school on time, oh and you need your coffee to survive…all by 7 am.
  • You don’t have time to put together the perfect winter outerwear ensemble.
  • You already know that black is the color that absorbs heat from the sun (when the sun is out, hey we’re talking about winter). So you opt to keep your black winter coat (like everyone else).

So how do you set yourself apart? How do you quickly add a bit of zing to your OUTfit, and still stay warm?


You don’t have to do a lot of accessorizing. Just one or two pieces can make all the difference in the world. Best of all…no matter what you choose, chances are it will go well with your black coat. (Or white coat).


This is one of the simplest ways to add some color and style to your “outer” outfit. And it serves the important purpose of keeping your head warm.

One of a kind slouchy cap using a combo of Madelinetosh and Malabrigo yarns.


Stranded mittens in an original design utilizing old Persian motifs.

The gloves became an accessory of the first rate and meaning in women’s clothes since the 12th century. They were decorated with colorful embroidery, jewelry, and pearls. Women splashed them with perfumes. It was considered disrespectful to a glove wearer pulled off a glove with their teeth or offered their hand to someone while still wearing a glove. Mittens are available in literally every cultural style: the amazing stranded color of Norwegian, Russian, Latvian designs. Beautiful cable knit styles, or even simple felted mittens or thrummed mittens with two layers of warmth.

Fingerless Mitts

All wool fingerless mitts, using Peace Fleece Yarn.

Fingerless mittens are a simpler version of the mittens…because if you’re on the go, you’re going to need the use of your fingers…whether it’s turning the dial on your car radio, or using your phone while on the train, or knitting in the back of the uber ride.

Your Favorite Scarf

Me in the coldest day of 2015, about to head out for a walk.

Everybody has one. Mine is a very old woven scarf that was left behind at my apartment after a college party. I never looked back. Even my daughter tries to steal it from me. I love this scarf because it’s lightweight but long and wide enough to wrap around my head several times. It’s just my favorite.


Knitted headbands have become quite popular in the last few years. They’re easy on the hairdo, and they keep your ears warm.

The simple, perfect headband, using Malabrigo yarn.


A nice alternative to the big long scarf.

Beautiful neckwarmer handknit in a woven stitch.

Reversible Headband/Gator

Brand new from LSSLuscious Knits – reversible headband/gators, with a fleecy lining. These are child sizes, but adult sizes soon to come!

This is a fairly new accessory that has hit the market. It’s for those who don’t want to deal with the bulk of a scarf, or the hat-head issue. This is a headband that can also serve as a neckwarmer. The best part is that you can have it show the crazy jazzy side or turn it inside out to show another, more subdued side.

The best part about accessories is that you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg to own one that is ALL YOU. A good coat could cost hundreds of dollars, but a good pair of mittens or a favorite hat could easily be a $50 purchase that will last you for years to come (a handmade wool lace scarf could be more, but again–heirloom quality work that will last a lifetime…see “favorite scarf”). The point is…it’s okay to wear your black winter coat to keep you warm because you have that bright and cheerful accessory that sets you apart from everyone else. You literally have thousands of styles to choose from, all of great quality. It’s better to spend the money on that well-made accessory that you adore, that speaks to you and you alone. It’s handmade with love and passion for the work. It will be unique, unlike any other you see. It’s worth it.

By the way, handmade winter accessories aren’t the only thing people appreciate. Just as I was closing up shop at Harvest Fest, someone literally bought that borrowed ice-dyed shirt right off my back!

Don’t forget to come and see me next weekend – Saturday, October 7th, I’ll be at the Honeycraft Market in McHenry IL from 1-4:30 pm and on Sunday, October 8th, I’ll be at the GIPNA Farmers Market at Independence Park in Chicago from 9am-1pm!

Source: Sarah Hinkle, History of Gloves and Mittens, 2014