Winter is not kind to our legs, especially when we are asked to don dress clothes. For some reason most women's dress pants are impossibly thin. Skirts obviously possess and warmth issue. And even if we get to wear jeans, they don't always protect us from that biting winter wind.
Stay Warm Strategy #1: Layer with Long Johns
You can layer on your legs like you do with tops. Hide cozy long johns (or long janes if you prefer) under your clothes. These Terramar Thermasilk Pants (Amazon, $29.90, pictured left), which provide ultimate warmth and boast quick dry technology, are the best choice to battle the super cold. If you don't want to invest in long johns, layer your leggings under your jeans, dress pants and skirts. I rated some of my favorite leggings recently. You can also go for super warm leggings (which are cuter than long johns) like these Boucle Sweater Legging (Hue, $48, pictured middle) or these cable knit leggings (Target, $19.99, pictured right).
Stay Warm Strategy #2: Meet in the Middle
I know knee boots only come up to the knee, but you can meet them half way with a long coat. This way, you can wear a skirt or pants and have your boots and coat block the blustering wind. For warm boots, look to leather. Plastic boots don't offer much warmth and fabric boots often let in the wind. Regardless of the outer material, get warm linings like shearling or fleece. Pictured (L to R): DKNY Ruffled Planket Coat, Macys, $104.99; Blowfish Ruffled Shearling Lined Boots, BarefootTess, $89
Stay Warm Strategy #3: Fabric Choice
Like I mentioned, most dress pants are not warm. If you can afford some season specific pants and skirts, go for wool and other heavy materials like corduroy and heavy synthetics. Also check pants for linings. This can help cut the wind and keep you warm. Avoid thin pants and flouncy skirts, which can't handle the cold of the winter wind. Pictured: Winter Wool Trouser, Banana Republic, $49.99; Military Inspired Corduroy Skirt, White House Black Market, $39.99
Stay Warm Strategy #4: Stockings
This goes with the layering strategy mentioned above. Warm socks can do a lot for your feet and legs. Knee-high and thigh high socks or cozy sweater tights are a great way to stay warm without spending a lot of money as these are often much cheaper than leggings and long johns. (Check T.J. Maxx and Marshalls for quality fabrics like cashmere and wool at almost synthetically low prices). Pictured: Merino Thigh Highs, Sock Dreams, $23; Wool Rib Tights, Sock Dreams $22
Stay Warm Strategy #5: Leg Warmers
Another layering option is the leg warmer. Try to push the visions of 80s exercise videos from your mind. Leg warmers are very effective for keeping legs warm and they are easy to remove once you arrive at your destination. When I worked in retail, I had to park a million miles away during Christmas and walk. The store was hot so I couldn't dress too warm. Leg warmers got me indoors without freezing and fit in my coat pockets nicely until my return trip to my car. Go for a fitted, classic knit in a neutral color to best avoid any comparisons to fitness gurus. Pictured: Super Long Cable Knit Leg Warmers, Amazon, $12.50; Over-the-Knee Crochet Leg Warmers, Mademoiselle Mermaid on Etsy, $40