It’s Monday. It’s sleeting. It’s 20 degrees outside.

No, you can’t wear your comforter and polka dot sweatpants to work. (Sorry.)

The struggle of finding something professional and yet warm and comfortable is real. We’ve all been there where we are rummaging through the closet, pulling out random pieces and hoping they’ll magically pair themselves.

Go from frazzled to fashionista with these helpful tips. Score yourself some fashion points: Dress professionally and stylishly while staying warm during that chilly commute to work!


Lots of Layers

blazer sweater

Nothing looks sleeker than a black blazer paired with a blouse or cute sweater. It’s a stylish look that will never fade with the trends. A black or neutral color blazer can be paired with just about any other color. Add some pops of color to pep up your day, or stick with more earth tones depending on what you’re feeling.

Cardigans are also a great option, as long as they are made from the right material. Fabric like cotton, polyester and some acrylics will pill, but you can always find a way to shave those little annoying fuzz balls off your sweaters. A good rule of thumb is to wash and treat fabrics gently, and then they won’t pill as much or at all. (Photo via  Stylish Petite)


Lace Up!

winter boot

If you’re going to splurge on something, let it be nice winter boots (I know… your inner shopaholic just cried some tears of happiness… you’re welcome). But really, nothing is really worse than cold, wet feet. If you have to trudge to work through icy sludge, make sure to invest in shoes that have good traction, are warm and waterproof, and help pull your ensemble together.

If you still have to wear heels, pack them in a nice tote. When you get to work safe and sound without getting stuck in a snowdrift, you can put on those pumps and rock your outfit. (Photo via Urban Outfitters)


Warmth: It’s In the Coat

winter coat

When you’re picking out coats for work, it might be best to invest in two. A dress coat is valuable, but you might also find yourself needing a coat that is waterproof and a bit warmer for those bitter-cold days.

While on your jacket search, keep in mind you should look for a coat that is comfortable, made of a nice material and fits you well. Pick a jacket to keep you warm throughout most of winter. Remember when buying your jacket to think about how many layers you’ll wear under it. You don’t want to buy one that’s too small — otherwise all you can wear underneath it is a t-shirt. (Photo via Eddie Bauer)


A Warm Neck Is a Happy Neck


Where would a lady be without her accessories? Scarves are now a trend in every season, but in winter, they beat out that chill in the office. There are so many ways to wear a scarf, and they’re fairly affordable, so don’t be afraid to throw a few into your collection.

Not only will they add some color in if you go with some vibrant shades, but they also can add texture to an otherwise bland outfit. Knit or crocheted scarves are perfect for the wintertime. Bonus points if you make them yourself! (Photo via LOFT)


Invisible Heat: Long Johns    

long johns

When it hits the coldest days of the year, don’t panic. You can still dress in style without freezing. Under your skinny pants or trousers, wear some long underwear. It doesn’t sound sexy, but you’ll thank yourself when you’re nice and toasty and not shivering like your colleagues.

There are lots of different options when it comes to long johns, and some can be quite cute and comfortable! Some of the most comfortable and warm ones are made of silk. (Photo via Anthropologie)


Skirt the Issue


Dresses and skirts might not be the most obvious choice, but you can find great winter dress options at a variety of stores. Pair a dress of warmer material like wool with leggings and boots, and voila! You have a functional work outfit that will impress your coworkers. Sweater dresses are great for winter, and fleece-lined leggings will keep you extra warm. (Photo via Vogue UK)


The Office Staple


Nothing is worse than getting to work and finding a freezing office where you have to spend eight hours of the day. At your workspace, stash a poncho or heavy shawl to throw over your shoulders to beat the chill. Ponchos have come a long way through fashion history, and you’ll be much more productive if you aren’t shivering every time you type or answer the phone. (Photo via Washingtonian)


Pick Professional Fabrics

One last piece of advice is to pick winter clothing made from professional fabrics. Polyester is a good material because it doesn’t wrinkle very easily, while cotton and wool will help keep you warm. It can be tempting to purchase a sweater that has a sweatshirt feel, but if it’s made cheaply and it doesn’t look office-worthy, save your money and splurge on something a little nicer.


Now you’re armed and ready to rock out this Polar Vortex! Set some new trends this winter! And share your style tips in the comments!

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Sarah Landrum is the founder of Punched Clocks.

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