Read This Blog and Get New Outfits Totally Free

Over the next few days, the forecast in Jacksonville calls for temps nearing 80 degrees with no rain and no clouds. In other words, it’s going to feel like summer. We’re even planning to go to the beach, because who doesn’t love to throw on a bikini in the middle of that post-holiday, pasty-white slump? I mean, I know we’re lucky to live in a place that gets random bursts of summer in the middle of January. But therein lies a problem: our winters are so mild that investing in a lot of cute winter clothes just feels kind of wasteful. It reminds me of that threshold you reach at about 7 months pregnant: “I could buy more maternity clothes right now, or I could just wear this one pair of pants every day for the next two months, and no one can say anything because making fun of a pregnant woman is practically illegal.” In the same way, Florida winters make you want to just power through those short-lived cold months without dropping one more cent on an alternate wardrobe.

The fact is, though, within a couple of weeks we’ll have another stretch of 50-degree days, so we do need SOME cute, cozy outfits in our wardrobe, even if we can get away without investing in down parkas. But here’s the good news: by combining some summer wardrobe staples with a few key winter pieces, you can make can make some cute new outfits that will keep you warm when the mercury inevitably dips back down.

Winter/Summer FashionFirst, you’re going to need a turtleneck. Not a turtleneck sweater, but an old-school knit turtleneck in a neutral color. J. Crew makes some nice ones that are very thin, not bulky. Tuck your turtleneck into some nice opaque tights in a neutral color. At this point, you’re basically wearing a full-body unitard. Now here’s where the fun begins. Go to your closet and start piling things on top of this ensemble. For instance, I just dug out a romper that I wore all summer, sometimes even as a beach cover-up. I added a long, loose sweater, riding boots, a fun necklace and voila! A cozy, comfy, yet cute new outfit.

Let’s continue on the turtleneck theme. I bet you have at least one top that could become totally winter-appropriate with the addition of a turtleneck. That loose boho-chic tunic that’s just too light and drafty to keep you warm in the cool air? Throw it on over your turtleneck with skinny jeans and booties. That sleeveless date night top that was great in hot weather? Over a turtleneck, paired with jeans and ballet flats, it’s sweet and demure enough for daytime wear with the kids.

Beach cover-ups are a category in and of themselves. I bet most of us have at least one that could be totally transformed by adding leggings, boots, and a sweater or cute jacket over top. You could also substitute skinny jeans or jeggings (I still hate that word) to get the same effect. Let’s talk about length. Most beach cover-ups are shorter than the average dress you would be willing to wear. However, if you pair them with thick, wooly, opaque winter tights, that short length becomes totally acceptable. When trying this, booties are probably your best bet for footwear. Pair a short skirt with high boots and it’s a little too “Vivian meets Edward on Sunset” and with pumps or heels, it’s just trying too hard. To soften the short dress effect even more, top it with something less girly like a jean jacket, leather moto jacket or chunky sweater.

Well, I’m off to blind the neighbors with my winter skin and dodge Great Whites at my local beach. What are you wearing this weekend and how do you dress for our Florida winters?

Beach addict, magazine lover, beer geek, political junkie, runner, design snob, tree hugger, amateur travel agent, and rabid HGTV devotee. A native of Delaware, Erin’s advertising career took her from New York City to Detroit to Charlotte before bringing her to the Jacksonville area in 2006 where she promptly met her husband Shawn. They married in 2009 and their wild and wonderful son Owen was born in 2010. Since then, Erin has continued her advertising career as a self-employed writer and consultant working on a part time basis. Some days, she longs to be a full-time stay-at-home mom; on really hard mom days, she daydreams about being a full-time professional. But most days, she feels fortunate to have a balance of both. Although she’s spent her career in advertising primarily as writer, working with so many talented artists, designers and photographers has led to her keen interest in all things aesthetically pleasing – including great style, which will be her main focus as a Jacksonville Moms Blog contributor.

5 COMMENTS

  1. Thanks for the great tips, Erin! Loved this! And I especially appreciated the white paste reference. I was thinking that exact thought today.

  2. I need to mention here that in the example above, the tights worn by the headless mystery model are not opaque enough. They’re much too sheer. Obviously, I wasn’t fully prepared for the photo shoot! I may have to follow my own advice, invest in some more tights and write a sequel to this post with more and better photos.

  3. Great post sister 🙂 I may not be lucky enough to live in a place with warm winters, but since I almost exclusively wear skirts/dresses to work as opposed to pants, I always stock up on tights. I have found great end of season deals at J.Crew and can definitely attest to their longevity (some have lasted over 3 years and I re-wear A LOT). I’m pretty sure they have a special year round where if you buy more than 3 (maybe 4?) at a time, you get a decent percentage off – somewhere in the 25-30% off range.

  4. Agree 100% with Jill on the J.Crew tight statement. Great deals end of season, plus year round 3 or more for $25. I stock up and wear them all the time!

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