Dressing sexy in the summer is as simple as slipping on a sundress and showing off a bit of glowing skin. But in winter, layers of sweaters and puffy coats can leave you feeling shapeless and invisible. Still, you don’t have to give up looking and feeling seductive just because the temperature is dipping into single digits. Instead, try these key pieces that mix cold-weather practicality with a heady hit of sensuality.
1. Sexy boots. This year’s extra-tall boots make for a sleek, shapely look — especially when they’re paired with leggings or jeggings, or when they’re peeking out from under a slim skirt. Go as vampy as you dare, from knee-high to over-the-knee lengths. The higher the boots, the shorter you can go with whatever tunic, skirt or dress you’re pairing the boots with, says Erin Busbee, a wardrobe consultant based in San Antonio, Texas.
Whether you choose flat, wedged or high-heeled boots, look for striking details like buckles, ruffles, lace-ups or fold-down tops. For snow days, opt for winter style and warmth with faux-fur linings and trims.
2. Something glittery. With sequins everywhere this winter, there’s no excuse not to sparkle. A sequined cardigan, tank top, scarf or clutch is an antidote to winter style stodginess, lightening up the heaviness of wool and cashmere. A new fashion trend this year is sequined sweatshirts – the perfect melding of comfort and chic. You can find them for splurge-or-save prices at Elizabeth and James, Vince, J. Crew and New York & Company.
3. A silky camisole. Even when you’re swathed in layers or covered up with turtlenecks, you can cultivate a come-hither attitude by wearing something silky against your bare skin. Letting a little snippet of silk or satin peek from the V-neckline of a sweater can be just as provocative as a plunging neckline. A camisole is also a clever way to transition from workday practical to date-night allure when you don’t have time to change. Just stash the shirt or sweater and toss a shrug or throw over the cami.
4. The crisp white shirt. To instantly update your look, skip the T-shirt or sweater and make a white shirt your first layer under a blazer or long cardigan. The white shirt makes its reappearance every few years for good reasons: it’s versatile, flexible and flatters just about everyone.
“This classic look is easy to wear and easy to dress up by adding a statement necklace or elegant earrings,” says Busbee. Tuck your white shirt into a pencil skirt and pair with textured hose for instant Mad Men class. For a fashionable tweak on the classic that combines menswear tailoring with femininity, try a pinstriped ruffle shirt. You can find inexpensive, chic versions at Old Navy.
5. A touch of lace. During the winter, lace adds a welcome dash of girliness to any outfit. Try textured hose in a lacy pattern with a skirt or a sweaterdress, or wear a long lace or lace-edged scarf over a chunky sweater. If ladylike lace strikes you as too demure, try black lace. Designers like Alexander Wang and Philip Lam showed it on the runway, and you can find affordable interpretations at Forever 21 – including a black lace tuxedo-tank.