Baby, It’s Cold Outside! Warm Accessories for a Cool Winter Look


Published: December 10, 2009

Before you know it, we’ll be in the midst of finals and then off for winter vacation. But while the semester is coming to an end, winter is just getting started, and as anyone from the northeast knows, it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Students can not only brave the New York cold, but we can do it in style with trendy accessories. (Jon Armenti/The Observer)

Sometimes it seems there are only two options when it comes to handling the chill: bundle up in layers of sweatpants and sweatshirts, looking nuts but keeping warm, or continue wearing your favorite clothes and watch your feet slowly turn blue. Thankfully, it is possible to be stylish and warm—with the right accessories, of course.

While it is certainly possible to get winter accessories for dirt cheap (H&M, Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe are great for this.) they tend to not last as long or keep you as warm as something a little pricier may. You can try out the latest trend for pennies, but if you are buying something classic or something you love, you may want to spend a little more for quality that will keep you warm all season long.

No matter what your budget, it is possible to invest in some stylish winter accessories to keep you warm when New York City weather has you shivering down the street.


How many times have you left your gloves behind in a taxi or had one half of a pair just mysteriously disappear? H&M and Forever 21 sell three-packs of standard issue knit gloves for about five dollars, so losing a pair won’t be such a tragedy.

However, there are more adventurous options out there if you are willing to spend a bit more for somethig trendy. (Just make sure to double-check before leaving the taxi!) Some of the big trends are leather, studded or ruffled gloves that come in long, wrist or driving glove lengths.

Nordstrom Two-Tone Knit Gloves: $18
American Eagle Cable Knit Convertible Mittens: $19.50

Spiegel Leather Bow Glove: $29
Echo Ruffled Cuff Knit Gloves: $28


Scarves have become a wardrobe staple all year long; throwing one on instantly adds a bit of “je ne sais quoi” to your look. For winter, simply switch out your lighter summer scarves for a cuddly, wool one.

Go classic in a cable or rugby striped scarf, or try out one of the new infinity scarves. If you want to splurge, cashmere or merino wool will last longer and is more luxe than acrylic.
American Eagle Circular Scarf: $24.50
Urban Outfitters BDG Cable Knit Scarf: $24

Michael Kors Black and White Rugby Cashmere (available at $47
Cheap Monday “Freja” Tube Scarf (available at Need Supply Co.): $45


Those of us returning home to places like New England (where the winters are harsh, to say the least) will end up sporting a pair of Sorel boots. Sometimes in order to survive the snow, you just have to embrace the ugly. However, winters are a bit milder down in NYC, so feel free to experiment with some more aesthetic options, such as motorcycle boots, riding boots or booties.

For shoes you should spend a bit more, because leather will stand up to being frozen, soaked, and encrusted in road salt better than pleather will. However, if you aren’t skeeved out by second-hand shoes, vintage and thrift stores are great places to look for quality boots for cheap, since real leather just gets better with age.
Blowfish “Willis” (available at Zappos): $83
American Eagle Leather Motorcycle Boot: $89.95

Etienne Aigner Vira Leather Riding Boot (available at DSW): $139.95
Sorel Caribou Boots (at J.Crew): $110

Head Gear

While infinity scarves are great for their ability to transform into a hood when the Manhattan wind tunnels pick up, sometimes a girl needs something a bit warmer. A pair of retro faux fur earmuffs is a trendy way of keeping cozy and avoiding hat-hair. A wool fedora or cloche hat is another great winter option. To channel a more laid back vibe, slouchy beanies or berets will keep your head warm and your style cool.
American Apparel Unisex Ear Muffs: $20
Express Pointelle Beanie: $19.50

Arden B Asymmetrical Wool Cloche Hat: $28
Nine West Felt Small Fedora: $26.99


Whether tucked into boots or just worn lounging around, a pair of luxe socks are great for keeping your feet toasty. Thigh-high socks are cute layered over tights, while slouchy leg warmers are chic peeking over boot tops. However, socks are just as practical hidden under jeans or in your slippers.
Xhilaration Thigh High Socks (available at Target): $5.99
Hue Soft Opaque Knee High: $4.50

Hue Mini Cable Leg Warmer: $12
Sock Dreams Long Cuffable Scrunchable Socks: $12