I admit, packing up my warm weather clothes bums me out a little, but I actually do enjoy winter (aka sweater weather) clothes.  Boots, sweaters, cords, tights, I love them all, but it can be really easy to backslide into a winter fashion rut.  I am speaking from experience.  I tend to settle nicely into a comfy sweater/leggings combo right around this time of year.  Well not this year, kids.  Now I’m not saying I’m not going to wear sweaters this winter, because I’m going to wear them, and I’m going to wear them often, but I’m going to be totally stylish and deliberate when I do.  I’ve set up some rules for myself, and for you too.

Balance

Life is all about balance, and getting dressed is no different.  If you’re wearing a big, loose, slouchy sweater, you can’t wear big, loose, slouchy pants. Well you can, this is still America, but you’re probably going to look at least 15lbs heavier than you actually are.  And you have to watch where your sweater hits ladies.  The more leg we see, the taller and thinner you look.

Texture

Sweaters run the gamut from thick to paper thin, and everything in between.  Generally speaking, the thinner the knit the closer it fits your body.  If you have a killer flat stomach and thin toned arms you can probably wear whatever knit you want, but if those can be problem areas, a thin night might not be all that flattering or comfortable.

Perfect Partners

Skinnies are a natural match for sweaters, but it’s really easy to get stuck in a dreaded rut.  I myself default to black leggings way more than I should.  Try mixing it up.  Animal print skinnies or leggings may seem intimidating, but suck it up and go for it.  Leather and leatherette (the new hip way to say pleather) leggings can really amp up your sweaters, and if you’re a little nervous about going full on leather/leatherette, try leggings with leather accents or panels.  And don’t forget to try a skinny jean in a bright color!

Pencil Me In

Try pairing a boxy sweater (or really any sweater) with a sleek pencil skirt.  I love pencil skirts, seriously can’t get enough of them.  I think a well-fitting pencil skirt is the single sexiest piece of clothing a woman can own (the key is well-fitting, because an ill fitting pencil skirt can make your butt look like a bag of wet laundry, not cute).  They are fantastically feminine and they have the ability to make your bum look amazing.  If you don’t own one (or two, or three) run out and but one, go ahead, I’ll wait.

A Touch of the Unexpected

Floral mini skirt meet my comfy gray v-neck sweater.  Maybe you don’t have a floral mini you love, but my point is to try something new.  Try pairing a sweater with something you never have before, there’s no way of knowing what will work until you see it on.  Floral mini, tulle skirt, over your favorite dress, just pour yourself a glass of wine and go crazy in your closet.

For Every Action There Is an Equal and Opposite Reaction

I like to mix styles up; I’m a nut like that.  A sweet wee ruffled cardigan?  Edge it up with some black leather on your bottom half.  Slouchy boyfriend jeans?  How about a sequin detailed cashmere shell?  Fancy-ish cocktail dress?  Try topping it off with a cropped sweater.  Basically when I wear an article of clothing, I want people to look at me and think “I would have never thought to wear it that way”, among other things.

Kick It Up a Notch

Okay, so you really want to wear black leggings and your big sweater because it’s just so comfy? I’ll make you a deal.  You can wear them together, but you need to wear fierce shoes.  And by fierce I mean FIERCE.  Like if RuPaul saw you on the street she would go out of her way to compliment you on your shoes.  Don’t be scared!  The rest of your outfit is laid back, so your shoes can be as wild as possible.  Over the knee high heeled boots?  Yup.  Open toe bold colored platform peep toes?  Of course.  Five inch suede booties?  I would be offended if you didn’t.  Think of this as an opportunity to show off your shoes, they deserve it, don’t they?

All right, who is ready to rock a sweater like they never have before?  I hope you are, yes you!  And here’s an idea, why don’t you create a pinterest board of your sweater pairings?  Or tweet us some pics (@HotelFoxtrot and @skinnymomonline)?  Can’t wait to see them!