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Winter Essentials Dress Guide 2014

By Raquel Parks

Prep your winter looks with the right pieces from the closet and a shopping trip to the mall to achieve effortless style this winter. The recent winter storm brought negative temperatures and unexpected amounts of snow, making it less than desirable to get dressed to go out.

However, it is much easier to brave the winter weather when you take the work out of putting together a suitable ensemble to step out in. Make it effortless. Here are a few helpful hints and tips to maintaining a fashion appeal without the hassle for the winter months ahead:

When dressing for Michigan's winter weather, it's important to focus on layering. Layering is the foundation to not only being stylish but also being warm for dangerously, low temperatures. Start with the basics.

Sweaters are seasonal staples for brutally, cold weather and is the basis for layering. They're warm, functional and can easily be dressed up or down for any day of the week. For example, a cashmere sweater can be layered over a colored or basic white collared shirt for a warm yet polished look in the office.

Another way to dress a sweater is by draping a silk or cotton fashion scarf (that has a pattern or bright color) around the neck for a pop of fun. To keep it casual, pair a chunky sweater with a pair of fitted jeans and leather boots. Sweaters are so basic that they can create endless possibilities and do not require much thought.

The trick to layering is putting elements together to create a cozy feel for the cold but still makes fashionable sense when they are put together. It's all about being warm and looking good.

Sweater dresses are also a great addition for winter. Although they are not a necessity, they are highly recommended. Sweater dresses are easy to style for any occasion. They look feminine, chic, and are warm.

A sweater dress is great for a date for instance. Pair it with some sexy leather boots for a sassy look.

When layering, it is a good idea to implement a few knit shirts to the wardrobe. Long sleeve and short sleeve knits come in handy for layering under light or wrap around sweaters. Knits work well for creating layered looks; be sure to pick up plenty to have to mix in your closet.

No winter would be complete without the right outerwear to shield a fashionista from the cold elements. Outerwear is the statement piece this year therefore it's never been easier to find one that looks good and provides the necessary warmth.

Playful and colorful patterns, interesting fabrics, fur trimming, and hoods are just some of the elements that can add the necessary flare to make outerwear fashionable. Make sure to have more than one go-to coat for the long winter.

The next important accessory to have for the winter is boots. When buying new boots opt for style and functionality. In other words, pick a boot that has a look but are warm and ideal for getting through ice and snow.

Flat over-the-knee boots are very trendy and pair easily with pants or skirts. Boots with rubber heels are ideal for tracking safely through the snow, as well. Also, consider Uggs and other boot styles with some type of faux or real fur lining; they are life savers on unbelievably, cold and extra snowy days.

Lastly, don't forget about leggings. A fashionista should have a thick pair or more of leggings to wear under her skirts, sweater dresses, and with oversized sweaters. Leggings are warm and versatile enough to be worn with just about anything.

These fashion items and styling tips are just basic suggestions to keeping warm and looking great for the winter. The ultimate goal is to minimize the thinking that goes into preparing each outfit for the winter by having the right accessories and clothing right in the closet.

Raquel is a Michigan native with a Bachelors in Journalism from the University of Michigan. She loves fashion and writing about life's everyday stories. She has written for various local publications that include Dearborn Press & Guide and Detroit Fashion Pages. Raquel also writes for her own local events blog, Metro Diva Pages. You can visit Raquel's blog at and follow her on Twitter @MetroDivaPages.

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