Amy Tara Koch | Windy City Road Rules
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Windy City Road Rules

Keep It Chic & Sleek 

A Chicago winter = deep freeze. The eternal quandary: how to have high style when the temps dip into single digits. Newsflash: We third coasters have made a commitment to avoid the dreaded Michelin Man look at all costs. Our secret? Strategic layering and making use of the latest and greatest high tech gear that marry fashion and function.

• Puff Love – We need a coat that can accommodate snow, wind and freezing temps. It also must work with a dress, jeans or trousers. So, the puffer coat is the topper of choice. But-it must be stylish. Features to look for: quilting, decorative hardware, fur hood. long insulated coat.

• Maxi-Style – The other style coat that we favor is a just- below the knee coat in cashmere or double faced wool. It is a workhorse with long, clean lines that can accommodate almost any situation

• Think Thin! To keep things streamlined, avoid too much bulk. A huge sweater with a huge coat will make you look…HUGE! A whisper thin cashmere sweater can keep you as toasty as a chunky cable knit

• Layer. Layer. Layer. In our fair city, the temperature can fluctuate 30 degrees in one hour. And, the interior of a building is 60 degrees warmer than the exterior. To stay comfortable, wear a thin top (I favor tanks) topped by a sweater or blazer that can be easily removed.

• Go for the Bold – Just because it is winter doesn’t mean you can’t wear color. Have fun with scarves, hats and gloves in dramatic colors like red and orange.

• Go High Tech – There is only so much a coat can do to protect you from Mother Nature. Happily, there are a spate of high tech fabrics that can be used as a base layer to crank up your inner thermostat. Uniqlo’s Heat Tech and Nike’s Hyperwarm are base layers designed to lock in your body heat.

Haute Heat – Test drive some of the latest and greatest heat generating accessories: battery operated heated socks, USB heated gloves, Down headphones.

• Hand it to us – extreme weather demands extreme protection. Gloves need to be lined with cashmere or fleece.

• High Performance Hat – People lose the majority of body heat through the head. So, hats are a must. Make a fashion statement with a groovy down and faux fur trapper hat or a fab knit ski cap.

• Tootsie Treats -We invest in hard core socks that wick away moisture like Digits Silver ski socks or battery warmed socks like these by Hammacher.

• A shoe In -To avoid the dumps-literally-we try for groovy water repellant snow boots with a heel and streamlined silhouette.

• It’s a wrap – Scarves are the piece of resistance of any outerwear look. Add kick to your winter look with a print or bold color.

• Get Your Glam – No look is complete without Oversized Sunnies peeking out from your hat.