What to Wear to Work When It's Freezing Outside

First and foremost, you definitely need a coat.

Street Style - New York Fashion Week February 2017 - Day 5
Getty ImagesDaniel Zuchnik

When temperatures dip below 20 degrees and it's still dark outside at 7 a.m., it's tempting to go with the I-just-rolled-out-of-bed look. Who doesn't want to walk into the office in sweatpants, or avoid the cold altogether and work from home...in sweatpants? This sentiment (coupled with the fact that my puffer coat hides my entire outfit) morphs me into a lazy fashion girl every year, with a go-to winter look of beige wool sweater and black high-waisted skinny jeans. Just saying this out loud makes me realize it sounds kind of...unimaginative. This winter though, I vow to not let the my wardrobe take that cold-weather hit. Here, five cozy outfit ideas that'll get you from Monday to Friday in style.

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1 Center Your Look Around the Skirt
Design by Morgan McMullen

Add some thick wool tights and voilà, your favorite spring, summer, or fall work outfit is now a winter wool outfit. For a feminine, sophisticated office-ready look like Kate Tik's, above, wear a lace top with a patterned knee-length skirt—I vote for florals. Since stilettos and snow do not mix, slip on a pair of stylish, sturdy boots for your commute. To all the women brave enough to wear their skirts without tights, I applaud you.

Shop similar: 1. Diane von Furstenberg lace top, $89; 2. Kenneth Cole New York coat, $260; 3. Rochas skirt, $289; 4. Mackage clutch, $250; 5. Daniella Shevel boots, $495; 6. Wolford tights, $61

2 Trade in Your Slacks for Leather Pants
Design by Morgan McMullen

It's Monday morning and you're getting dressed for work. You're wearing your button-down shirt and you're about to reach for those navy slacks...STOP! Instead, swap those boring ol' things (I get it, they're versatile) for a pair of cropped leather trousers. This simple change elevates any basic shirt with edgy fashion-girl cool. For a completely insulated outfit, layer a thin black turtleneck underneath, then show it off with a few undone buttons. If you wear snow boots or UGG boots to commute, keep a pair of nice lace-up kitten heels under your desk for a style-cementing shoe switch.

Shop similar: 1. Abercrombie & Fitch hooded puffer, $180; 2. Theory blend blouse, $245; 3. Topshop turtleneck top, $25; 4. Nanushka faux leather pants, $440; 5. Michael Kors suede lace-up pumps, $125

3 Invest in a Statement Coat
Design by Morgan McMullen

In the wintertime, your coats are the eyes of your outfits—the first thing people will notice. You can wear anything (hello, sweatpants) underneath a fashionable piece of outerwear and it won't matter. This season, consider investing in a bold coat that makes a street style statement. (Teddy bear-inspired jackets are my top pick right now.) Take a page from this fashionista and wear your coat with denim overalls and black ankle boots. Then, don't forget to tie it all together with your new scarf.

Shop similar: 1. Zara basic turtleneck, $36; 2. Kenzo eye print scarf, $125; 3. H&M denim overalls, $40; 4. Vince faux fur jacket, $647; 5. Rag & Bone leather ankle boot, $595

4 Wear Sneakers for Dress-Down Fridays
Design by Morgan McMullen

We all live for Fridays because 1) it’s the end of the work week and 2) you can wear pretty much whatever you want. (If casual Fridays aren't a thing at your corporate office, though, refer back to outfit number one.) Jeans and sneakers are the obvious and comfortable choice. This season, your dressed-down Fridays will consist of chunky kicks, skinny jeans, and a double-breasted long pea coat. Tuck your flannel or favorite shirt into your jeans and complete the outfit with a thick scarf. You'll look put together, but still feel cozy.

Shop similar: 1. Madewell skinny jeans, $77; 2. Treasure & Bond classic shirt, $69; 3. & Other Stories wool scarf, $69; 4. Wool-blend peacoat, $895; 5. Joshua Sanders sneakers, $543

5 Give Your Button-Down a Rest
Design by Morgan McMullen

If my everyday work outfits looked anything like this ensemble on Aimee Song, I'd be a happy camper. Her ruffled top and cropped pants create a more interesting combo than just pairing a button-down with jeans. Sock ankle booties take this look from stuffy to trendy. Sling an I'm-the-boss long coat over your shoulders (leave it unbuttoned to let that asymmetrical top peek through, naturally), slip on a pair of sunglasses, and walk into that office like you own it.

Shop similar: 1. Nicholas striped cotton top, $132 2. Calvin Klein checkered wool coat, $2,900; 3. J.Crew slim crop pants, $90; 4. Jeffrey Campbell sock boots, $155

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