Greg and I are big on city walking and we knew that we would spend a lot of time outdoors braving arctic temperatures on the streets of Manhattan. We hardly took public transport and averaged a 100 blocks a day of walking for eight days straight. I feel the cold extremely quickly, but enjoyed every minute of it because I was bundled up and ready for the cold. I dressed smart casually every day, erring on the casual side for wet, slushy days, and on the smarter side for business meeting days.

  • Bottoms: I wore dark- and medium-wash skinny jeans tucked into knee-high boots on most days. For extra warmth, I snuck a pair of thick opaque tights underneath my jeans and cozy socks. On my smarter days I wore a pencil skirt with patterned black tights and long boots.
  • Tops: Camisole under fitted turtle neck or cowl neck knitwear in an assortment of colours was the order of the day. I stuck to black, grey, turquoise and citron pieces and added a black, skinny, waist-cinching belt most of the time.
  • Jacket: I added a lightweight, tailored charcoal wool blazer or a black biker jacket to my top layer. I brought along several styles so that I wouldn’t get bored. It made for a polished and sleek look indoors once I removed my coat.
  • Coat: I brought both my heavy, knee-length, charcoal false plain wool coat and thigh-length, gold puffer coat. I ended up wearing the wool coat most days because its extra length made it the warmer option. The double layer of jacket and coat over knitwear might not be your cup of tea, but the extra layer of warmth was perfect for me.
  • Scarf: I kept my outfits fun with thick, colourful pashmina scarves that I wrapped around my neck several times. I rotated different scarves daily. I adore my scarves and often kept them on indoors. That’s the beauty of fine gauge cashmere scarves. They looked great both indoors and outdoors and gave my look the necessary punch.
  • Footwear: I brought three pairs of knee-high boots, all of which are at least 8-hour walking shoes: black 20 eyelet Docs and grey slouchy boots to wear over jeans, and black pointy-toed patent boots to wear under skirts. All the boots are weatherproof with flat or one inch heels. I wore my Docs on snowy, wet days and they were brilliant. My feet stayed dry and warm as I traipsed through puddles and slush all day long.
  • Gloves and hat: Cashmere-lined leather gloves and an ear-covering wool cap was essential. I stuck to black in true Manhattan style, but couldn’t resist bringing out my mustard yellow gloves from time to time. I don’t look good in a hat but it is what it is. You need headgear in freezing temperatures and I was willing to endure the look and the “hat-hair” that went along with it.
  • Handbag: I carried my bright red patent tote. That and my vibrant scarves made me stick out like a traffic beacon in amongst all the New York black. But bright colours make me happy and I loved looking different.
  • Accessories: It was a week without pearls as I stuck to scarves, belts and interchanging my specs. My wedding ring and white watch remained constant along with the black wool cap.

My fashionable, yet practical clothing formula worked wonderfully well. I felt comfortable, warm, energetic and stylishly fab during leisure and work time. There is absolutely no excuse in these conditions – dressing well while braving the elements is totally achievable. Ten degrees colder, however, would have been a different story. I probably would have opted for the full length puffer and another pair of gloves. How do you dress for the extreme cold?

Angie and Laura in Manhattan

Left: Laura and I arrived in virtually the same outfit when we met a few days before the YLF gathering. Skirt, turtle neck, biker jacket, black patent boots, tights, colourful scarf and charcoal coat. Uncanny!

Right: That’s me enjoying a cuppa on the Upper East Side and reading your hilarious comments on last week’s post about jumpsuits.