The weather outside is frightful. No, I’m not referencing a holiday song — just stating the facts! It’ll take quite a bit to get me out on the streets of Chicago as winter edges closer. But the prospect of fly new seasonal gear will do it every time!
I’ve been researching some of the season’s hottest trends for you and reviewing some hidden garment-producing gems — so allow me to share my cold-weather-must-haves!
#1 – Leggings, Jeggings, Treggings
It took me a LONG time to come around to the leggings trend. But now that I’m here and I feel comfortable working it, I don’t know what took me so long!
I love the look of a cute sweater dress, leggings, and knee high boots. But I’m very particular about the kind of leggings I want to wear.
I need leggings that are durable, because I can be klutzy. I need leggings that aren’t too sheer, because I can be modest (and it’s cold out here!). I need leggings that will look great with a short skirt, or with a dress, or with a long tunic.
At TJ Maxx with contest winner Nikia of ChiTown Fashionista, she was able to score an awesome pair of cable knit tights. This brilliant stroke of luck didn’t strike twice, so if you happen to see a good, thick, warm yet sexy pair of cable knit plus size tights, let a bella know! In the meantime, I’ve purchased a pair of “The Simply Must-Have Slim Leggings by Newport News (you see them up there, looking all slinky and fly). I’ll let you know how they fit when I get my hands on em!
Less opaque leggings are a pain, IMO. Often overpriced and excessively fragile, finding the perfect pair to fit your curves can be challenging. Recently I was lucky enough to be introduced to a company dedicated to creating the kind of hosiery I’ve been seeking this season at prices that will have you filling up an online cart in no time. Stone Fox is sold online at MyHosieryStore.com. If you’re a plus size diva looking for tights, pantyhose, and trouser socks — check em out. Prices range from $8 for lycra tights and body firmers, to $3.50 for a pair of plus size anklet socks that won’t cut off the circulation in your feet. Compare those prices to any other leggings you’re seeing out there right now!
Stone Fox leggings come with a special inserted piece sewn on the back to accomodate the needs of those of us who (like me), have a generous helping of junk in the trunk. For a more opaque look, I doubled up on black lycra tights at my Drugstore Diva Blogger Bash, and paired them with a pair of black booties and my sweater dress from Silhouettes. Unfortch there are no full body photos of me that you can see. But trust me and know that I wouldn’t set you wrong on this — instant win! I actually washed these lycra tights in the washing machine recently, and they came out completely fine and still wearable. Which is more than I can say for other brands of tights I’ve bought. They’re affordable enough so you can try em out, let me know what you think. And tell ’em Afrobella sent you!
As usual, the UK is miles ahead on these trends, and the folks at Dorothy Perkins have everything you need when it comes to leggings, jeggings (better known as jean leggings), and treggings (AKA trouser leggings). I have yet to make a purchase from beyond the pond, but when I do, Dorothy Perkins will be amongst my first forays into UK fashion.
#2 – Cowls, Snoods, and the Infinity Scarf
When it comes to scarf tying, I am a hot mess. Thankfully ChiTown Fashionista just put me up on game. But still, I’m seeking simplicity and the style that only comes with an all-in-one head warmer.
I love a scarf with personality and pizazz, and Casa di Culture has that in spades. Any afrobella who loves afro-positive images will adore their Daydreaming in Cuba teeshirt. And with a name like the Trinidad and Tobago Unisex Tube Scarf, how could I say no? $32, one half is gray knit and other side is hand-dyed Gribaf cotton directly imported from Ghana. Like snowflakes, each scarf is different. Love it.
I have an Etsy crush on Fringe, a knitwear store that offers unique and super cozy-looking accessories. Behold, the El Grande Cowl. All you’d need would be a variety of plain turtleneck sweaters, with a neck statement like that. I am saving my pennies for the urban cowl. Isn’t that fly? That’s what I’m sayin’!
I love the look of Necklush — hello, winterberry! — but will such an item actually serve its purpose and keep me warm in the cold months to come? I have no idea. If you’ve worn one, let me know!
#3 – Boots With Embellishment
I’m still searching for the perfect wear-everywhere winter boots — my Silhouettes knot tie boots have major style, but be forewarned — the little tie comes loose often. I just glued mine together, to prevent having to fuss with ’em. I’m seriously considering a style more like Silhouettes’ cross strap ankle boots, and I’m still loving the double buckle sport boots — which come in wide for those of you with larger calves.
The Ethan Belted ankle boots at Free People are so on-trend, from the pyramid studs to the straps to the oversized buckle.
I’m still sold on Doc Martens — they’re all my husband wears, and they last forever! I’m drawn to the simplicity of Phillipa Black Rosa boots, and even the plainest of boots could be made unique and fly with shoe chains by Peace Images.
Jewelry for shoes! Do you love it as much as I do?
Those are just a few of the fashion trends that are on my radar, bellas. What are you seeking this season?