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When the temperatures dip lower, the layers pile on: jackets are swapped for coats, flats traded for boots, scarves come tumbling out of storage, and a new pair of gloves becomes a necessity. It can all be a jumble in the end, leaving you feeling less than put together despite being totally bundled up.
In effort to unite warm with style, we've mapped out four fall/winter exoskeletons: the perfect combos of coats, boots, and cold-weather accessories. Think of it as your game plan for staying warm, looking good, and knowing what the heck to throw on every morning. (Not to be a bummer, but you're pretty much living in this stuff 'til spring, after all.)
The pieces: Boyfriend coat, furry scarf, driver gloves, mod ankle boots.
Why it works: The masculine quality of the boxy coat is balanced by accessories that are feminine but certainly not dainty.
What to shop: Coat: American Vintage ($340), Topshop ($170); the scarf: Ted Baker ($145), ASOS ($57), BP. ($48); Gloves: Labonia ($145, Portolano ($90); Boots: Sol Sana ($190), Vince Camuto ($169), Topshop ($150)
The pieces: Robe coat, turtleneck-as-neck-warmer, tall boots, simple leather gloves.
Why it works: The turtleneck fills in where the robe coat lacks in clavicle coverage, and tall leather boots keep anything below the shin protected from the elements. A simple pair of gloves finishes the job: wrapped up head-to-toe, and looking like a damn lady.
What to buy: Coat: Topshop Unique ($700), C Luce ($109); Turtleneck: Rachel Zoe ($275), Club Monaco ($150); Gloves: Portolano ($140), H&M ($25); Boots: See by Chloe ($590), Zara ($119)
The pieces: Blanket cape, brimmed hat, long knit gloves, ankle boots.
Why it works: The hat and the cape are equal parts drama, mellowed out by casual ankle boots (better and better as they get beat up) and long knit gloves that are a functional way to make up for the cape's inconclusive arm coverage.
What to buy: Coat: Burberry ($795), River Island ($70); Hat: Rag & Bone ($195), Tildon ($38); Gloves: ASOS ($13), Dorothy Perkins ($9); Boots: Loeffler Randall ($450), Sam Edelman ($140)
The pieces: Duffle coat, plaid scarf, snow boots, convertible gloves.
Why it works: These are preppy standbys at their functional best. The duffle coat is hooded, so no need for a hat; the mittens flip back for smartphone ease; and the boots are shearling-lined so they're extra cozy. A plaid scarf that has colors echoing the coat's base color breaks up all those neutrals, while still kind of being a neutral itself.
What to buy: Coat: J.Crew ($425), Guess ($210); Scarf: Barbour ($79), Madewell ($58); Gloves: Penguin ($45); Echo ($32); Boots: Stuart Weitzman ($498), Coach ($395)