Today I'm excited to offer some help to Mellissa, a reader from snowy Canada who is looking for some outfit inspiration as she overhauls her work wardrobe. Mellissa's situation is a little unique in that she works in a male-dominated field in an active job where dressing up is definitely not a requirement (or practical, for that matter), and in a climate where is snows 6+ months per year. Definitely a challenge!
Hopefully these ideas will be of help:
Generally, adding a "completer piece" such as a blazer or cardigan adds polish (and warmth) to an outfit. I think ponte blazers paired with sleek sweaters and dark jeans (in whatever cut you prefer) are a great way to be casual but still chic. As a bonus, these blazers are generally inexpensive, fairly warm, and washable. This option from Nordstrom is under $45, and you can even find options for around $20, like this classic gray version from Target.
For more personality, add in some thick scarves and a sturdy wedge boot like these from Lucky (I know, not snow friendly) or these from Chinese Laundry (both pictured above). And when the weather takes a turn for the cold and wet, Sorel makes some great boots that don't look too much like you're off for a trek in the tundra (like these or these, as pictured above)
And on the days when you don't feel like wearing jeans yet again, a slim or boot leg corduroy pant is both comfortable and warm and pairs well with cozy sweater jackets (I want this one from Gap) or a layered button-down and sweater. (Personally, I think the LOFT curvy skinny cords are best for tucking into boots since they don't bunch up around the knees and aren't too low-rise. Plus, I still think J.Crew Factory makes the best, affordable chambray shirt, and they're almost always offering 30% off).
Hopefully this was helpful for Mellissa and anyone else looking to add a little polish to their outfits, even when jeans and a hoodie are technically acceptable. If you've got any ideas for Mellissa, especially since I have no idea about practical snow attire, please share in the comments!