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Fashion: staying chic and warm when travelling

fashion chic winter

By-pass the frumpy fashion feeling when trying to stay warm when travelling and pack these chic winter tips by fashion stylist Alarna Hope.

Recently I took a little trip to the United States to visit one of my favourite places, Lake Tahoe. Sitting on the border of California and Nevada it’s a big lake surrounded by small log cabin style towns and big pine trees – and it was damn cold!

Growing up on the coast and later moving to Sydney, I’ve never had to deal with the really cold weather. I’m always dumbfounded when I go to Melbourne, but that was nothing compared to the cold in the skiing village of Truckee. Luckily, I packed the right things on my recent trip so I wasn’t freezing and as an Australian, not used to their type of cold, I thought I’d share my wisdom on how to stay warm while on holidays.

Pack Plain Tops

Before leaving I picked up a few tops from Kookai, Ally and Bonds to wear under my jackets and knitwear. Wearing layers that sit close to your body but not so fitted to your body means you’ll be warmer, as your body heat will circulate. Choose plain colours so they go with more clothing and you’ve got more outfit options.

Thick Opaque Stockings

So I used to detest stockings because they were part of my primary school uniform and annoying as hell, but when you own some really cute winter skirts you don’t want your legs to freeze they’re the only option. You get used to them, they’re inexpensive and if you can, buy extra tall – that way the crotch won’t make you feel like you’ve got webbed legs as that is not chic.


I took a leather skirt and a leather jacket with me, not just because I wanted options that went with everything but because you can roll these up and throw them in a suitcase, pull them out and they still look fab – also, they’re warm and timeless. If you’re buying items specifically for your trip, find out if you’re buying real or fake leather first.

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A Thick Scarf 

My favourite scarf is one I was actually gifted by a women’s brand called Blooming Leopard, it’s double sided, lightweight but voluminous and perfect for my colouring. It kept me warm, looking good and gave me more accessories options.

Ankle Boots

I wore these on the plane to and from America. They’re great for both pants and skirts and they will keep your feet warm, have a touch of a heel that make you look longer and chicer (bonus) and are very comfortable. I would recommend putting a wool or foam inner sole in them to give you extra toasty feet while outside.


It is so underrated. It can be thrown in your bag with a pile of other clothes and still come out looking as fresh and feeling as soft as when you first purchased it. Cashmere keeps you warm, is lightweight and a layering essential. Also, it feels so luxurious.


As I wasn’t just in the USA to relax, I had some work to do so I had days where I needed to look a little smarter. I packed my Forever New black cropped military blazer, layered it over the top of my thinner tops and knits and it worked a treat.


As someone who has now learned by experience, I would also recommend getting some gloves – I worked out the hard way that when your fingers reach a certain temperature, your iPhone doesn’t recognise you. Gloves are best purchased slightly bigger to allow the heat from your hands to circulate in the gloves rather than be pushed out to cold air.