Saturday October 1st 2022

Looking good in Winter

by Haydee Antezana
Wrap yourself in winter Warmth
Looking professional for work whilst being bundled with layers of clothing is sometimes quite challenging. Here are some key areas to address to ensure you are not only warm and toasty but are also well dressed and groomed for work
Colour and Proportion
  • In Winter we tend to wear darker and more sombre colours –like blacks, greys and browns. This can be harsh and aging, appear too intimidating and get quite boring as we all start to look like clones of each other.
  • Try and always bring some lightness to the facial area with the addition of lighter or brighter shirts, polo necks or scarves. Jewellery, makeup and your hair colour will also ensure that the eye is drawn to your face.
  • Black is not an easy colour to wear well, despite popular belief. If worn with pale colours it looks insipid, and worn with very bright colours can appear too garish. Black looks best with neutrals like cream and white or other smoky colours e.g., teal, slate blues, bottle greens, plums and mulberries. Charcoal and chocolate brown are easier neutrals to wear and to mix and match.
  • Monochromatic dressing – ie the placing of a similar colour or shades of a colour, top and bottom. This can have a very slimming and chic effect. Thus wearing a suit creates a solid block of colour which is flattering. Wearing two very different colours top and bottom makes you appear bulkier.
  • In winter we pay a price for keeping warm-all those bulky cable knits, tweed pants, thick stockings pile on the kilos visually.
  • Rather choose tightly woven knits and layer for warmth to avoid looking like the Abominable Snowman.
  • Jerseys never last more than 2-3 seasons, tending to loose their shape and pill. Ensure your jersey still looks stylish rather than something a fisherman should be wearing.
  • Sleeveless pullovers are often worn by men in Winter. Make sure yours is in a tight weave, kept plain and chosen in a neutral colour in order to not clash with a patterned shirt and tie.
  • Tracksuit tops and wind breakers despite keeping out the cold are too casual to be worn to work. Remember your professional appearance is judged from when you enter or leave the building not from when you sit down at your desk
  • Many of the skirts styles at the moment are A –line. When worn in a thick and bulky fabric it will make you look like a circus marquee. These types of skirts are best worn with a more fitted top or jacket.
  • Texture fabrics like tweed will make you appear heavier so wear them in small quantities i.e. buy the jacket or the skirt not both.
Line and Style
  • Many of the military style jackets with their glittery buttons make woman appear top heavy. The style is also very masculine and unless softened can make you look like a drill sergeant.
  • Do not attempt to re-create a look exactly as you see it in a magazine or a brochure. Lets face it very few of us are going to look as good as the girl in the Queenspark advert!
  • Many of the fashionable garments are heavily embellished whether it is with lace and ruffles or with embroidery and gilt. Use these pieces in small quantities and team with your simpler basics to avoid looking over the top for work.
  • When wearing a leather jacket it must be cut in a jacket style-not a bomber jacket –like the one worn by Tom Cruise in Top Gun.
  • If you choose to wear a pattern for work make sure that the style of the garment is not too detailed – frills, lace etc. which with the pattern will be just too much.
  • Geometric patterns, pinstripes, checks and polka dots will always be the best prints for work.
  • Winter does herald the return of the hideous patterned jersey beloved by men. Guys, remember that with all this layering you need to be careful of Pattern Pandemonium. Chances are, if you are wearing a jacket, collar tie and jersey that many of these will be patterned. If you are born Italian or French then you may be able to blend 3 patterns together successfully. If not – choose only 2 patterns and ensure that they have a colour link up and that the scale of the patterns is different. Shirts at the moment are strongly patterned and require subtle patterns or texture to enhance them.
  • Patterned shoes are also making a big splash in the shops. Don’t spend a fortune on these as they date quickly.

About the author :

Haydee Antezana, CEO of Professional Impressions, is an Internationally certified Impression Management Specialist personal brand strategist and author and has 19 years of experience in this field. Haydee represents South Africa on the Board of Advisors of the Professional Women Network (based in the USA) and is a past president of the Association of Professional Image Consultants of South Africa.

Her specialty training is Personal Branding, Impression Management , Image, Etiquette, and the Superwoman Syndrome.

For more information:
Tel: 011 469 13 96 or email: or visit

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