How to keep dry and still look great this winter

With the great Northwestern beauty of Portland comes great fashion responsibility.

It’s officially the time of year when everyone is hashtagging their opinions on pumpkin spice and counting down the days until Christmas.

The rain has just begun to make its seasonal appearance and you’ve undoubtedly figured out whether or not your shoes are waterproof. But you aren’t the only person discovering there isn’t a lick of Gortex in your duds, or that maybe your old coat has grown just a little too tight.

You’re not alone if the term “winter wear” makes you shudder, but a fun way to keep spirits up and bodies warm is to take the reins of the beast and find some cold weather wear you’re in love with.

With the ever-present availability of the Internet, it has become a wonderful and credible source for general fashion ideas and price comparison. It not only offers information about all the ways you’re dying (seriously, never Google an ailment), but it also can offer useful inspiration on how to flatter your figure and keep stylishly warm on the cold nights to come.

Pinterest offers helpful ideas, and highlights different photo boards that show ways to mix and match a few key pieces to stay warm and stylish. Try searching for winter layers or fall gear. Those were just a couple that turned up some great results.

Places like H&M, Target and even Forever 21 offer plenty of coats and jackets at budget friendly prices, and all have affordable style options for both genders.

Since it’s not always about buying new (in the spirit of saving money), there are also plenty of ways to make last year’s warm gear new again. For example, if your cute boots aren’t quite waterproof enough to get through the torrential Northwest downpours, layer your socks with lightweight plastic bags.

It sounds silly (literally), but it keeps your feet dry and warm for puddles to come. Another useful idea: Use a disposable razor to shave all those worn out sweaters from last year. You can gently draw the razor against the grain of the sweater to help get rid of those pesky little balls of fuzz, making your warm and cozy gear look new again.

As always, the holiday season inspires folks to get involved and help those less fortunate. So why can’t you use your love of fashion to translate into the season of giving? After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
Always consider putting your excess to good use, especially when so many in our area go without warm and weather-appropriate clothing each year. Consider repurposing your old clothing by giving it to those in need.

There are great places within Portland to give up your old coats and winter weather gear to make room for the new. The Portland Rescue Mission is always accepting donations. This time of year coats, blankets and winter wear are always appreciated. You can drop off donations at either location. The shelter is at 111 W. Burnside St., and Shepherd’s Door is located at 13207 N.E. Halsey St.

Another place to donate is Dress for Success. They take professional clothing for women and create “a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” For more information on the Dress for Success program (and other ways you can help) go

Also, if you should need help affording warm clothing for you or your family this year, these are always good places to start looking for a helping and warm hand.