Winter Accessories

Last week we had our first snowfall and -10°C temps (ew!) so I thought it was about time to bring up one of the key categories in my cold weather closet: Winter Accessories. Until last year I had totally neglected this critical section of my wardrobe. I used to have a hodge-podge stash of toques (that’s Canadian for ‘beanie’ btw), most of which were mainly for show, a tangled mess of scarves and like 1 glove that was seemingly forever solo. Needless to say it was dysfunctional and inconvenient at best.

I decided to remedy the situation, as I’ve done with most other areas of my closet, and since I began investing in better quality hats, gloves and scarves it has made a HUGE difference in how I feel about braving our harsh Ontario weather. I’ve also learned that good winter accessories not only keep you cozy but they can also extend the use of pieces that might not seem warm enough otherwise. For example we shot this look in the early evening on a cold day when it was only about 5°C and windy. Instead of having to swap my cardigan for a coat I simply added my gloves, a big scarf and a wool beanie and I was cozy as could be!

So in case you’re headed towards the same frosty fate we are right now, I wanted to share how I’ve transformed this accessory category with just a few additions and where I shop for hats, gloves, scarves and tights that are both cozy and chic. Because being warm and feeling stylish are not mutually exclusive!

So let’s dig in!


Style Bee - Winter Accessories


HOW TO REFRESH YOUR WINTER ACCESSORIES


STEP 1: CLEAN OUT | Once I’d identified this lacking area in my winter wardrobe I began by getting rid of all the items that weren’t working for me. Those were some cheap poly blend hats that didn’t actually provide much warmth, a few scarves that weren’t my style and were going unused. I ditched that annoying, forever lonesome glove and cleared my storage baskets to get ready for my new additions.

Of course, I kept the items that were working well like a couple of chunky hand knit beanies, a pair of sheepskin mittens for when it’s super cold, a pair of driving-style leather gloves and a couple of old scarves that were still getting worn now and again.

STEP 2 : ASSESS YOUR NEEDS | From there I made it a budget priority to add a few key pieces that would make getting ready for cold days a lot more effective while still being stylish. I made a list of necessary items, which for me was:

  • 1 slim black beanie in a soft wool or a cashmere knit.
  • 2 pairs of knitted gloves (not mittens). I considered some tech friendly options but for my lifestyle old-school was fine since I’m rarely on my phone when I’m outside with Dobby or walking downtown. I did want them to have a longer wrist so they’d tuck into sleeves well.
  • 1 wide chunky wool scarf in charcoal grey to match everything.
  • 1 pair of wool knee socks for under my wide leg pants. I was still unsure about whether or not I could really wear wide leg pants in the winter so 1 pair was enough to test that theory. Ps. It totally works! 

STEP 3: SET ASIDE A BUDGET | Accepting that these more practical acquisitions were needed meant facing the fact that I’d have to go without a new holiday party dress or a new bag or a new pair of boots etc. to offset my budget. Now, I’ll be the first to admit that practical pieces are a lot less exciting to shop for than fun ones. BUT one winter season with decent accessories was all it took to realize that they make A LOT more impact on my day-to-day life than a new skirt or something I’ll wear only a handful of times.

STEP 4: ADD THE KEY PIECES YOU NEED | Once I knew what I needed and I had a budget set aside I pulled the trigger on the items over the Winter season. The beanie came from Everlane first, the gloves from American Apparel soon after, the scarf from Acne Studios I saved for Christmas and the socks from HUE via a local shop in Guelph were bought on a whim over the holidays.  Spreading my budget out over a couple of months made it much easier to accommodate. Links to exact and similar items below.

STEP 5: STORE IN A CONVENIENT AND ORGANIZED SPACE | Part of ensuring this section of my closet is useful means keeping the items easy to access and stored neatly. I keep my all scarves, beanies, gloves and socks in a series of three baskets in my closet. They’re easy to pull out and not so deep that items get buried. When I’m using certain ones every day, as I do all winter, I move them to a little storage credenza we have in our entryway so they’re easy to get when I’m going in and out. See my Insta Stories for a look at those two spots today! 

Now I’ll share all the accessories currently in my collection and where I recommend looking for your own!


Style Bee - Winter Accessories


GLOVES + SCARVES


Currently in my glove/mitten collection I have:

  • 2 pairs of knitted gloves which are of a decent quality but made of a wool/acrylic blend that’s easy to wash and tumble dry. Similar option, imported but with a lifetime warranty and clips to keep them together for $40 CAD. Knitted cashmere mitten version here for $60 USD.
  • 1 pair of sleek leather gloves for dressier occasions. Similar option, made in Italy for $110 USD.
  • 1 pair of thick sheepskin mittens for when it gets really cold. Similar option, made in Canada for $79 CAD also in all black.

If you’re into fingerless gloves check out this pair (great for photographers!). If you’re into tech friendly options Nordstrom has lots of those.



My winter scarf collection consists of: 

  • 1 large chunky wool scarf (Charcoal from Acne Studios, $240 CAD or in a narrow width for $200 CAD. 100% virgin wool. Made in Italy.)
  • 1 slim cashmere scarf in black bought at the Royal Winter Fair (linked to similar for $88 USD, made responsibly in China)
  • 1 Alpaca Infinity Scarf (Light Grey from Cuyana, $75 USD, made in Italy)
  • 1 Wool/Cashmere blend scarf in black and white (old from Club Monaco)

Where to look for scarves?

  • Everlane has some super chic options, as always, ethically made and reasonably priced.
  • Cuyana has a great range of neutral tones in various fibres and weights depending on the warmth you need.
  • Acne Studios’ Canada Scarf is a personal favourite (available in many colours).
  • Need Supply has lots of great responsibly made scarf options by designers like Lauren Manoogian, Rachel Comey, A Peace Treaty, Paloma Wool and Base Range.
  • Garmentory is a great place to look for something unique and responsibly made. They have a good selection of Block Shop scarves too! Save $20 when you sign up here. Free Shipping & Returns.
  • Scarf Shop has a beautiful selection of minimally designed, hand dyed scarves in various weights of cotton and wool with dozens of colour options.

Need some scarf styling tips and tricks? Take a look at my 5 SCARF TUTORIAL for lots of ideas! 



Style Bee - Winter Accessories


BEANIES


My beanie collection has grown slightly since last year because I found I was wearing one every single day. They’re not not only good for going outside but for in an old house or a chilly office too. Honestly, I don’t know what I’d do without them!

I currently rotate through the following set:

  • 1 Wool beanie in Black ($25 USD) from Everlane (last year) for when it’s not too cold but I need to block the wind or hide bed head. (Added last year)
  • 2 Cashmere beanies ($58 USD) in Ivory and Grey for colder days from Everlane (Added this year)
  • 1 Super Thick alpaca knit beanie ($89 CAD) gifted from Bare Knitwear (added 2 years ago)
  • 1 Chunky Knit alpaca, merino, silk blend toque ($85 CAD) gifted from Good Night Day (Added last year) (Tara-Lynn knits the line herself from ethically sourced wools and she is AMAZING.)

What to consider?

Temperature: Go for options that are properly warm enough for the temperature(s) you’re dealing with. In Guelph that changes from cool and windy, to cold, to downright freezing. If it’s over 5°C you’re probably good with a light wool or cashmere option. For cooler temps I like a dense cashmere and for really cold weather (ie: -10°C and lower) I like my chunky knits on their own or a thinner beanie worn under my parka hood.

Washability: I hand wash all my knitted hats by hand once or twice a month, depending on how much I wear them. I use The Laundress Wool & Cashmere Shampoo and lay them flat to dry.


Where to look for beanies?

My personal favourite beanies are from Everlane and Bare Knitwear but I’ve also seen great options through these responsible makers:

If you’re vegan or sensitive to animal fibres then there might be some good options available at:



Style Bee - Winter Accessories


KNEE SOCKS + TIGHTS


This might seem like a weird category to include in my Winter Accessories but it’s SUCH a game changer. If you’ve got any pairs of wide leg pants you’d like to wear into the colder months this will make it entirely doable. I used to think I needed super heavy socks like those for snowboarding but found they were never comfortable in my boots and ended up being almost too hot for around the house. I’ve also tried wearing leggings/yoga pants under my wide-leg pants but always felt too bulky in the extra layer. So I tried a  knee-sock option, in a lightweight wool and it feels WAY better while still being a great way to fend off the cold breeze blowing up my pant legs.

The ones I bought were like these from Nordstrom and they’re 100% merino wool which packs in lots of coziness without having to be thick and heavy. Merino wool is also great for temperature regulating and wicking moisture so your feet stay dry.

Where to look for knee-socks:

  • PACT (Sustainably and ethically made! Save 20% Off your order here.)
  • Smartwool (via Altitude Sports which offers free shipping in Canada and USA.)
  • Nordstrom (a selection of the in-house line is made in USA)

Where to look for Tights:

I don’t wear a lot of dresses in the winter but when I do a good pair of thick, opaque (100+ den) tights is great to have on hand.

  • COMMANDO (I really like this line and it’s available via Nordstrom.)
  • Swedish Stockings (Sustainable stocking line made of 100% recycled premium yarn. I am so trying these!)
  • PACT (Save 20% Off your order here!)
  • American Apparel (I have these a they’re great but no longer available in Canada)


Style Bee - Winter Accessories


As you can see, I don’t take my winter accessories lightly! Haha! Hopefully these tips will help you add one or two accessories that really make a difference in your cold weather closet.


Do you have any game-changers for the winter months?

Where do you find your coziest accoutrements?

Are you a gloves or mittens kinda gal? 


SHOP THE LOOK


BEANIE – Everlane | SCARF – Acne Studios | CARDIGAN – Han Starnes via Garmentory  Save $20 when you sign up here. Free Shipping & Returns. | GLOVES – old American Apparel (linked to similar) | JEANS – old JBRAND | BOOTS – old Rag & Bone



Photography by Jacklyn Barber.


This post was not sponsored but contains affiliate links. When you shop via the links above I may make a small commission from a sale. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Style Bee! As always all opinions are my own.

26 thoughts on “Winter Accessories

  1. I’m so glad I found your beautiful blog. I live in Canada too and I get tired of seeing all kinds of fashion bloggers who live in milder climates posting pictures of “winter” outfits that just would not work in Toronto! This post was truly useful. I know it’s probably not as ethical, but I have just found the beanies at Babaton (Aritzia), which are wool / cashmere blends, and they are gorgeous and also very warm. I am still on the hunt for gloves but generally find mittens work better for me – they keep my hands warmer when the temperature dips to -20!

  2. Love your choices! You look so cozy chic! I have sock-love too!

    It’s pretty easy to find Made in the USA socks …that’s where I started my quest to buy more Made in America stuff a few years ago–with SOCKS!

    No Nonsense has great, cozy cotton chunky bootsocks that are made here; Woolrich for hiker/boot wool socks are also Made in America. It’s also easy to find Darntough (Made in Vermont)–and my favorite Made in the USA lightweight wool socks I actually found at TJ Maxx–were also made in Vermont by a smaller company!

    Ok, you’ve officially inspired me to do a sock-love write up on my Made in the USA themed blog! lol THANKS!!!

  3. Your new collection winter accessories looks great!
    I already did such a re-organisation of my winter collection a couple of years ago.
    I love the Acne scraf but it was really way out of budget so I searched the net for a double and I did find one, a grey melange (only some cm smaller) for €50,- instead of €160,- for the Acne scarf.
    And I love it!
    During the last years I added some (beautiful) scarfs so that I now have a nice, small collection.
    I prefer gloves but I haven’t found a great pair yet so I walk a round with an “ok” pair of Lacoste.
    I also have a simple beanie but I don’t get to wear it often with our rather warm winters here in the Netherlands.
    I much more prefer your climate so that I could wear my warm, cosy sweaters and my beanie more often 🙂

  4. Lee, I love these posts about how you intentionally build parts of your wardrobe! As the weather gets colder, it’s become very clear that my scarf collection could really use some culling and editing, your tips landed at the perfect time 🙂

  5. Thanks for sharing your winter accessory recs! Do you have any recommendations for sustainable / ethically made house slippers for cold winter nights? Thanks!

    1. I have these Padraig cottage slippers which I love! I was gifted a pair for my daughter when she was a baby, and loved them so much I went looking for a pair for me. They have several women’s and men’s styles. They are made in Vancouver! My husband bought me a pair for Christmas that year, and I’ve been wearing them (and even periodically machine washing them) ever since. I think it would be going on 3 or 4 years now and they are still in great shape! From their about page: …”employing more than thirty local artisans and support staff, we are still independently owned and operated and our premises remain in North Vancouver, ensuring product quality and support of the local community. The slippers too remain largely the same; they are still hand-crocheted and hand-dyed in small lots, ensuring each pair is one of a kind.”
      https://www.padraigcottage.com/collections/all/products/womens-original-slipper

  6. I always love your posts! Having moved from Cali where the sun always shines to a 4 (albeit mild) seasons place, I need to work on a winter accessories wardrobe. I eye Everlane but, like a commenter above, the curly hair rebels against beanies unless I tie it back. I do LOVE scarves though and will be checking out some of the ones you recommend. Thanks for all the hard work as always.

    1. Thanks so much Amanda! Ah, yes, beanies are not ideal for curls. Maybe earmuffs, a headband or the knit beret style could work for you? Gotta keep those ears warm 🙂 Good luck on the scarf hunt! xo

  7. Thanks for the guide!
    Tip for my fellow curly girls: If your hair is anything like mine (type 3a ringlets here), beanies completely destroy and frizz up my natural curls. I ventured outdoors with a cold, uncovered head for years until I discovered knit berets. Unlike beanies, the beret is only tight at the elastic band – nowhere else. It’s easy to stretch the band wide enough to carefully place on your head. No more smushed frizzies!! I’m thinking about investing in a grey wool one this winter.

    1. Hey Stephanie, Thanks for the tip on knit berets! They look like they’d be great for a wide range of hair types.

      For those interested I’d check out:
      ANTHROPOLOGIE (This option is so cute, made in Canada and comes in 7 colours)
      FREE PEOPLE (This style is a great take on the classic style (5 colours) and this one is a simple slouchy beanie (11 colours) both are imported)
      ETSY (Of course, there are a TON of options through independent makers on ETSY)

  8. Great guide, Lee! I’ve been on the hunt for a new beanie myself for the past few days, so the timing of this couldn’t have been better. I’ve been eyeing the Everlane cashmere beanie in particular, so pleased to know you’ve got two of your own as well. I’ve been waffling on it only because I can never decide if beanies look odd with my pixie-cut hair or not – but I’m not sure I want another knit headband as the one I have stretched out and I’m worried it’ll happen again. Do you have any experience with knit headbands? Love that you recommended those fingerless cashmere Everlane gloves as well, they look great to this photographer!

    1. Thanks Hilary! I adore the cashmere beanies I got and they are SO soft and cozy. I’ve tried headbands in the past but they always seem to give me a dreadlock at the base of my neck from rubbing on my coat collar. Not so fun to get those out! haha

      Maybe earmuffs are an option for you? They’re something I’m considering trying because they keep the ears warm and save the ‘do. I had a pair I loved years ago but Dobby (my dog) destroyed them. I just saw this cute pair in a recent search and they’re also speakers, kinda genius! These are also suuuper cozy looking. xo

  9. Hi there! Fairly new reader here 🙂
    Really glad this popped up in my inbox!
    I’ve only recently moved overseas from a pretty warm climate. As exciting as it has been so far, for someone whose memories of snowy winters trace back to being a five-year-old, I’m feeling overwhelmed with the idea of building a winter wardrobe. This coming from a gal who does not even own a single pair of boots!
    Could you maybe dedicate a post to snow-attire? Possibly a 101 on boots, as well?

    1. Hey Z, Welcome! Thanks so much for these suggestions. It is definitely a daunting task when you’re new to a cold climate. I’ve got some winter closet posts in the queue so stay tuned 🙂 For now you might want to check out my Winter Wardrobe Assessment which includes all my most loved winter pieces. xo

  10. This is so timely. All I’ve ever had is a collection of lovely vintage scarves but totally ignored everything else. I’ve suffered for too long in cheap hats and gloves (I lived in Russia for five years for goodness sake!) but am finally ready to invest in something that will actually keep me warm!

    1. Hey Polly! So glad this post came at a good time for you. Wow, yeah, Russian winters look rough! Hope you’re able to find some really cozy additions for the upcoming months. xo

  11. I seem to always end up buying a scarf when we travel, because inevitably it’s colder than the weather app says while you’re out wandering around on top of a 500 year old church (hello Milan in February). I admit my items are more utilitarian than pretty. After spending 2 years in a city without a car and doing the walking 2 miles a day school run…my main coat for winter is a Jack Wolfskin 3 in 1. I’m currently on the hunt for proper winter boots for an upcoming trip to go hiking in Iceland. In February (I need to remember that February is a month better suited to Hawaii or Tahiti!). So if anyone can recommend boots for potential snow hikes that are 100% practical over pretty, I’m all ears.

    1. Andrea, I suggest Sorel for warm, waterproof boots for Iceland. I love mine – my feet were warm and dry all last winter and I’m in the US. I went to Iceland in September and my Sorels would have been useful when we went glacier hiking. I took my Smartwool socks and base layers with me on that trip as well. You will love Iceland – I’m dying to go back.

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