With a frigid winter this year in California, there’s definitely a need to bundle up and keep warm. The air is brisker and the winds are most definitely stronger.

But before you start whipping out your Big Bear gear, here are some ways to get into the winter spirit without over-doing it. The key is to keep it effortless and west coast weather-appropriate.

1. Find an everyday boot.

When the temperature drops, give your feet the warmth they deserve by covering them up. A boot can act as a casual shoe or heel during these next few months, so find a style that’s versatile. You may not be wearing these everyday, but a solid fall/winter boot  should be comfortable enough in case you do need to wear it weeks-on-end. So stay away from too high a heel height, and choose a neutral color that can revolve around all your outfits.

2. Invest in a couple of quality sweaters.

The importance of a good sweater can’t be stressed enough. Look for higher-end fabrics like wool and cashmere. Although they will cost you a bit more, these materials will really insulate and may sometimes be the only item you need to keep warm. Don’t be afraid of the price tag ­­– this is one place you really want to set the bar high. Find a sweater you feel good in; you’ll find yourself reaching for it again and again.

california winter style

3. Layer with a vest.

The misleading thing about the California cold is that the morning chill often burns off as the day progresses, and that big bulky jacket you decided to wear seems like overkill at 3PM in 58 degree weather. Give your outerwear collection some variety by opting for a puffer or quilted vest instead. Warm enough to start your day and easy enough to remove in the afternoon if needed.

4. Rotate your scarf collection.

Because we rarely have a genuine need for mittens or fur-lined hats around these places, scarves are the next best accessory for the winter time. Gradually add to your collection and maintain a nice, eclectic selection of scarves. Neutral colored ones can always keep your neck warm while complementing a more bold ensemble, while printed, modern scarves can add a refreshing splash of color.

Lastly, leave the multiple layering to your east coast counterparts. The last thing you want to do is start sweating 15 minutes into leaving your house.

California winters are harmless. (Right, El Niño?) Nurture your wardrobe with the above essentials, and you’ll do just fine.

Are you spending your winter in California? What wardrobe “precautions” do you take?

Images via Madison Holmlund


  1. Very helpful! I live in Florida and it’s hard to get a grasp on what I’ll actually wear in such a short winter. Between the freezing mornings and sometimes sweltering afternoons, choosing outfits becomes so much harder. Definitely looking into boots and vests!

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