The perfect winter outfit

Thursday, December 26, 2013


From left, Nicholas Cunigan, Elizabeth Kennedy and Emily Kennedy model their perfect winter outfits.


Elizabeth Kennedy's outfit from clothes picked out at Francesca's includes this black puffy coat, beanie, embellished tunic, leggings and cutout booties.


Emily Kennedy's outfit from items picked out at Third Planet and Francesca's include a cropped jacket, scarf, sweater and leather leggings.

Winter has arrived, bringing with it snow, ice and subzero temperatures. It’s officially time to bundle up, and to help you stay warm and look stylish, CheckOut asked resident fashion experts Emily and Elizabeth Kennedy and Nicholas Cunigan for their definition of the “perfect” winter outfit. They scoured Lawrence for outer wear and what to don when the coat comes off.

Outfit for women

Everyone has their own idea of the “perfect winter outfit,” but being that I’m immersed in fashion on a daily basis I’m going to give you our take on how Elizabeth and I see the perfect holiday outfit. I wanted to create a mix between practical and fashionable.

The pieces had to be comfortable and appropriate for any everyday outing because there’s nothing worse than a day full of errands and an outfit that is uncomfortable. We chose pieces that would work for a day of moving around but always with fashion in the back of our minds.

I wanted my look to be casual with a little edge, as always. Third Planet, 846 Massachusetts St., has endless opportunity for the perfect winter outfit. From oversized sweaters to tunic shirts to cozy leggings, they have it all.

My look was complete with leather leggings, a tunic sweater with a cool chiffon back detail, lace-up boots, a cropped jacket and cold-weather accessories.

Leather leggings might not be your first choice when thinking of a comfortable winter look, but these are really flexible and easy to move around in. They also offer up that edgy look I was going for.

Leather can easily be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. I chose a cropped jacket rather than a full-length jacket because I loaded up on accessories with my scarf, hat and gloves. I also thought the cropped jacket would better compliment my leather leggings.

Elizabeth chose the casual route as well with her embellished tunic, leggings and unique cutout booties from Francesca’s, 742 Massachusetts St.

The long, black, puffy coat really adds to the casual sporty feel, but her embellished tunic really gives the look a feminine flair. I’m also a fan of her embellished beanie.

Embellishments are huge this season whether it’s on winter hats, shirts or even denim. I’m obsessed with her cutout booties she chose for her look.

Now, you might be thinking why on earth are you wearing cutout boots during winter in Kansas. This is where stylish socks come to the rescue. You could use ruffle socks or chunky knit socks to accompany your cutout boots. A little tip is to pull them up all the way and then scrunch them down to the length that you want them. A messy scrunched look is perfectly fine.

The main thing to keep in mind when putting together your perfect winter outfit is to make sure it’s comfortable, practical and always stylish!

— Emily and Elizabeth Kennedy are twin sisters and fashion bloggers who share a blog called Fashion Column Twins. They can be reached at

Outfit for men

Staying stylish in Kansas when it can feel like the Arctic might seem impossible. Subzero wind chills and sporadic snowstorms keep most people indoors, but don’t let the cold keep you locked up all winter long. For a regular day out on the town, pile on some well-fitted layers and you’ll stay warm no matter what the weather might bring.


Nicholas Cunigan's winter outfit includes a wool coat from Shark's Surf Shop, pullover sweater from Sunflower Outdoor and Bike, and oxford shirt and jeans from Gap.


Wool coats are wonderful for winter. Depending on the grade of the wool, it can be naturally water resistant, moisture-wicking, insulating and breathable — important qualities during colder months. Billabong’s Irwin wool jacket available at Shark’s Surf Shop ($111.60), 813 Massachusetts St., blends a stylish four-pocket design with an incredibly cozy Sherpa lining and matching hood. It’s the closest I’ve ever come to wearing a blanket (though I’ve never tried a Snuggie).


Crew and V-neck sweaters are the workhorses of any man’s winter wardrobe. After work is over, though, I like something a little more low-key. Patagonia’s Better Sweater 1/4-zip, fleece-lined with a sweater-knit exterior, fits the bill perfectly (Sunflower Outdoor and Bike, 804 Massachusetts St., $98.98). You’ll especially appreciate the chest pocket that lets you quickly access your phone.


Underneath all those outer layers, keep it classic with a plaid or gingham oxford. Whether you find yourself sitting by a fire or the temperatures rise, you’ll want to still look classy if you shed some of those outer layers. I found this basic plaid oxford at Gap (643 Massachusetts St., $49.95). Jos. A. Bank, 646 Vermont St., and Weaver’s, 901 Massachusetts St., offer a variety of other color choices. Just keep the designs and colors muted.


Dark wash jeans are perfectly suited for winter strolls and regular days out. Stick with your go-to pair. I rarely stray away from Gap’s resin wash slim fit ($69.95). In the winter, though, what you wear underneath your jeans can be the true lifesaver. If you know you’ll be outside for a long period of time or just prefer toasty legs to icicle thighs, be sure to layer with some long johns. I’m not talking about your grandfather’s cotton waffle. Technology has come a long way. Patagonia’s Capilene baselayers, found at Sunflower and ranging from $35-$110 depending on your preferred temperature zone, will keep you as warm as you want to be.


Every trip outside of the house in below freezing temperatures should be accompanied with hat and gloves. This North Face Shipyard Beanie, picked up at Sunflower Outdoor and Bike ($24.98), should do the trick when dodging in and out of stores. Though, if you’ll be out for long periods at a time, look for one with a fleece lining that will keep your ears on the warmer side. As for gloves, Marmot’s Connect Gloves, also available at Sunflower ($30), do a great job of keeping your digits warm and allow you to use your smartphone without having to expose them to the cold. Finally, to protect your eyes against blinding snow, look for a pair of polarized sunglasses. The classic Ray-Ban tortoise shell wayfarer (Shark’s Surf Shop, $180) will keep your eyes safe year-round.

— Nicholas Cunigan is a Ph.D. candidate in early American history at Kansas University. He blends classic fashion with modern details on a low-cost budget.