While I dread the declining temperatures, winter’s arrival sparks the beginning of a new fashion season. Say hello to knee high socks, coats, scarves, turtle necks, alpaca, angora, fur, suede, leather, wool and the list goes on. ‘Tis the season of layering!

Multiple layers not only keep you warm, but developing an art of layering means more clothing options, accessories and decisions—essentially emphasizing your personal style.

A great coat is an important winter wardrobe staple.

Worn every day and usually the most visible, coats and jackets can range from a couple of dollars (if it is a vintage steal) and upward. Such a wardrobe staple is an investment (and that means long term) so it’s important to invest in items that you could see yourself wearing for years to come. Even if you initially love an item, its appeal can dwindle and eventually seem dull in the following seasons.

So, how do you keep the spice alive while maintaining a budget? A simple styling suggestion is to add a belt to your jacket. (If your jacket has a belt, then you can replace it with a new one.)

If you have a classic coat, then opt for a metallic belt or braided belt to add some funk into your look. Styling with a contrast belt color will make your jacket “pop” and give it a whole new feel. Using a belt that has a gold buckle will add a French flair to your look.

Thrift stores and boutiques shops are a great place to score unique one-of-a-kind belts. As an alternative, fabric, twine and rope could be used instead. If you really want to be creative, then add a trim detail to the sleeves or hem of your jacket too. Flirting with belts and styling techniques keep your coats exciting without going over budget. Below are three suggestions for ways to style belt + coat.

Look No. 1

navy jacket look
Top: Native Youth / @native_youth
Overalls: Capulet /@CapuletCompany / PR Showroom is @weareprismatics
Coat: Objects Without Meaning from AltHouse / @shopalthouse, @objectswithoutmeaning
Belt: Melamed / or by calling (310)247-8789
Sunglasses: Paul Smith from Montana Eyes / @montanaeyes
Shoes: Dieppa Restrepo from AltHouse / @shopalthouse, @diepparestrepo
Bag: Tess Handbags / @tesshandbags / Showroom is @pistolandstamen

Look No. 2

beige jacket look
Top: Kieley Kimmel /@kieleykimmel
Jeans: G-Star RAW / @gstarraw
Coat: Objects Without Meaning from AltHouse / @shopalthouse, @objectswithoutmeaning
Belt: Melamed / or by calling (310)247-8789
Shoes: Aska Collection / @askacollection / Showroom is @infinitycre8ive
Bag: Tess Handbags / @tesshandbags / Showroom is @pistolandstamen

Look No. 3

plaid jacket look
Top: Capulet /@CapuletCompany / PR Showroom is @weareprismatics
Jeans: G-Star RAW / @gstarraw
Jacket: LucyParis / @lucyparislabel / Showroom is Dietch PR @dietch_pr
Shoes: Solsana / @solsanashoes / Showroom is @infinitycre8ive
Sunglasses: Thierry Lasry from Montana Eyes / @montanaeyes
Belts: Melamed / or by calling (310)247-8789

What are your favorite winter looks? How do you layer with style for the cold season?

Images via Milena Mallory; Styling assisted by Cynthia Landaverde

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