Unless you're a celebrity or a high-powered film exec, Sundance pretty much consists of waiting in line outside, in the cold (potentially for hours), followed by several more hours of being stuffed into a crowded theatre with everyone you just stood in line with - which makes dressing for the occasion a bit trickier than the music festivals of summer. The most popular winter style tip seems to be "layers, layers, layers" - but what happens to all those layers once you get inside?
The proposition of de-layering and then lugging those layers around an indoor venue probably isn't very appealing (unless you're that crazy person that enjoys carting six different bags around to store your multitudes of stuff). The fact is, Sundance veterans can be easily separated from Park City-newbies based on wardrobe alone: locals and film festival veterans understand the importance of warm-but-stylish ensembles and the incredible value of a chic-but-low-heeled boot, while those new to our climate can be spotted timidly walking Bambi-like in five inch heels and mini skirts through the snow. I frequently hear the phrases "fashion over function" and "beauty is pain" from these wannabe fashionistas, but as someone who spends half the year knee-deep in snow, I firmly believe that it is possible to warm and stylish at the same time.
Don't believe me? Check out these looks from some of my favorite Utah bloggers for proof, plus tips for planning your own Sundance-worthy wardrobe, after the jump:
1. a gorgeous wool trench + black leggings
The key to layering is to balance a heavy outer layer with a couple of lighter inner layers that don't necessarily need peeling off when the temps start to creep up - think a breathable fabric, topped by a lightweight cardigan, followed by a cocoon of wool, faux fur or leather and sealed with a blanket scarf and a hat (worried about hat hair? try fluffy ear muffs instead). A wool trench is always classy, and a burgundy hue gives it a modern, on-trend feel.
2. winter pastels and snow boots
Kick boring rubber snow boots to the curb and try a pair in a bright, cheery shade, like this bubblegum pink pair spotted on Sarah of Sassy Red Lipstick. Add a pastel-hued wool coat for instant spring-like cheer, but keep it seasonal with a cable knit sweater in classy winter white. And don't underestimate the importance of chic shades - the snow reflects sunlight, making those sunglasses eminently more valuable in winter than in summer.
Casual Winter Style // photo by Lizzography
3. the trusty sweater-skinnies-flats combo
Fact: not all Sundance socializing will require you to brave the snow or need a flashy going-out look; there's a good chance that one or more evenings will involve hanging out with new friends around a cozy fire in a cabin-like atmosphere (malt or fermented beverages may or may not be involved). In this case, you want a look that's cozy and comfy and stylish - enter this fun black and white sweater and skinnies duo sported by Sandy of Sandy A La Mode. Add some fantastic metallic lace up flats for extra style points.
Toting a tot along with you? Vivian's fantastic red boots-printed pants-matching headband-flannel shirt-denim jacket look is a great option for satisfying your kiddo's need for color and fun prints while keeping them warm and awesome-looking.
4. winter black and white
Few things are as winter chic as well-fitted black skinnies and a chunky knit sweater, as demonstrated by Abby of The fAb Blog; add a white wool coat with a furry hood and some aviators for extra street-style appeal. Match ankle booties with a low-to-medium heel height (think 2.5" or lower) to your skinnies to lengthen your legs and create a long, lean silhouette.
Winter Wonderland // photo by Haley Nord
5. neutrals + a bright bag
Don't be afraid to spice up an all-neutral outfit with a bright, sassy bag. In fact, a just-the-right-size-and-shape bag is key to enjoying all the festival has to offer - opt for something that's roomy enough to cart around essentials and souvenirs (including an umbrella on stormy days), but that's not so large it'll become a nuisance in a crowded space (or so heavy it makes your shoulders hurt).
The Hunt for Sperry Duck Boots // photo by Diana Putnam Photography
6. chic + sophisticated + fun
When you spend this much time outdoors in freezing temps, your coat becomes as much a part of your look as your shoes and bag. Make sure to pick a coat that matches your style and has pizazz, but that will also keep you warm while you're standing in line or trekking between venues, like this neutral color-blocked piece on Sandy. Add some fun and functionality with a colored scarf and some fantastic boots, like Sandy's Sperry duck boots.
Hello, 2016! // photo by Haley Nord
7. add some sparkle
Sundance's after-parties are legendary, but dressing for the nightlife here in Park City can be tricky (to say the least). Unless you're heading to one of the A-list parties (and if you are, let's be friends!), the Park City style tends to be more low-key fireside-chic, as opposed to the more urban glam you'll find in downtown Salt Lake City. Anything too snazzy will not only stick out like a sore thumb, but isn't likely to be very functional in the Park City weather.
To avoid ending up sprawled across a sheet of black ice with your knickers flashing, skip the mini-dress and strappy stilettos, and opt instead for a slightly-above-the-knee skirt and a form-fitting black turtleneck or sweater; top it off with a fun printed cardigan, add some black tights to keep your legs warm and pull on some black ankle booties to lengthen your legs without risking a broken ankle (printed soles are always a plus). Satisfy your inner fashion maven by choosing a sparkly sequin piece and a fantastic bag.
Bordeaux Boot // photo by jessakae | Mommy & Kumquat // photo by Jennifer Booth
8. it's all in the boot
It's easy to glam up a casual sweater and leggings/jeans look with the right boot: a bordeaux over-the-knee pair add instant class and a whole lotta warmth, while lace up ankle booties with combat-worthy tread provide just the right amount of edge and extra snow-preparedness.
Valentine Red // photo by Haley Nord | The Fab Blog // Red Lace Romper // photo by Think of Me Photography
9. lady in red
Can't settle on what to wear to your Friday night party? Make an entrance in a gorgeous red dress or a red lace romper; black over-the-knee boots with cool details (like gold hardware and zippers that show) will keep your legs warm if getting to your party requires braving the temps that dip below zero when the sun goes down, and a sparkly gold clutch and red lip are the perfect finishing touches to this dramatic look.
Still looking for some winter outfit inspiration? Shop my look below, or check out this Pinterest board for a collection of ideas - and be sure to swing by Sandy a la Mode, Sassy Red Lipstick and The Fab Blog for the details on their gorgeous looks.
Are you heading into town for Sundance? Comment below to let me know what films you'll be seeing, and lets grab a drink!
P.S. The relaunch giveaway winner will be announced this week, so be sure to check back!