New York Street Style: Winter Scarves, Cozy Vests, and Comfy Low-Heel Shoes

By Eileen Rowe, International Fashion Gawker

Manhattan -- You'd think we were in Paris. New York street style has adopted French chic with Manhattan women are swaddling their necks in scarves as soon as the cold weather struck.

Scarves everywhere are chic New York street style.

Body-hugging vests that leave the arms free and chic flat-heeled shoes are other trends for the over-50 woman.

Drapery is the single consistent statement in New York Winter street fashion.

Wrapping ourselves in a piece of silk or cotton or wool has always been de rigeuer in Europe, but I've never seen it so popular in the states. Turtle necks were once our best stab at keeping our necks warm.

It's high time. Scarves cover sags, creases and extra chins, to say nothing about leading the eye of the onlooker a focal point that distracts from those little flaws we'd rather not think about.

Why Scarves Are Chic for After-50 Women

S Keeping out cold drafts is merely an added plus of this scarf trend in Winter New York street style.

With the exception of two karat diamond earrings, few fashion tricks add pizzazz like a scarf. Shop One of a Kind Shawls & Scarves at NOVICA

A simple hunk of cloth is big enough to change a simple sweater and slacks outfit into an ensemble. The look is finished with little effort other than choosing the right color and pattern.

With today's devil-may-care attitude towards colors, that could mean an orange scarf with red shoes, though that's something I've yet to see on anyone over 50. Creativity in New York street style knows no limits.

Draped Front Sweaters and Jackets Flatter Older Figures

Flutter-front sweaters and jackets have been on-trend for several years. They offer femininity by skimming our curves while providing draped concealment.

draped top winter style
Draped tops capture the relaxed mood of New York street style Winter 2013.

One style trick is to buy a size that fits -- not one that is a size or two too large.

New York women seem to know that over-sized garments do not hide extra weight; they just make us look like we are wearing someone else's clothes.

No Sloppy Shirts Hanging Out of Jackets

color block jacket
Chic color block jacket favors on-trend cobalt blue. Sloppy shirt-out look, right, is over.

I'm happy to report that the sloppy look that comes with wearing a jacket that's shorter than the shirt or sweater underneath is slowly disappearing.

In Manhattan I saw it only occasionally on the under-40 crowd, and these women looked like holdovers from the Nineties or just women who just didn't care how they looked. It was unflattering from the get-go, unless you were tall and willowy and could afford a line across your bottom that made you look wider than you already were.

Flat Heeled Shoes Offer Chic Comfort

Happily, or should I say comfily, flat shoes are definitely in. Nobody over 50 is bothering with knee-stressing, ankle straining high heels anymore, and the shoe designers have obliged with gorgeous little flats, walking shoes and ballet slippers.

Vests, too, are back. I've met women who are so happy to have warmth concentrated around their bodies while freeing their arms, they're knitting their own sleeveless sweaters. And I'm still seeing those puffy vest-jackets that make us look like we're out camping.

Chunky colorful costume jewelry in Manhattan store window.
Chunky colorful jewelry reflects casual and bright New York street looks for Winter 2013.

All in all, the women of Manhattan are staying warm and stylish with comfort. New York street style is creative and relaxed with fashion that says, "I care about my looks, and I'm free to express it in my own terms."

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