Monday, February 2, 2009

Icy Weather Dressing

Is it just me, or is stylish yet comfortable (and warm) Winter dressing near impossible? Whenever the cool winds of Autumn start to kick in, I get so excited about the opportunities to layer, wear great hats and cozy coats and kick about in the snow. Then when the actual snow arrives, I am less than thrilled. Being a Canadian girl, I get the iciest, gustiest, blowiest and snowiest of Winters thrown at me. While I'd love to run about looking stylish, peering out the window leaves me a) wanting to curl up in a blanket or b) wear five sweaters, three pairs of tights, an Arctic-appropriate parka and maybe even a balaclava to keep the wind from whipping my face.

So, what's a girl to do? People always say that fashion requires some necessary suffering, but I'm not a believer in that idea. I think it's possible to look fabulous and still feel comfortable and happy (in fact, if you're uncomfortable, it definitely detracts from your overall look). It's February now, and the sun has started coming out, the Winter weather is turning mild - but I want to know, how do you fend off the cold weather blues?

Are we all destined to stomp around in insulated boots and fur-lined jacket, our faces scrunched up and red from the air? Not exactly the cutest look.

I like this outfit from Hel-Looks. The flat boots (a must-have for walking on icy streets), warm mittens, chunky scarf and layering make this look super cozy - and the girl donning it looks happy too. Throw on a hat and I'd say this is a complete look.

Maybe I'm just bitter because I don't have a decent winter coat. Since November I've been wearing cast-off peacoats and parkas from season's past. A good winter coat is, like a good man, hard to find, and rarely inexpensive. Why I don't just invest in one, I'm not sure (you wear the dang thing a good four-plus months of the year) ... maybe I'm not looking hard enough!

I'm always incredibly jealous at other people's (re: my sister's) ability to find amazing vintage (and warm) winter coats. I consider myself quite a thrifting savant but I've only ever found lovely fur jackets (and as warm as they are, I'm wary of paint-throwing protesters wherever I go).

In summary ... I'm ready for Summer. And I want to know how you keep warm (and cool!) in the Winter months. Show me fabulously toasty outfits. Or let's just discuss how wonderful it will be to prance around in sandals and sundresses ... ahhhhhh.

[ Photo courtesy of My Vintage Vogue ]


pomegranate season said...
here's how i keep warm.

Alice X said...

A good winter coat is, like a good man, hard to find, and rarely inexpensive. Haha, this made me laugh, so true though. Canada's winters are the worst.

Q's Daydream said...

I'm feeling just like you! Getting dressed has stressed me out so much in the last few weeks. I love to wear dresses, but I don't want to be cold, and three pairs of tights can start to make one's legs look fat...ha! Give me spring!!! ;o)

Parapluie said...

I can't wait for spring and summer! I always wear two warm tights at once and try to avoid staying outside too long.
I love the picture from Hel- Looks though :)

josephine wayward said...

it's about time for spring :(. i can't see my flat boots and my coat anymore.

ashley moe said...

my mom mailed me earmuffs yesterday.
i look like i have koala ears with them on, but they certainly help with the cold (:

Ada [The Duchess] said...

I definetly get what you're saying. I live in Ontario, Canada, and the only thing that keeps me going is wearing tights in every colour, and alternating between my AMAZING red coat (with this really cool back) and my peacoat in a bright colour. Alternating with colour boots and various shirt and sweater dresses help too. Fall is the best time of year because you get to be creative, but you don't have to cover it all up with a jacket.

Julie said...

I live in Oslo, Norway. We've had an unusually snowy winter, which means the city looks beautiful, but my shoes and hair don't. I can't wait for spring, but in the meantime, here are my survival tips:
- Norwegians always say that if your feet and head are warm, that's all that really matters. So wear woolen socks and good shoes. And find a hat that doesn't crush your hair, and that makes you feel cute (you know, so you'll actually wear it). I don't normally like wearing hats, but I've found a white one in light-weight wool and it's about two sizes too big so it doesn't ruin my hair.
- Getting a fantastic winter coat is really important. For all the people you meet outdoors, it's the one outfit you wear all winter. Invest! Splurge!
- Woolen accessories don't have to be scarves/mittens/hats. I have some wool/silk blend camisoles that I wear under spring cardigans and light-weight sweaters. I have one great pair of woolen tights (so you only have to wear one pair at a time). This winter I even got woolen shorts (like long underwear, I guess?) to wear under wider skirts. I've also collected winter stockings to layer over thinner tights.
- The best way to warm your hands is to layer light-weight woolen wrist warmers (like gloves without fingers) under large fur-lined leather mittens. That's for really cold days.

Basically, if I'm wearing layers of thin wool/silk underneath some of my clothes, woolen socks and hat, and my winter coat, the rest of my clothing is more or less what I would wear on a spring day. And Norway is cold, so I must be doing something right.

Justine said...

i totally know what you mean. I live in Toronto and the slushy weather is the worst. Good thing it'll warm up a little next week...

btw you look like a mix between Alexis Bledel and Zooey Deschanel.

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