Although I actually do love winter, it’s incredibly frustrating right now for me to follow most style bloggers- it is not almost spring here, and to go outside without a parka, winter boots, and scarf/ mitts/ hat is literally asking for frostbite (and maybe something worse). It is difficult to be inspired and excited about your wardrobe when it is literally -35°C outside with the windchill, and everyone else is frolicking in the sun! (But please keep sharing, because it gives us hope…) Today’s post is for those of us living in the frozen tundra who attempt to be stylish but realistically have to keep all of our limbs warm- how to stay stylish in the winter! (Also, hopefully it is a look into what us snow-folks experience…)
Definition of Winter: For the purpose of this post, I will define winter as a season with at least two months of snow, and temperatures that drop below -20°C somewhat regularly. At this point, you can’t just run out in your fashionable coat because you will most likely go into hypothermia mode.
It usually takes a few years of adulthood to get to this point, but you have to accept that your winter outerwear will not be overly stylish and elegant, and that’s the end of it. There’s no “maybe I will find something”, it’s “this Columbia/North Face/ Patagonia parka will keep me warm if my car dies because the battery has literally frozen”. You can always tell if someone is a) young or b) a new arrival, because they will cling to whatever fashionable jackets they had before for a good month or two, but when we are on the fifth or sixth day of a windchill of -40°C, they finally crack and bring out something that is more appropriate. If it provides any comfort, none of the rest of us are particularly stylish outside either….
2) Have Warm Clothes Ready
Unless it is -10°C or warmer, I always have sweatpants and a hoodie/sweatshirt to wear over top of my clothing for the day during the car ride/ walk in- it makes a huge difference. I find that when I freeze at the beginning of the day, I stay frozen throughout the day. Not direct blowing heat, not tea, not even vigorous exercise will bring me back from those frozen depths. So, I always make sure that my parka, sweatpants and sweatshirt, and all accessories are ready to go for the next time I leave (usually the night before), so that I don’t get caught frozen. I also have a small tote bag in my car with my old Uggs, some extra socks, scarf, and mitts, and a few other small things in case of the car dying somewhere or having something spilt on me- the only thing worse than being in weather that cold, is being in weather that cold while wet.
3) Take Care in Your Appearance
Although you can’t really put on your make up until you are inside your final building (because even the most “waterproof” mascara will leak down your face when it’s that cold out), you can ensure that your skin is clean and hydrated, that your hair is neat and cared for (even if you have just combed it), and that your clothing is free from wrinkles and creases. I’m pretty much limited to sweaters and pants for December to March because my office is also quite cold, but I make sure that sweaters are hung the night before to be free from wrinkles, that I iron any shirts or pants that need it, and that my shoes and accessories match my clothing. It can be very tempting to wear only fleece-lined leggings and tunics, but I find that putting a little more effort into what I’m wearing inside helps combat the feeling of being entirely un-stylish outside.
4) Start Looking to the Spring
So, for those of us still very much buried in snow, we won’t be seeing even the beginnings of flowers until the end of April, probably May. By the time that it is actually spring for us, the rest of you have moved onto summer. So, I find that finding things to celebrate in style for February and March goes a long way! I remind myself that I love my plaid shirts and that they will be going away for 4-5 months, and to enjoy them while I can. I also like to think about my red trench coat that I eventually will be able to wear by May at the latest, and that hopefully in April I will be able to wear some of my thinner blouses, and maybe even dresses if I am very lucky.
What is your winter like?