Après Ski Attire
Winter is a divisive subject. If you say you enjoy the season you can expect furrowed brows and sighs of discontent. I'll admit I am a fan of the cold but sometimes the below freezing temperatures and ice covered roads get to a person. You can usually find me running from my house to the car, all bundled up and moving as fast as possible to avoid developing flushed cheeks and a red nose.
However this article stands in defense of Winter simply for the fact that you can wear as many layers and accessories as a means to stay warm and stylish. I choose to indulge in the cold weather for the sake of my closet. I'm imagining myself in the French Alps on a ski trip where I'd be dining in European cafes, ice skating, and anything else besides actually attempting to ski.
My reality this Winter will involve clamoring for holiday gifts and trudging through 6 feet of snow. However I'll plan for both occasions, my usual December errands and my fictional après-ski (after ski) activities, where the outfit will be viable either way.
Keeping the body warm is essential. There's nothing worse than leaving the house in a hurry only to realize you failed to dress appropriately for the weather. My go-to choice is a cream Irish fisherman sweater. Its wool composition and textured pattern is the perfect way to brace cold temperatures and show off some handmade craftsmanship.
I've always been frustrated with winter coats. They cover up your cute outfit and tend to leave you overwhelmed with their bulky-ness. The exception is a shearling coat. There's something about them that are so luxurious and chic. I will note it is an investment. Luckily I scored one in a vintage store so similar places or a consignment store is your best bet if you're in the market. They're durable, many are water resistant, and they've latest the test of time when it comes to being in fashion.
Fleece Leggings (And Leg Warmers)
I'm fairly new to fleece leggings, I came across them recently and was amazed that I hadn't found them sooner. They work as a cozier, comfier alternative to jeans that have the added bonus of insulating your legs while you're out and about.
Leg warmers have resurfaced within the past few years. Not quite returning as the 80s aerobics accessory they once were but as added thickness over the ankles and boots. I'm particularly fond ones that are striped or have a unique pattern. And they look great scrunched up over the fleece leggings.
I'm all about hats. Currently I'm a fan of the Shapka, the classic Russian fur hat with its iconic round and tapered shape. As a reminder fur ran rampant in the 70s. Shapka hats and fur jackets stood as a symbol of elegance and was sure to turn heads with its various colors and textures. In today's world I'll stick with a small but fun fur hat that's faux or vintage. It's a fun touch to a wintery outfit that gives it an old school feel.
The coveted balaclava - standing as my second option to the fur hat. For those unfamiliar its a knitted hood designed to slightly expose the face and provide coverage for the rest of the head. Akin to the ski mask, the balaclava could definitely be worn after hitting the slopes (or running everyday errands).
An odd choice on the surface but sunglasses will keep my eyes shaded from the mounds of bright snow that are in the foreseeable future. For me the bigger the better, a large rounded pair will give full protection and help to cover the face when the winds kick up.
In addition to sunglasses the face needs to be covered even more. I can't count how many times my face has gotten windburn, it's not a fun experience. Again for me, the bigger the better - think of that absurdly large scarf Lenny Kravitz was seen wearing back in 2012 and that should do. Proving fashion and function, a large wool scarf doubles as a blanket. It allows you to wrap it around yourself as many times as possible to assure your entire upper body is covered.
Nothing can truly prepare you for Winter. Every year, it sneaks up on us and we're left unprepared by the bone-chilling temperatures that reduce us down to nothing. Yet it's something about the season and it's fashion that I can't quite shake, I'll always love it. Here's to another few months of the cold - may yours be filled with fashion forward outfits and plenty of hot chocolate.
Illustration by Inci Sahin