fashion

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist

I’m not doing too well with the first week into my second year of blogging am I? I celebrated my 1 year anniversary and then promptly got sick and have been away from blogging for a week now. Sigh. At least I did have this post mostly ready to go, and I am on the mend now with lots of ideas for posts to come! 

Winter fashion consists mainly of outerwear. In the winter, you can come up with the most fabulous outfit ever, but eventually you are going to have to put a coat on over the top of it.  This video, which my brother showed me a while ago, illustrates this effect perfectly, and humorously. (Although I really do want each of those vintage coats!!) Fashion and winter don’t mix well, and this is why it is important (as in not important in the grand scheme of life, but important from a fashion point of view) to have multiple winter coats, and to make sure that your outerwear, whatever it may be, is fashionable. Your climate, to some extent, does dictate your wardrobe so, for me and many others, this means coats.

This is my everyday winter coat. I bought it from a thrift store four or five years ago, and it was one of the best purchases I’ve ever made. It is a cashmere and wool blend (no man-made fibres except for the lining) and is the warmest coat I have ever owned. I used to walk to and from work during the winter (in some of the coldest weather I have ever known- one day the temperatures dropped to -49 degrees, I kid you not) and I was toasty warm during the 15 minute walk. I think it is so warm because of the fibre blend and that it is almost ankle length. A long coat like this keeps your legs warm, and thus the rest of you as well. This coat does such a good job of insulating, that I can’t wear it any time the temperatures warm up!

I believe it is from the 1980’s, judging by the raglan sleeve, but the style is so classic that it easily lends itself to any era. It’s a “vintage chameleon”, to quote Jessica. The only thing that it doesn’t work well for is full skirts, as there is no room for pouffiness and you end up looking rather squashed in. When I first got the coat, it had a tie belt, but as the belt made it look rather like a bathrobe, I quickly amended that situation by removing the belt loops and have been wearing it this way ever since. Thus, it is one of the most versatile and weatherproof winter coats I have ever owned. It is starting to show some wear, and the lining is starting to shatter (I am not looking forward to that repair job!) but I do believe that it will have many more serviceable years ahead. You just can’t get quality like vintage anymore, can you?

It actually wasn’t very cold the day we took these pictures, which is why I was actually able to take the coat off so you could see what I was wearing underneath! The photos kind of go in stages: toasty warm wearing the coat, then the scarf off, then the coat over the shoulders and then finally no coat at all. Of course, right when I had the coat off, a giant and freezing cold wind came up and cut that short! It’s as though the weather was scolding me- “What are you doing out here without a coat on, you silly girl!”

Do you often find yourself having to cover up your outfits with outerwear, or are you able to get away with lighter layers or no coats at all? What requirements do you have, when it comes to outerwear? And what did you think of that video? 🙂

Outfit Details:

Hat: Gifted

Scarf: a gift from my brother, which he got in Nepal

Coat: Vintage, thrifted

Dress: Thrifted

Boots: Gabor

Belt: Thrifted

Jewelry: Gifted

Tights: Hue

Purse: Nine West

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, 1940's style

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, vintage style coat and hat

My colour scheme in this outfit was directly inspired by this lichen covered tree. No, just kidding. I just noticed it when we were out and thought that it was funny the colours matched so well to what I was wearing 😉

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, tree tops

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, vintage cashmere coat

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, winter style

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, winter coat style

Almost like a cape.

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, tree with lichen

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, purse detail

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, vintage style winter coat

Winter Outerwear: The Bane and Blessing of Our Existence, the artyologist, vintage style pearl necklace

My Favourite Posts From the Last Year

I thought that since I was not organized enough to get together a round-up or year in review post for New Years, and also considering that I would have been one month short had I published such a post before now, I would share my favourite posts since I started blogging a year ago. When I looked at my blog stats, I was surprised to see some of the posts that came up as the most popular, although the #1 post is also one of my favourites too. So, without further ado, here are my top 12 posts from the past year, in case you missed them the first time around!

Oh, and ps: So sorry to everyone who was trying to leave comments in the past few days and having difficulties with the all caps situation going on there. Somehow, when I changed my blog format, I switched the comment form to all caps! It is fixed now, so you should have no more difficulties 🙂

Harem Pants: A Most Interesting and Scandalous History The Artyologist

Harem Pants: A Most Interesting and Scandalous History

This was one of the most fun posts to write, and it took me forever to gather all the facts and write it. There is so much more I could have said, but then I would have had to write a book, I suppose. 😉 This is the most popular post I’ve ever published; I’m still getting page views on it six months later.

vintage astra fur coat real fur collar closeup

Vintage Astra Fur

For some reason that is quite beyond me, this little post I wrote about my vintage Astra faux fur coat and advertisement has proven to be very popular as well, and I still get plenty of views on it too.

the artyologist image of vintage turbans zebra striped

The Lifesaving Powers of Vintage Turbans

This was another favourite post to write, although I look at the pictures now, and think that I could have done better. Oh, well. I am really looking forward to writing some more fashion history posts this year.

The Big Reveal: The Refashioners 2016 and Gertie's Butterick, full outfit, the artyologist

The Reveal: Refashioners 2016 & Gertie’s Butterick 5882

This was a project where my blog proved to be an accountability partner. As I had told the entire internet I was going to take part in this challenge, I had to do it! Unfortunately the weather turned cold right after this was sewn, so I haven’t had a chance to wear it out yet, except for these photos. It is waiting patiently for next summer, but this post has proven to be a rather popular one in the meantime.

Refashioning a 1980's dress into a 1940's pinafore the artyologist

Refashioning a 1980’s Dress into a 1940’s Pinafore / Dorothy and The Yellow Surrounded Road

I cheated here and have two posts for one! But, as they are both related you can go look at the pictures in one post and then see how it was constructed in the other.

feature image the artyologist

Are You a Flapper?

This was a different kind of post, as it was a costume rather than an actual outfit. It was fun to go all out and wear a completely 1920’s flapper outfit, which I probably wouldn’t wear out for real.

The Dress That Didn't Get Away- the artyologist

The Dress That Didn’t Get Away

I just like the fall colours in these photos and they were fun to take along a small back road.

Fashion Isn't About You, the artyologist

Fashion Isn’t About You

One of the more serious posts I’ve written, for Slow Fashion October, this outlines some of the reasons why I choose to shop and wear ethical fashion and why the effects of the cheap fashion industry should matter to us all.

Ready for Paul Poiret's 1,002 Night Ball The Artyologist

Ready for Poiret’s “One Thousand and Second Night”

Hands down, this was my personal favourite outfit post of the year. Not only do I like the 1910’s inspired outfit (which is a bit different of a style for me, and one that I am incorporating more and more into my wardrobe), but the photos were taken on the brink of a summer thunderstorm! We got the photos just in time to avoid a soaking downpour.

Vogue Does Autumn Fashion, the artyologist

Vogue Does Fall Fashion

Here was another fun fashion post, inspired by Vogue. I tried to be a moody model, and it certainly looks that way. . . except for all the outtakes that I didn’t post 😉

image of holding lilacs and portrait the artyologist

Sundresses in the Rain

One of the first times I ever did a proper shoot of photos, not just quick snapshots, these were taken on one of the most beautiful days of Spring, right in between rain showers. The lilacs were absolutely stunning that day.

vintage vogue covers 1939 inspired portrait

Vintage Vogue Covers

One of my earliest posts, this hasn’t been a very popular one, but it was a lot of fun to do, and I like the mood of the photographs. (Also, look at my short hair!)

Outfit: The Navy and The Red Coats

The Navy and the Redcoats, military fashion, the artyologist

Have you ever stopped to think about how many of the words we use daily are actually military terms that have sifted down into everyday use? Words such as ‘khaki”, which now means a dull greenish tan colour, but originated from the Persian word for “dust” that was used to describe the uniforms of the soldiers stationed in the Middle East. Or the word “alarm” which originally came from the Italian phrase “all’ arme!” meaning “to arms!” The phrase “top brass” refers to a person of authority. There is debate about where the term came from, but it most likely originated because of the brass insignias officers wear to denote rank. Or even the term “navy blue”, which again hearkens back to the colour of the uniforms worn by the British Navy.

This all may seem rather unrelated to anything, but I started thinking about this when I wrote a note to myself to remember this outfit. I wrote: “Navy Dress/ Red Coat” which immediately called to mind, of course, the Navy and the Red Coats, (a slang term for the British Army). Completely by accident, this outfit I wore last week is even rather military inspired.  The buttoned red velvet jacket, the fluffy navy blue hat, and even the touches of brass jewellery.  I’ve got a bit of both the Army and the Navy showing through in this outfit, so of course a military/exploration inspired photo shoot was in order. There’s nothing I love better than a good theme. 😉 I wish I’d had a flag I could have posed with, to mark the territory I conquered, but as I didn’t, you’ll have to make believe with the walking stick I grabbed off of an obliging dead tree, the binoculars I used to spy out enemy territory, and this decrepit old bunker I have claimed as mine. All done while being fashionably attired of course. 😉

Outfit Details:

Hat: Thrifted

Military Inspired Jacket: Thrifted

Dress: Simplicity 1777

Shoes: Thrifted

Purse: Second Hand

Cuffs: A gift

Ring: Thrifted

 The Navy and the Redcoats, Military Inspired, the artyologist

The Navy and the Redcoats, Military Inspired outfit, purse detail, the artyologist

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, military inspired outfit, brass jewellery details

The Navy and the Redcoats, military inspired outift, the artyologist

The Navy and the Redcoats, military inspired outift, the artyologist, hat detail and military inspired outfit

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, military inspired outfit

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, military inspired outfit

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, abandoned bunker

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, details and outfit

The Navy and the Redcoats, the artyologist, brass snake ring detail

Outfit: Lost in a White Wonderland

White Wonderland, christmas outfit with beetle brooch, the artyologist

Christmas Day, we woke up to a fresh new coating of powdery white snow. I had been hoping for fresh snow for the holidays- as there is just nothing like a White Christmas, is there? We did already have snow on the ground, but the dead grass was poking through in areas, creating an effect that was not as picturesque as Christmas should be. 😉 Thus, I was very glad to wake up to snowflakes floating softly down; the world fresh and white, and quiet with the muffled softness that comes with a fresh snowfall. It was most definitely Christmas card worthy.

Of course, with snow comes colder temperatures as well, but it is a worthwhile tradeoff, I think. It’s going to be cold anyways, come winter, so we might as well get a pretty snowfall out it, right? Last winter was so mild, that I hardly had a chance to wear my winter coats, so even though I haven’t been exactly enthusiastic about the colder temperatures, at least I am able to give my winter coats several outings. Like most people, I used to have one winter coat, one summer coat, and one in between coat. Then one day, I decided that sometimes one coat doesn’t work with every outfit, and that when you live in a cold climate, it is perfectly OK to own multiple coats, if you’d like to. So, I currently now own three winter coats, am in the process of sewing another, and am constantly on the look out for a 40’s/50’s fit and flare style wool coat. And I borrow this coat of my mom’s whenever I can. My mom bought this gorgeous leather coat years ago, and though it doesn’t get much wear, it is so beautiful that I love to borrow it when the occasion permits. The collar is silver fox and is also detachable- but I always wear it with the fur, as it is so much more elegant that way. It was the perfect thing to wear for Christmas day- as I was already going with a black and grey colour scheme, as shown in my last outfit post. Apparently, whenever I pair black and grey I somehow end up with a completely monochromatic outfit?

White Wonderland, snow and spinning

You may notice, (if you are looking that closely at this outfit!) that I am wearing different tights in this post, than I was in the last. I decided last minute to wear these fun polka dot tights instead of my white ones, and I think they add just the perfect amount of whimsy to an otherwise plain outfit, that could’ve easily turned into a rather boring one. I think the beetle brooch also keeps things fun. I don’t particularly like insects or arachnids, but I do own a spider brooch and now this beetle brooch. I prefer my bugs to have rhinestones on them, I guess 😉 I saw this brooch a couple of weeks before Christmas, and pointed it out to my family as a “great gift idea”. I didn’t think that anyone would get it for me, but when I opened my gift on Christmas morning, lo and behold, there was the beetle brooch! I couldn’t wait to wear it, so I pinned it on my beret, and it was the perfect finishing touch to my Christmas day outerwear.

White Wonderland, Beetle Brooch, the artyologist

Did you have a White Christmas where you live, or do you have snow on the ground now? Do you like to borrow clothing from family or friends? What do you think about the beetle brooch (or other insect jewelry)? Would you wear insect related jewelry like this, or does that thought gross you out?

Outfit Details:

Coat: Vintage, borrowed from my Mom

Tights: Hue

Boots: Dkode

Gloves: Can’t remember!

Beret: Gift

Brooch: Gift

White Wonderland, beetle brooch, The artyologist

White Wonderland, fresh snow, the artyologist

White Wonderland, christmas outfit, Throwing snow, the artyologist

When you decide to throw snow, make sure you take note of which way the wind is blowing and throw accordingly. Otherwise, you might end up coating yourself in a lovely cold frosting, see picture left. The second try, see picture right, I made sure to toss the snow out, not up.

White Wonderland, favourite boots, the artyologist

White Wonderland, the artyologist, trees and shadows

White Wonderland, christmas outfit with beetle brooch, the artyologist

White Wonderland, christmas outfit, walking down the lane, the artyologist