winter

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, the artyologist

“But wait!”, you say, “It’s not Winter yet!” And, you are correct that it is not officially Winter yet. We won’t be officially in the Winter season for another 33 days to be exact.

Here though, it is Winter all right, and has been for 18 days now. It started snowing on October 31 (just in time for the little kids to go trick-or-treating out in the snowdrifts) and it hasn’t stopped yet. Well, it hasn’t gone away yet, and every morning when I look out the window, I see more snow to shovel off of my walkway. So, it’s safe to say that Winter is here, for now at least. Despite the fact that Winter comes every year, and that historically we get snow in October, every year I am caught off guard, and there are a few days there where I think to myself, “Wait- what? Snow? How do I dress for this?” And so I just end up throwing a winter coat, and boots and scarf over the top of everything without any real thought as to creating an outfit.

Now, the real question we must ask ourselves, when the temperatures have dropped below zero, is: how do you dress for the cold, when the aforementioned “hobo style” isn’t quite the look that you are going for? I present to you this outfit, which is a testament to the vintage lover’s desire to be dressed in some semblance of fashion, while also desiring to keep at least slightly warm. This is the first “real” outfit I put together since the climes dropped, and everything I wore here was chosen mainly because of it’s insulating properties. So, here are my cold weather tips for those who don’t want to sacrifice style for warmth. Yes, most of these are obvious, but I thought, why not share them anyways?

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage coat and fur collar, the artyologist

  • Turbans are a good cold weather choice, because they can be tied over your ears, and are much prettier than your average toque. I actually wore two scarves here, one tied over my ears and the other over the top for decoration. You can tie a turban with a warmer fabric than a thin silk scarf, and you can also get pre-formed turbans which are knitted, or made of velvet, mohair, wool etc. and those would be very toasty warm! (I don’t have one myself . . . yet!) Other options for keeping your head warm are berets, worn pulled down over your ears like this, or thicker scarves worn over your head and tied under your chin. Sometimes, I wear my scarf and pull it up over my head like a hood, if it isn’t too cold out, but there is a bit of a breeze.
  • Wool coats are the best. Really they are. If you are at all thinking of going outside in the cold this season, get yourself a 100% wool coat, and you will not regret it. Lots of modern/reproduction winter coats are made of synthetic blends, and they do not even offer a fraction of warmth compared to pure wool. If you can, get yourself a vintage coat, especially a long one, and you won’t be cold. This one, from the 80’s, is made of cashmere and wool, and it is one of the best thrift store purchases I have ever made. On mild winter days, this coat is even almost too warm to wear.

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage style, the artyologist

  • A fur collar. Does a fur collar keep you warm? No, not really, unless it’s a beaver hood or something known for it’s super insulating properties. But, it looks pretty! And it gives the illusion of warmth! And, if you aren’t going to wear fur in the Winter, just when are you going to wear it? I am not wearing it in these pictures, but I actually wore a scarf underneath the collar to keep warm, and threw the fur over top to add the “glamour”.
  • Nice winter boots. I love my pumps and thin leather shoes, but come winter, unless you want your feet to turn into blocks of ice, winter boots really are a must, and insulated ones are optimum. These boots I bought a few years ago, are lined with a layer of “Thinsulate” (which is essentially useless if you are actually out in a blizzard) but if you are just walking around town, they are great! They keep your feet warmer than shoes, and, they look a lot nicer than those clunky, rubber winter boots (that you will wish you were wearing if you get caught in an actual blizzard).

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, theartyologist, on-steps

  • Layers are good. Here I am wearing several layers: tights, a long wool skirt, (with a slip under that) and a long coat over top. There’s only about 2 inches of exposed leg (covered with tights, but not the skirt and coat, I mean). And on the top; a blouse, then a cardigan, and then the coat. Rather than getting a buffalo robe and swaddling yourself in that (which some days admittedly does seem like a good idea) build up warmth with layers so you don’t end up looking like a stuffed penguin.
  • Pockets are another wonderful thing. If your hands get cold, even while wearing gloves or mittens, you can just stick them in your pockets to warm them up. I once had a winter coat that didn’t have pockets- it was the worst coat because my hands were always freezing when I wore it! I also once had a coat that only had pockets over the chest. That was an awkward place to have pockets. I know they were supposed to be decorative, but what is the point of having only decorative pockets on a winter coat?!?!

Well, there are my tips for dressing for Winter, brought to you today from one cold Canadian! So, how did this outfit hold up during my walk to church that morning? Well, for the two blocks going south, it was great! The six blocks straight into the wind wasn’t so lovely, however 🙁 But, even though my face got a bit frosty from the wind, I was actually surprisingly warm and it was a relief to take my coat off!

So, what do you do to stay stylish in Winter but also warm? Is it “Winter” yet, where you live, or are you still enjoying Fall?

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage turban

windows- The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, the artyologist

The Obvious Guide for How to Stay Warm in Winter Without Sacrificing Style, vintage wool coat and fur collar, the artyologist

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