hat

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

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

Woodland Queen

Woodland Queen, cocktail dresses, the artyologist

I own approximately six evening / cocktail dresses. (I didn’t actually get up and check because I am feeling lazy right now, but I can remember six off the top of my head) I attend approximately zero cocktail parties each year. Thus, I have a lot of dresses that don’t get worn that often ever, so every time I find even half of an excuse to wear one, I take it! Last weekend was the Christmas party we have every year on my mom’s side of the family, and though it isn’t a dressy party by any means, I jumped at the chance to dress up in a “Christmas” ensemble with one of the neglected cocktail dresses.

I picked this dress up at the thrift store last year, and though it isn’t something I would normally gravitate to, as it is made out of some kind of parachute material and knitted polyester, it is a surprisingly versatile dress to have. It is true that you should never underestimate the power of an LBD! The first time I wore this dress, was to a swing dance with a theme of “Dancing Under the Stars”. When I wore it that time, I quickly grabbed some gold star garland and fashioned a crown so my outfit would fit the theme of “stars”. I quite liked that outfit, so when I was thinking of what to wear to this party, I decided another crown of stars would be just the thing. I cut out some stars from faux leather, painted them gold and then glued them to a headband. It turned out nicely and is a much more permanent, and slightly fancier, alternative to a tinsel crown 🙂 I think that the stars  are just the sort of thing that a flapper would have worn in the twenties, or maybe something a sprite would wear while flitting about the winter woods.

woodland queen, cocktail dresses, the artyologist

Anyways, I have nothing else much to say about this outfit, so I’ll stop typing now 🙂

Happy First day of Winter to you all!

Outfit Details:

Dress: Thrifted

Shoes: Miz Mooz

Necklace: Ten Thousand Villages

Headband: Made by me

woodland queen, the-birch-and-crown, the artyologist

woodland queen necklace the artyologist

woodland queen, cocktail dresses, the artyologist

Woodland Queen, star crown and cocktail dresses, the artyologist

woodland queen, shoes the artyologist

woodland queen, the artyologist