Emergency Winter Clothes

October 21, 2009 at 5:42 pm | Posted in fashion, Life, Lumpy | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , ,

Or, Dear Winter: Next Time, Consult Me First.

image from weheartit.com
image from weheartit.com

Yes, winter. Yes we should.

I don’t know who told you that October was supposed to be 45 degrees and a daily “wintery mix” for almost a week straight. I don’t know who told you that it was ~perfectly okay~ to see your breath in the middle of the day. I don’t know who told you that we should be busting out our capelets &muffs (or, if you’re everyone else on my campus, North Face &Uggs) before the month was halfway over. I don’t know who told you you had precedence over fall. I don’t know who told you any of this. Please inform me of who they are so I can make stabbity, stabbity death at them, A-SAP.

Seriously! I am in no way prepared for this – emotionally, monetarily, &most importantly, sartorially. I was just a few weeks ago noticing the lamentable lack of long-sleeved shirts in my wardrobe, but here I thought I’d have some more time to shop around &stock up. Apparently not!

Anyone else in this position? Where today was almost painfully chilly, & tomorrow looks worse; you only have time for one trip to the mall &it has to be NOW &fast? If so, here’s my emergency shopping list:

  • White and/or black long-sleeved thermals. These will go under anything – OP, JSK, or blouses – or even with a skirt. They’re pretty form-fitting usually, though, so I don’t recommend wearing them over a JSK, as is sometimes done with blouses. Get them in each of the standards, and maybe a fun one as well (my selections: a black &a grey with hearts)
  • Thick opaque tights. Don’t you have these already?! You can get them basically anywhere, but personally I like Target for any leg coverings. Again I of course recommend black and white, but my confession is, I only bought a brown pair so far – thus I am clearly a hipocrit. Bring out the firing squad!
  • Thick warm hoodie or sweater. I emphasize hoodie here becase A. they can &do work with lolita and B. there is nothing with a better cost ->warmth value if you find a good one – as in, nothing will keep you that warm with that price tag but a hoodie. However, this is the season for big comfy knits, too, so a nice, thick sweater is advisable. Try for a hooded one, though – 90% of our heat escapes through our heads (or something like that) &this way you can avoid buying a hat for a little while. To loli up a hoodie, bow brooches or cute buttons are great, &if you’re feeling crafty, add an applique &some lace.
  • Gloves or mittens! There is no reason not to buy ones that can last all winter now. Many stores have them (again, hello, Target!) and they are a quick, cheap buy. Nothing will keep your hands warmer, &cold fingers suck 😦
  • Leggings. I know, I know – anyone who’s been listening to my lolita fashion advice for a while knows my leggings line: great for daily wear, but they don’t suit the lolita look well. But we’re an industrious group, aren’t we? We can shape &mold anything to our liking. And, you know what season winter is? Boot season. Wear microfiber leggings under your cute loli boots because they’ll look like tights but be more comfortable &breathable. Don’t have boots? Layer them under kneesocks. I like to look for a blend of 85%+cotton, 15%- spandex, because they’re comfortable but still keep their shape after being worn.
  • A scarf. But that’s total personal preference – one of my first winter purchases, &I’ve worn it every day. No lie.

Okay, so these are your emergency purchases; my winter staples. </opinion!>  Growing up in New England, where you pray for it to get above freezing &are happily surprised if it’s above zero degrees fahrenheit in the winter, you tend to pick up pretty quickly on how to dress warmly (and that’s not even mentioning the many places that are much colder than here!). For anyone who’s moved to a new climate or (like me) are just recently starting to care how they look in the winter, as opposed to IT’S COMFY & KEEPS ME WARM, here are some more general tips:

  • Layer! Layers will be your friend in the cold weather, just make sure you use different fabrisc &textures, otherwise things will ride up or slip out of place &just be generally uncomfortable. From inner to outer, wear silky, then cotton, then knit. It’s what I’ve found to be the most comfortable for my, at least- silky cami or undershirt, cotton cutsew or dress, knit sweater (or hoodie!) Feel free to experiment, but that’s my formula, personally.
  • Cotton! It is your friend! It will breathe well (meaning if you go from cold to hot &start sweating, it won’t stick to you as much or be as uncomfortable, etc), it’s warmer than synthetic fabrics, and it goes well under scratchy but oh-so-warm sweaters or scarves.
  • Pair white pieces with ivory or off-white. Not beige, ivory – it’s lighter and still a noticable difference but not outstandingly so. A white blouse can be “warmed up” (pun?) with a cream sweater, or a shiro OP can go with thick cream tights or knee-length bloomers.
  • While I’m talking about colors, offset summer shades with neutrals. For example, my light blue and yellow plaid BABY dress might never see the light of day til spring if I went only with that color scheme – however, it can be winterized with cream lace tights, lace-up victorian brown boots, a cream thermal and a brown sweater – wear a brown felt hat with a blue ribbon around the brim and blue and gold jewelry to accessorize. Tada! Just because something has brghter shades doesn’t mean it needs to be retired half the year.

Maybe it’s not a problem of winter. Maybe fall is just having an identity crisis. Whatever the problem is, I hope it sorts itself out soon – I was so looking forward to autumnal weather &all its opportunities for sartorial creativity – cardigans, tights, flats… I know you’re under a lot of pressure, Autumn, but could you please fix this identity crisis? We all love you &appreciate you for who you are!

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