Cold Weather Dressing


 
To see how I wore these outfits in Oslo, click here

I feel like this post is unnecessary, because flowers are in bloom and it's 11°C, yet here we are. This winter I don't really have a capsule, since I'm wearing all my clothes, but pictured above is everything I brought to Norway. I haven't felt wind or cold once since we arrived.

Inspiration for my outfits this season comes from penguins and Hufsa. I packed only this parka, which, while perfect for chasing the Northern Lights or crossing fjords, is too hot for rushing around Paris. My basic formula there is:
50°F and higher- T-shirt or short sleeves. 
40-50°F- Trench coat over short sleeves, or a t-shirt and sweater. Remove the outermost layer when overheated 
20-40°F- Céline coat with short sleeves; still baring legs at this point 
-40-20°F- Céline coat with layers; merino wool and tights / leggings under dresses. Sweaters over dresses when temperatures dip under 10° degrees. 
To me, synthetics aren't warm enough for extended exposure to cold. Pure wool is preferable, and wool, silk, or synthetic underwear is warmer than cotton. If you live in a place where it's dark for days at a time, reflective outerwear is a must, but it's my experience that you don't need a lot of special equipment for a cozy winter outdoors. All most people need are good thermals, waterproof boots (tall enough so snow doesn't get in them), and strategic layers. The most important thing is keeping your chest and head warm!

  

COLD

I. Base layer: Merino wool sweater and tights, wool socks
II. Midlayer: Wool sweater, wool leggings, chunky handknit wool socks

COLDER

II. Top layer: Black leggings, handknitted scarf and hat- suitable as an outfit on its own, with boots or sneakers
IV. Wool-lined gloves under mittens, add a coat if necessary

COLDEST

V. Coat- I find that wool coats are the warmest and most comfortable, and that synthetics are sweaty and gross. Normally I wear long wool or trench coat, but for the Arctic, a parka is more practical
VI. Pants over leggings layers. I'm wearing jeans here, which most people find too cold. Instead, you could wear wool or leather trousers; these are naturally somewhat waterproof and insulating. You need to wear something underneath leather though. For instance, all leather gloves should be lined with wool, and thermals should be worn under pants.


WINTER WARDROBE


Red handknitted sweater (Wool and the Gang yarn)
Cream Alisa Design sweater (handknitted)
Handknitted hat, mittens, socks, and scarf (Drops Design alpaca by Lomaki and Wool and the Gang yarn)
Four t-shirts (secondhand merino wool And Other Stories, secondhand Isabel Marant, DIY, and thrifted Gap Pure Body)
Two pairs leggings (black and DIY)
100% wool tights and nude stockings (originally my mom's... not sure if she gave them to me or if I just stole them from her drawer!)
J Brand jeans (secondhand)
Grey Dior wool dress (secondhand)
Navy Dior wool dress (secondhand)
Red Dior dress (secondhand, in grey here)
Dior parka
Céline cashgora coat (secondhand)
Louis Vuitton trench coat (secondhand)
Louis Vuitton wool skirt (secondhand, similar here)
Prada cotton shirtdress (secondhand, pictured here)
Pink LK Bennett dress (in brown here)
Louboutin secondhand Simple pumps
Salvatore Ferragamo Vara pumps
Geox waterproof leather boots (with rubber lug sole)
Nike Sky High sneakers
Two pairs 100% wool socks (originally my grandfather's)
Longchamp Pliage bag, size small in khaki

You absolutely can wear dresses, skirts, shorts, etc. in the wintertime. Try wearing sweaters over dresses- it's like getting a brand new skirt. Be sure to double up on wool tights, under ankle or boot socks, if the shoe allows for it. Otherwise, layer two pairs silk or nylon stockings. It's hard to buy tights secondhand, but Swedish Stockings and Pact make recycled nylon versions, and you can upcycle (tawashi!) or mail old pairs to No Nonsense's recycling program. I'm ok walking around with stockings and ankle socks in heels, but I'm from Cleveland, so I'm basically a Viking. 

Paris to Go

23 comments:

  1. You are baring your legs at 20°F, that's -6°C, how is that possible? I stop baring my legs at 15°C (60°F), and minus temperatures feel like my skin is being whipped.

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    1. Where I grew up is very cold so you get used to it! In high school everyone would go to school in shorts and flip flops at -6°C :) We even eat ice cream at -40°F!

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  2. I'll admit when I lived in Japan I went to Hokkaido for the Snow Festival and it was minus something degrees (obviously cold enough for 4ft of snow to fall) and the fashion at the time was denim hot pants and knee/thigh high boots. And actually it was warm enough to wear shorts comfortably with bare skin! I put it down to the lack of wind chill; where I was based down south, which is technically warmer, the winds just cut through you in the winter time and it felt colder down there than in the middle of the snow.

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    1. There is something to that. It seems snowy areas are warmer than, say, city streets, at least to me. My friends from Minnesota and Boston can wear bare arms and legs almost all winter, but if there's no snow on the ground it's a different story. It all comes down to the wind chill!

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    2. They say the same thing about Tromso / Oslo- Oslo normally feels colder because of the windchill, though it's more southerly, and the cold cuts you even more when there's no snow to insulate you! That is too funny about the Snow Festival fashion :) Would love to see photos of that on your blog!

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    3. Oh wow, thanks Ariana. You've just provided me with fodder for my ramblings!

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  3. I love the hat and muffins! Do you have a link to the pattern?

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    1. Hi Linda, thanks! They are from Anya Lomaki, she does beautiful work and knitted a custom hat and mittens for me. They are completely seamless: https://www.etsy.com/shop/lomaki

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  4. You must be a wolf (my fav animal), looking at the temperatures and the choice of clothing. It is true, the places where we live for extended periods of time build tolerance. I can tolerate high heat after living in Arizona for a decade but shiver in California.

    I am beginning to think those of us who embrace seasonal wardrobes are looking for an excuse to gather the variety.

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    1. I too like seasonal pieces to freshen up my wardrobe... but as I get older I prefer fabrics I can wear year round. I find that when I finally hunt down a piece I like, I want to wear it all year long and not store it away for a whole season!

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  5. That parka is too cute! Do you belt it like your trench coat and if so, what brand belt do you use? I couldn't find it in the capsule wardrobe lists. On another topic, what fabrics would you recommend for people who find wool too itchy?

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    1. Hello! It comes with a matching fabric belt, which I definitely tighten all the time, the coat is huge :) If you find wool itchy, perhaps silk, but it's of course more difficult to care for and requires more washing since silk holds smells. I have some friends who have been to Antarctica several times recently (for weddings, of all things, but also for work) and they said that for their purposes (sitting for hours collecting data), synthetics were not at all warm, they are better for active pursuits like skiing. But I know some people are allergic to it, and have no other option.

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  6. It is so refreshing to see someone who values natural fiber! I keep telling friends that The human race will be wiped out because female fashion (for the masses) is all thin, sleeveless, and polyester!! How on earth can you stay warm in that! I live in New England, where we get all 3 seasons. (No Spring anymore!) And you really need wool to stay warm! Sheep provide a miraculous fiber!!

    Thanks for posting your layers! I tend to focus layers only on my top half. Sometimes you need both halves bundled up to stay truly warm! (Winter sports.)

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    1. I was so shocked to see in France that everything is viscose, rayon, and polyester... I had this romanticized image of the fashion industry here. In Cleveland there is no spring anymore either! New England winters are no joke. My parents lived in Boston for years and that is where she discovered pure wool long underwear, which she's still wearing today.

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  7. Oooh, girl, that oversized red sweater is so cute on you! Your trip to Oslo looked fab. Happy New Year! XOXO.

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    1. You are so sweet, thank you so much! Same to you <3

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  8. A good red sweater is a hero, for keeping warm and staying happy!! Love the pictures, and the funny leg look (the light does something funny, or maybe it is just my eyes). Anyhow, love the wardrobe and the colour palette!!!

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    1. You are too sweet Emma! The light did do something funny, it looks like a chunk is missing from my ankles. Thank you so much!

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  9. Not much to say that hasn't already been said (you can really tolerate the cold, and love the sweaters) but I have to add my comment to the pile anyway. I really like how you demonstrate your cold weather layering. I would have never thought of some of that even though it seems like a no brainer.

    Hope you are doing well!

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    1. Thank you so much Andrea! Hope you are having a great new year also :)

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  10. Would rain boots be sufficient for Cleveland winters, or do you recommend LL Bean boots or snow boots for men's year round use instead? Just moved here from California

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    1. Hi! I definitely recommend LL Bean or snow boots. 20 year old LL Bean boots is all I wore in Cleveland for ten years... rain boots won't cut it. Now that I've said that, you'll probably have a warm and snowless winter, but in my experience, the snow is so deep that boots and wool socks are necessary for shoveling your way out to your car or walking around.

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