The Art of Winter Layering

While I’m looking forward to the spring trends Ashley talked about, one of the things that pisses me off about the “fashion world” is that it’s never in sync with the actual seasons. I came home the other day only to discover a Victoria’s Secret’s swimsuit catalog in my mailbox. God knows how I got on that mailing list, maybe I bought a nightgown for my Mom 5 years ago, but sure enough every month it pops up in the mail with its glossy hair and and unflattering to actual humans one-piece swimsuits. It’s January for Christ’s sake. Do that many people vacation in the Maldives this month that it warrants a cruel reminder of swimsuit season? Tangent aside, the angels aren’t the only ones peddling their spring wares. Everywhere you look it’s floral prints and light cardigans while I’m still shopping for woolly sweaters and printed long johns. So in the spirit of dressing in season, here are some stylish winter options to actually keep you warm.

Outerwear

I know those puffer coats are supposed to be the warmest things in the world, but I hate them so much.  They just remind me of the State Puff marshmallow man and are a bitch to carry around when you’re inside at a bar.  It looks like you’re ready to go camping at a moment’s notice with it tucked under your arm.  The alternative? If wool coats keep the military warm, then that’s good enough for me. With at least half the bulk, and slick tailoring, you can find a nice coat at most Army Navy stores in the city or greatly discounted at the chain stores like H&M and Uniqlo. Bonus: you can actually walk in them rather than waddle your way down the sidewalk.

Heavy Sweaters

I’ve been a fan of Pendleton sweaters even before they did their collaboration with Opening Ceremony but I can’t bring myself to spend over $200 on a sweater.  I found a cardigan that looks very similar that I snagged for $15 which I lovingly call my “old man drinking” sweater.  Everyone deserves to have an old man sweater and you can find them pretty easily at most second-hand shops with similar Nordic inspired designs. Two of my favorite spots of stocking up on woolly separates is the new spot Old Made in Williamsburg and Housing Works. Slip one of those babies over a long tee and you’re ready to drink hot toddies into the night.

Accessories


Fashion-y people say, the key to pulling together an outfit is accessories, and the same can be said when it comes to winter gear. It’s time to break out that old scarf Grandma made you last Christmas because knits are huge this year. Who needs to tie a scarf when you can just pull a giant loop of warmth over your head. After being featured on countless blogs and the NY Times, designer Yokoo is bringing her architectural knitting feats to the mainstream. With a fresh collaboration with Urban Outfitters you too can envelop yourself in infinity scarfs and impossibly thick hats for about half the cost. Hooray mass produced clothing? If you lack knitting skills like myself, another go-to place for cheap scarves and thick tights is Brooklyn Industries. I’m not a fan of their regular clothes unless you like wearing shirts that glorify Brooklyn, in Brooklyn; but their accessories are warm and on sale more often than not.

Basics

I’ve always admired those who effortlessly layer. All the colors go together and the finished look appears both comfortable and slick. So what’s their secret? Lots of fucking t-shirts. These are things I don’t think to buy most of the time because sometimes it’s hard to find a sensibly priced t-shirt in this town. Screw American Apparel, they’re not getting any more of my money. I like the idea of long tank and thick leggings but not so much snapsuits and lace body stockings.  Great for basics made with eco materials and non pornariffic advertising, there’s Alternative Apparel. They’ve got all the tees, tunics and tights a girl could need and you don’t feel like you’re donating to Dov Charney’s legal fund when you buy it. After all this rigmarole, and you’re still sticking with your North Face tundra outerwear. I won’t judge you, I’ll just ask to stick my hand in your superior insulated pocket.

Photo Credits: Refinery 29, Flickr, Etsy,


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About the author

Laura S - Spendthrift Scribe

Laura S, left the "sixth borough" three years ago to settle in Brooklyn. After working at some daily rags, she now does writing on the side but still eats more Ramen then necessary. When she's not moving residences every 6 months, eating her way through every neighborhood, and trying every microbrew known to man, she is unsuccessfully rediscovering home economics. With her binging days behind her, she's now exploring new projects and rediscovering the city that she loves (although is still prone to sliding on her knees during a Prince karaoke set).
  • http://happylolday.blogspot.com C Merry

    http://www.wintersilks.com/ I got one of their undershirts and a pair of leggings, wore under a sweater and over a pair of tights I was warm at the freezing inauguration with my jacket and hat and no huge bulky clothes feeling (like the kid in Christmas Story :) )

    http://happylolday.blogspot.com/2009/01/my-trip-to-dc-to-barack-obamas.html

    Never walked so many miles on one day in my life, could tell it was one of the coldest days but the silk layer worked. I like stuff that’s warm and not bulky so I would recommend it.