Winter always poses clothing challenges for me. I strive to look like this:
But more often than not, I look like this:
I'd like to blame my problem on spending the past three winters in country where cold weather gear was only occasionally required. Sure you needed to throw on a heavier coat every once in a while but the rest of the time a lighter jacket or even a sweater would suffice. I really think my blood thinned and now that I am living in a colder (not cold by many standards but colder to me) and very damp environment I find myself struggling to be comfortable, warm and dare I say, fashionably age appropriate. But honestly, my problems with winter clothing started years ago.
I grew up in New England which is the land of LL Bean fleece, wool sweaters and layers. Lots of layers. I don't remember a time when going outside in the winter didn't require layer upon layer of increasingly bulky clothing. Childhood memories include feeling like a stuffed sausage in my winter coat and the dreaded winter where my teacher (for her ease rather than our comfort) made us keep our snow pants on all day. Between the overheated sweaty feeling and the rustle of nylon I would just count the minutes until the warm weather returned. As an adult I initially shunned any winter clothing that was too bulky, cumbersome or left me with that sausage-like feeling. The more fashion forward clothing I saw did nothing to keep away the winter chill. Unfortunately, I found myself being cold a lot.
And now I am an adult who is once again living in a cold weather climate. I've been experimenting with various combinations of fleece, wool and down jackets jet I always feel too bundled up and bulky for my taste. I look at the other moms during school drop off and they all see at ease and comfortable with their attire. Whereas I look frumpy, the women from the Scandinavian and Baltic countries look stylish wearing their fleece (it probably helps that they are all tall and thin to begin with). Those hailing from warmer weather Mediterranean countries are layered and wrapped to the hilt yet they don't have that sausage look that I do whenever I don half as many clothes. So what is their secret? I wish I knew.
I've spent copious hours scanning the internet and perusing local stores in search of the perfect warm yet appropriate clothing for the season but I'm about to give up. So if you see a swaddled wooly mammoth looking person walking down the street you will probably find me underneath the bundle of fleece and down. I might not be comfortable but at least I am warm. How many days is it until spring arrives?