The last few warm days of fall are passing quickly, and long-past are days of shorts, sandals and slinky sundresses. It’s time to layer up.
Despite urges to bury ourselves in baggy sweats and oversized toques, or to wear fleece pajamas to class, there are actually ways to stay classy and warm through the winter.
Even if we forget how to drive every winter, let’s not forget how to dress ourselves.
On the coldest days adding an extra layer does wonders. Long johns, tights, camisoles and slips are your best friends. Tights can be worn under your jeans or layered with leg warmers for skirts and are warmer than nylons when worn with a dress.
Winners sells bundles of tights at around $18 for a pack of three. Funky patterns and darker colors are in this winter. Tights are a much better buy than nylons, which only cost about $10 but often develop runs after their first wear or two.
But if nylons are a bit more your style a helpful hint for dealing with runs is using clear nail polish on the damaged spot which will stop runs in their tracks. For both nylons and tights, always check the size guide at the back of the package to make sure you’re buying the right fit.
As far as jeans go, I don’t want to tell you what to wear — but I’m going to.For women, straight, bootleg and skinny fit are flattering on most body types. Stay away from flared jeans as they make hips and thigh areas look larger and cause most body types to appear stocky.
For men a pair of fitted jeans that aren’t overly baggy, stylized or tight that fit straight through the leg without falling too low on the hip is always a great choice. Darker washes are better for the winter season.
Patterned and colored jeans are currently trendy for women but can be hard to match to an outfit. If you have a patterned jean, stick to a plain top, jacket, and pair of shoes.
Avoid jeans like those they sell at True Religion with chunky white stitching, excessive fading and wear and tear. Over-stylized jeans are tacky and belong in the same category as Ed Hardy t-shirts, gold chains and excessive cologne usage.
For winter it’s best to stick with darker and deeper shades of colours like green, purple and blue but if you’re going with a warmer color scheme most shades are fine, just make sure to put your pastels in the back of the closet until spring.
One reason boot-cut, skinny or straight-leg jeans on women are great for winter is they go well with boots. A good pair of leather boots match well with jeans and will help keep the snow out. Check out Traxx on Eighth Street, Town Shoes in Midtown Plaza or one of the many quality shoe stores on 22nd Street West.
Get your shoes treated before wearing them out on the salty streets. As long as they’re treated, a good pair of boots can realistically last you three years. Calf-length boots with a kitten heel are always popular but riding boots with a few nice details for women and combat boots on men and women are fashionable this year.
Look for a shoe that will keep you warm and have good traction on the icy streets. Black is always a good color choice but there have been a lot of nice reds, olives, and rust coloured shoes on shelves lately.
Over the past few years we’ve seen a lot of what I like to call “ski lodge chic” winter clothing — baggy knit or wool sweaters with alpine scenes or animals patterns. These sweaters are cute but clunky to wear under a fitted winter jacket. Long, heavy or baggy sweaters will go better with the longer, looser style of jackets that are currently very popular.
A goose-down jacket is a good buy for warmth. On the other hand, waist-length pea coats are a classic choice if you’re looking to get dressed up and will go with nearly any colour-matched shoe choice.
Leather jackets should be avoided unless it’s a relatively warm night. Leather doesn’t hold much warmth and will cool down quickly. Moto-style leather jackets or thinner cloth jackets look great paired over a fitted hoodie. Leave ski and snowboard attire for the mountains: it is comfortable and warm but mostly unflattering and gaudy.
A good toque, scarf and mitten set is a great find. You can now buy touchscreen gloves with special finger pads that allow you to use your smartphone while keeping your fingers warm — or you can be a little more retro punk with convertible mittens. I’ve seen both these gloves at Lululemon and on Karmaloop.com.
Accessories are important. Gold will go well with warm colors, silver with cooler shades. There have been a lot of punk-inspired jewelry choices floating around Saskatoon at the moment as many people are wearing skulls, crossbones and spikes. But if that’s not your style, Etsy.com sells awesome homemade jewelry and you can literally find anything you’re looking for — and if not you’ll find someone willing to make it for you!
Photo: Jenna Mann