I recently switched coasts, trading San Francisco's perpetually foggy and mild climate for the fetching violence of New England seasons. As a result, it seems most people - friends and strangers alike - feel a genuine alarm for me when it comes to The Weather™. Even my own confidence flagged a little when a friend declared that "some days it will be so cold you won't give a shit what you look like" a few weekends ago.
Surely, a slight shit, I thought. I'm femme, for heaven's sake. We can't help ourselves, even in a blizzard.
Besides, nowadays companies like Hunter and Sorel make hig
So, we're here to help. Or to make it harder to choose just one.
Also known as the parka, sometimes the snorkel parka. Most likely hooded, and often trimmed with fur, faux or otherwise, to help block out the cold. Once deeply uncool, the new anorak hits below the waist without getting too long, and is definitely back on the table as a more chic, knockabout alternative to the puffer or traditional wool coat. Spring for a heftier, down-filled version to pair with skinny jeans and the flannel shirts you keep stealing from your girlfriend.
Ah, the cape. I saw a woman wearing one today and she seemed to drift ever so gracefully through the crosswalk. It was a wonderful sight. When else can you walk around in what is basically a tailored blanket and get away with it? You can't! They come in wool with demure Peter Pan collars, in bold colors, in houndstooth or a shag.
In my dreams I'd run around in the extravagant leather number down there by Junya Watanabe for Comme Des Garçons... with spiked leather gloves, high-heeled boots, and dark red lips, femme fatale style. What about you?
Rethinking the Puffer
Now that I live in Massachusetts, I have embraced the puffer as a kind of cold weather staple. When I lived in California, they seemed truly hysterical. Here, they seem inevitable. Good thing all kinds of designers have been hard at work reinventing them - into blazers, with ruffles, coupled with plush panels of fur or buttery leather, in color-blocked brights or fun patterns. There's no longer an excuse to wear something boring in the name of not freezing.
Animal lovers needn't fret; most shearling these days is 100% faux. It might be modacrylic, but all that plush, fleecy material is still going to help keep you soft, warm and cuddly, and it's a fresh, versatile take on a faux fur coat. Well-loved by hard femmes with kohl-lined glares and whiskey kisses in boots that scare you.
Classics are a staple for a reason, and sometimes nothing but a sturdy wool coat does the trick in those long, wintry months. Whether you want yours structured or skirted, fancy or relaxed, trendy or traditional, there's something for every femme out there. The asymmetrical teal coat below is a steal at $118, or you can spring for the duffle coat with toggles from Burberry for something that'll last you decades, and the minimalists among us can drool over Jil Sander's oversized, fire engine red work of art.