Queer Outfit of the Week: Polar Vortex Party

Hi is is really still snowing? Remember when we could do lots of fun things every week but now each week we’re like oops we’re fucked put on some boots and go shovel the snow you lazy bum. Why on earth should it even been this cold out?? Oh. The polar vortex.

So if it has to be this cold, than I suggest you throw a polar vortex party. Wait. I should back up. In case you’re unaware, the polar vortex is the reason everyone is suffering through -25 degree weather right now! I assume this means cool people in larger cities are maybe throwing a polar vortex party in which it is most definitely understood that you will sleep over because it’s too cold to leave. Perhaps this party involves spending time outside in the snow playing or, more realistically, going outside for a cigarette/to help your friend shovel out their car and then immediately heading back inside for more movies and Irish coffee. Okay, maybe polar vortex parties aren’t real– not yet anyways. But they will be if we all thrown them! And if you’re throwing a polar vortex party anyways, you should probably wear this week’s outfit.

At the heart of your polar vortex party outfit, or really any outdoor winter outfit, is an aura of being just so over winter. You are too cool for the cold. This is nicely achieved by a wool coat with leather arms. While such a coat provides the warmth of a wool coat, the leather arms pretend like you’re still hanging on to fall weather.

Brightly colored but seasonally appropriate pants are a must. You can’t let the cold keep your shining style down! This year plum is in style in a big way, which is particularly awesome because this hue is bold and unusual without relying on out of season bright blues and turquoises.

Be sure to layer this look with a scarf, a button-up (preferably flannel) and, well, maybe some long underwear. If you think it might be cold inside the party as well as outside, go for a lighter-weight scarf that is more comfortable as opposed to a thick wool one. A light lilac scarf, as shown here, complements plum pants perfectly, but any light colored scarf will breath life into your look.

For a butcher look, go for more straight legged pants and boxy, men’s jacket. For a more femme look you could swap the plum narrow slacks for a short plum skirt and a pair of thigh high black stockings over sheer black nylons. Regardless of your gender/style presentation, you can finish this look off with military style boots for a warm but chic look. Similarly no matter how you dress be sure not to forget your lesbian purse aka your keys attached to a carabiner.


Brooklyn Circus Varsity Moto Jacket // Brooks Brothers Solid Flannel Oxford // Levi 511 Slim Commuter Pants in Wine // Lilac Pashmina // Steve Madden Troopa Boots // Indera Thermal Undershirt 

Whether you’re headed to a big blow out polar vortex party (seriously guys it’s real if we make it real) or just a regular freezing cold Saturday night at the bars, we’ve got a lot more winter outfits ahead of us.  So pick up your favorite wool jacket and settle in.

This is Queer Outfit of the Week where I scour the world and tell you all about my one favorite queer outfit this week. I’ll envision a scenario where you or your girlfriend or your best friend or your mom or your cat could wear it and talk all about why it’s a great outfit for that event. Every week will be a different style, gender presentation and event so there’s a little something for everyone — even the person who just wants to look at pictures of stylish queers! So let’s get to it — we’re going to figure out what the heck we’re going to wear this week!

If you see something that you think should be featured on Queer Outfit of the Week, send me an ASS messageask on my tumblrtweet me @Ohheyitslizz or email me at lizz [at] autostraddle [dot] com

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Lizz is a consumer, lover and writer of all things pop culture and the Fashion/Style Editor at Autostraddle.com. She is also full time medical student at Brown University in Providence, RI. You can find her on the twitter, the tumblr or even on the instagram.

Lizz has written 261 articles for us.


  1. whoa that jacket is way too close to my rent check. $550??
    gotdamn. so dope but whoa, what about broke bitches in the polar vortex?

    also, hi lizzz, i bet you look so good in plum things.

  2. Love the outfit, but I would absolutely freeze my ass off in it in the weather we had yesterday! I need me a good lined parka that covers my rump.

  3. There’s no snow where i am, just endless flood water, so maybe plum jeans, wellies and a raincoat with leather sleeves?

  4. As someone who lives in the sub-arctic Tundra, this would be the perfect outfit for a warm June day.

  5. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha that’s a spring outfit in Canada. You would freeze to death wearing that. Super cute frozen corpse though. I look forward to rocking that in April!

    • Hahaha I know I was reading this just like:
      whaaat no hat?
      that is a spring jacket?????
      um no long underwear would not be optional
      a SKIRT with TIGHTS hahahahahahhahahahahahha

      although this outfit would be hella cute and hella practical for when its -30C outside and my (cheap rent) drafty montreal apartment is like -2
      and actually I want that jacket for spring

    • You read my mind (I haven’t worn a jacket that light since September). I thought this article was going to show us how to rock a serious parka, maybe one of those vintage 70s coats the colour of deli mustard.

      Or how about something about the beauties of layering? A discussion of long johns as an actual fashion thing? Gloves vs. mittens? Touques vs. earmuffs?

      And socks. Wool socks. I actually had a conversation about that yesterday with a woman who had some valuable sock advice (and she was seriously nice to look at so I wasn’t about to interrupt). So who knows where a discussion about socks could lead?!?

      If the weather stays cold, further investigation of this subject could be a good thing.

  6. Polar vortex party 2014! I actually canceled my plans tonight because of the cold. So yes, I’m all for this concept.

  7. Ah! I’ve been looking for a good pair of plum colored pants forever, but I could never find the right shade or fit. I never thought Levi’s of all brands would have them (for some odd reason), so thank you for making me that less ignorant.

  8. Ah, dude, there’s no way I could fit my hips/butt in pants meant for men’s (lack of) hips/butt. And I love that color and look, but yeah, no, that’s just not possible. I’m not even *that* big, I’ve just got a body built for carrying some babies.
    Also, $550 for a jacket? C’mon now.

  9. That femme outfit would kill you. Please don’t leave your house in -25 Fahrenheit (especially in this polar vortex because that means -50 wind chills, and I promise you do not need to care about what you look like if you have to leave your house in -50 Fahrenheit. If you must care, remember that frostbite isn’t cute on anybody). If you want to do that femme outfit in negative degrees like a safer -10 to -15, you should wear fleece-lined tights and not regular thigh-highs over nylons, and a short skirt is not a great idea because all that wind chill is going right between your thighs which is going to rob your torso of all the warmth your coat is keeping in.

    But seriously don’t go outside in -25 weather you are gonna die.

  10. Damn, my polar vortex outfit is my sweatpants and A Camp hoodie while watching Netflix under the covers in my bed

  11. I agree with the other comments about this not being the best outfit for low and negative degree weather. Buuuut the model is super cute and it gives us ideas for when it warms up a bit : )

  12. I feel bad for being in SoCal with our 70-80 degree days. I just want to ship some of the warmth to other parts of the country

    • yeah yeah yeah… but aren’t you jealous of all the polar vortex parties you’re missing out on? huh???

      (OK fine. I wish I was in SoCal too).

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