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If you live in region with seasons, you are probably all too familiar with winter, the bitter bitch of a weather system. As if decreasing daylight wasn’t bad on its own, there are inches of fluffy white flakes that are the equivalent to little middle fingers falling from the sky and winds cold enough to make you question if you even put on clothes today. These come paired with ice that you can’t see until you’ve already fallen prey to its horrendous practical joke and are now on your back wishing this day never existed. The only reason I could think to like winter weather is if you are a former cryogenics expert who suffered an industrial accident while attempting to cure your terminally ill wife, rendering you a human snow man.
Unfortunately, we can’t just unplug winter and continue on wearing our tights and capes. No, we must survive, my friends. So here are a few of my own survival tactics.
The Open Embrace of Layers
Layering your clothing can be your best friend but also your self esteem’s worst enemy. Although you may be able to keep out the cold by wearing as many of the clothing items you have, you may just end up looking like this.
So maybe scale back a little and think about really showing off each layer. Start off with your typical undershirt that no one sees but should still be appreciated, add a layer that comes to your neck such as a crew neck or henley, top it off with a button-up, and complete with coat. Not only does this keep you warm, it gives others the illusion that you are stylish and aren’t even worried that you can’t feel your face anymore. Pretty charming, eh?
The Incognito Approach
On the other end of the spectrum, is the super sneaky “you-have-no-idea-how-much-clothing-I-have-on-right-now-and-quite-frankly-i-want-to-tell-you-because-i’m-really-proud” look. Or more simply put: the incognito approach to layering. The key here is maximum body area coverage and thin layers. You might have put away your leggings and spandex pants in defeat but you’ll be needing them. Personally, I wear the UnderArmour pants I bought when I told myself we’d start working out more. Wearing thin but substantial layers beneath your typical clothing creates a barrier between you and the frigid cold, but you have to be consistent with the layering, top to bottom — no skin left uncovered. Cuddlduds is a great brand that offers soft long-sleeve crewnecks and leggings (Sonoma Life + Style Warmwear at Kohl’s is a cheaper alternative). To cover your feet and legs a little more, dig out those retired athletic socks from your sporting days. Knee-high soccer socks are a godsend in the winter and no one can tell the difference between them and dress socks! With this option, you’re still able to wear your typical style without much of a hindrance. You may look like an assassin getting ready in the morning but… no, no buts, that’s a pretty good motivator on its own.
Burrito of Warmth
If you’re a little less Scarlett Johannson and a little more Zooey Deschanel, have no fear you can bundle your way through the year. You want the bundle, or the closest you can come to be being a human burrito of clothing. We’re talking scarves, big sweaters, boots, leggings and knit hats. If you can convince your cat to serve as a muffler all day, go for it. The bundle is certainly more of a laid back, “guess-when-I-showered-last” aesthetic but still a good one. What you lack in preparedness, you make up for in the amount of textiles you are able to put on your body at once. Do not underestimate the power of a strategically placed scarf. The accessories are the aluminum foil of this Chipotle burrito: keeps in the heat and adds value.
And listen, no matter what, you will still be cold. It’s just a matter of how cold you’re going to be. Try a few of these out and find what works best for you; at least you tried. You can use that as support for your griping when your face hurts to move, your fingers are as useful as the claw in an arcade game, and you can’t actually tell if you’re walking in the right direction. Others have to listen if you have good support to back up your claims. If not, well… find an off-the-shoulder, powder blue, floor-length dress to wear every day until someone locks you up someplace warm.