Sunday, 9 December 2012

How to be stylish in the cold

Hello everyone! Do you have a strategy to keep stylish in the cold?

The weather in Montreal has been uncharacteristically mild so far. We have had a spout of snow ten days ago, but since then temperatures have lingered around zero degrees Celsius. We all know that harsher temperatures are coming tough, and one the main conversation topics around this time of the year is how to keep stylish in the cold. Some people focus on layering coordinated pieces. I am not very good at layering, so I adopt a different strategy. I focus on the puffer + winter boot combo, because they are the two main things people see when you are walking around town in winter.

Keeping with the goal of avoiding the "arctic expedition look", for the puffer I look for a down- or feather-filled garment that hits slightly above or below the knee and that is not too puffy, so that I can layer a thick sweater or cardi-coat underneath if the temperature dips below -10 degrees Celsius (yes, in winter we do get a couple of weeks of this weather, believe it or not). A big plus for me is also a detachable hood. Last year, as you may remember, I finally got  Max Mara's Cube, and I am looking forward to fit back into it next winter after I shed the baby weight. As an alternative I had considered Moncler, which in Italy is pricier than Max Mara though. In Canada, you can buy either one at Holt Renfrew, but unfortunately you should expect to pay an insane price (around 1500 CAD or more). For Canadian fashionable moms, the line of Michael by Michael Kors (sold at Ogilvy in Montreal for about 500 CAD) offers the best price-quality ratio and numerous styles to choose from.

The boots are a slightly trickier choice than the puffer, because they are supposed to fit nicely with the latter, but also to be stylish as a stand-alone item if you are not changing your shoes once at your destination (for instance, if you are just going our for a lunch with your girlfriends). The other key issue to consider is that the boots should be waterproof -- UGG suede boots, for instance, can be beautiful, but will fall apart if they come in contact with water or salt. Since moving to Canada six years ago, I have tried many different types of boots. The four main lessons I learnt are the following. First, tall boots are the most versatile, because they can be worn with skirts and dresses, or be tucked in nicely in skinny pants. Second, heels during winter can be a hazard (especially if the ground freezes and street walks are not often cleaned, as it happens in Montreal), so better to stick with flat boots, or low-heels. Third, prefer dark colors, such as black or deep brown, which mask dirt best. Fourth, after ski boots should be kept for the activity they are meant for, and not be worn on a daily basis. As for the best brands, I can now vouch for two Canadian ones: La Canadienne and Pajar (Tecnica is another great brand, but quite difficult to find in Canada). My favourite style from La Canadienne this season is the Tami boot pictured above. At 525$ (excluding tax) it is a bit pricey tough, so I recently restocked on an old favourite by taking advantage of the sales: Pajar's Natasha boots, which was under 200$. At this price, I  may be able to get another pair of boots with the after-Christmas sales...

How about you? I'd love to hear what is your strategy to keep stylish in the cold!

Photo: La Canadienne Fall 2012 ad campaign, via Pop Champagne Blog.

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