I lost this post once today, so I hope this one goes better!
I decided to do some try-ons today to get a better sense of what winter outerwear holes I truly need to fill this winter. Given how limited my wardrobe is right now I figure I have to have the ESSENTIALS first (I think I am using the term correctly?!)
Outerwear Needs for Winter 2021-22
- Outdoor walks, mostly around the neighbourhood. Conditions will vary from mild (0-15C) to OMG cold (-25C and below if I decide to brave it!) Last year we walked almost every day. Hopefully we'll be able to continue that this year.
- Grocery store, gym, running errands. These involve short stints outside -- running from car to building -- in the same range of conditions noted above. Likely frequency - a few times a week.
- Social outings -- brunch, dinner, movies. This might include some degree of return to work in the New Year. Maybe 3 or 4 a month - hard to predict
- Burgundy puffer
New this fall. I know this is a LOT of coat. In hindsight I could probably have tried a small, but it didn't even occur to me at the time. I've also lost a bit more weight since I bought it. It was on a big discount and not returnable, so no point in looking backward. It will be useful. USES: I expect this will be the go to for walks on the coldest days. It will also be called into service for pretty much anything else when it gets super cold and warmth is my first priority. It will also likely be the default any time I wear a long topper.
- Red parka
A few years old but it has been too tight to wear the last couple of years. The waist fits now. The faux fur hood is super cozy for walking, but not practical for everyday type wear. It ls so heavy it pulls itself off the coat. Taking the fur off tames the heaviness and still provides a bit of wind protection, making this a contender for both walking in the cold OR mid winter errands, depending on hood configuration. Its a bit hot for outings when you're indoors for any length of time with your jacket on (ie grocery shopping), but not impossible.
- Knee-length black puffer
Several years old. Purchased because it was black, fairly lightweight and reasonably warm, had a two-way zipper, CLOSED across my midsection, and was very reasonably priced. In other words, I neither loved nor loathed it but I valued its practicality and versatility. It feels sloppy this year, and although I supposed I could wear it, I don't really want to. Needs to be replaced.
- Short black puffer
You've seen this before. I wore it when I was heavier, but also enjoy the way it fits today. It's too light for 'real' winter, but is useful in the shoulder season. I may also follow the lead of some of my fellow fabbers and layer it under a heavier coat for extra warmth.
- Black mid-calf boots.
Simply put, I loathe these boots. I always consider tallish black boots a mainstay of the winter wardrobe. Tall boots help keep my legs warm and come in handy when snow drifts build up between the house and the garage. There's no pleasure in having a boot full of snow. I wear a lot of black pants in winter, so a black boot creates an easy column of colour -- er, non-colour. They are still in decent shape, but I desperately want a more appealing pair.
I love the look of these so much, but I fear Zaeobi was right in her comment on an earlier post that I might never wear them. Biggest reason for this may be that I succumbed to the SA urging me to set the smaller size because the leather will stretch. It may well do, but the sole won't, and it is probably too narrow. I've tried wearing them around the house a bit to see how bad it is. Maybe I can show them some love for short outings... These were $$$, so I"m kind of annoyed with myself - especially since these are NOT essentials.
- Columbia Heavenly Long jacket in Chalk
Reminds me of my old white jacket, so really tugs at my heartstrings. This isn't the jacket for going out in a blizzard, but it would be a great piece for running errands and social outings in moderate to mild conditions. The downside -- it got damaged when the store took the security tag off. Options include asking for an additional discount and hoping I can mitigate the damage, buying direct from Columbia at a higher price or taking it as a sign to wait for something better.
- Columbia Peak to Park puffer in Chalk
A bit heavier and more casual than the Heavenly. I like it but I don't think it speaks to me the same way the Heavenly does. It could be useful for walks in moderate cold, errands, and casual social outings.
- Eddie Bauer CirrusLite 2.0 Down Parka in Dark Berry
I could see this packable puffer as an outer layer in the shoulder season and also as an extra layer under the burgundy puffer.
- Remonte Cristallino/Fino boots
In finds below. On order.
After dressing for a couple of outings this week and trying on all the contenders, I think the biggest holes in my winter wardrobe are:
- a replacement for my black parka -- it has to be lightweight, and reasonably warm with a bit of panache. The ideal replacement can pass as a bit dressy while still working for everyday wear under average Winnipeg winter conditions.
My first thought is that it should also be black -- but maybe it could be white/cream, metallic, or even a bold colour?
I would like to think the Heavenly could mostly fill that role, but I am not confident it is warm enough. That said, a replacement for my old white jacket is on the second level of priority after the black parka replacement, so Heavenly still has a chance if I can fix the damage or get a replacement.
- an upgrade for my awful black boots. Again, a black boot is probably he most versatile option for my winter wardrobe. The Remonte boots in Finds should arrive in a few days and I'll find out if they're a legitimate contender.
If you've made it this far, THANK YOU! Your comments and observations are very welcome!
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