A Little Bit Western


What Not to Wear

Feb 16, 2016

We are smack dab in the midst of winter weather (of sorts). For many, it doesn’t matter if it’s raining, windy, snowing, or darn cold – you’re outside whether you like the weather or not. My winter outfits may not always be in vogue, but I will note that I have yet to lose my ears to frostbite, and on some wintry days, I would consider that a win. Here are a few of my fashion tips for those braving the elements this season:

1. Know your internal thermostat: I tend to like to be a little warmer than the average person. During the dog days of summer, I may actually be the only person you will find who is content with extremely hot temperatures. On the flip side, when the barometer drops in winter, I seem to feel colder than most. Also, I’m not sure if there’s any truth to this theory, but I have been informed that I am slightly less than pleasant to be around when I get cold and apparently I’m also less productive. Therefore, it is in my best interest (and the interests of my loved ones choring around me) if I dress a little warmer than the rest.

2. Invest in a few key pieces: Any good fashion magazine will insist that it is important to invest in a few key wardrobe pieces. When it comes to winter chore clothes, I wholeheartedly agree! This applies not just to myself, but our entire family. There is nothing like buying a brand new pair of coveralls and pulling them on that first really cold day or sending your kids off to school in brand new warm winter boots. Of course, investment pieces should last a lot longer than normal articles of clothing, but when the time comes and you have to replace them, just do it, no matter how costly it seems. Trust me, your warm, intact toes and fingers will thank you.

3. Layer up: My love for long underwear deserves a column to itself, however I will speak to the power of layers. Closely affiliated with my first rule, if other folks are happy wearing two layers, I definitely don’t set foot out the door unless I’ve donned three. The challenge with wearing more layers, however, involves a higher level of Layer Management. For every layer you add, it is essential to ensure layer compliance. While slightly time consuming, you will be happy that internal layers are tucked and hiked up where they should be, and external layers are loose and bulky where appropriate. The worst thing that can happen is a middle layer malfunction, leaving inside and outside layers pulling and tugging where they should not. While layered up, if one encounters such challenges as an urgent call of nature or the need to nimbly hop on a horse, do what I do – just don’t.

4. Tools of the Trade: Post-chore clothing administration has evolved. We now have one mitt warmer going strong in our porch at any given time and we also employ a boot drier. We seem to have an unspoken power struggle over the boot drier, and the winner is our oldest twin son. No matter what time of night or day I remove his warm and cozy boots from the drier (whether they need to be there or not!), he surreptitiously places them back on the warmer. He clearly has the honour of the toastiest toes of the family.

I am certainly not be the best person to obtain style advice from, but I have learned a lot about what not to wear when it comes to winter chores. I’ll always favour warmth and function over casual and cool culottes or whatever else is haute couture these days. In my humble opinion, warm is always on trend.

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