Who knew global warming would require so much fur? As vast swaths of the country foray into single-digit temperatures, I have noticed an unpleasant trend, even on the generally sartorially savvy streets of Manhattan -- the supposition that the more ludicrous and unkempt you look, the better able you will be to fend off the chill.
I was quite disabused of this notion this Sunday during lunch at Bottega del Vino on the Upper East Side. One woman's outfit in particular stood out. She was decked out in a pair of cuffed boyfriend jeans, grey stacked heel ankle boots, a greige cashmere sweater and a bracelet sleeved mink. She looked ready for a whirl in front of the Sartorialist's lens, and perfectly warm, thank you very much. The tourists thronging around the gates to Central Park outside looked like club-footed marshmallows next to her in their Uggs and floor-length parkas.
In honor of my girl crush; let's get excited about winter dressing again, shall we? We were so starry-hearted in November, Vogue's Point of View enthusing:
Fashion this month gives us that flush-cheeked chill. We love a classic Pringle of Scotland sweater and a simple charcoal coat. We pine for Land Girl tweeds and a stalwart man to lean into the darkening wind with.
Pretty romantic, n'est pas?
Bust 'em out or take the opportunity to buy, because you won't be able to wear the following on the roof of a bar or on a muggy journey to the Jitney:
Leather leggings: Ashley Olsen's baby, The Row, makes the most divine pair of leggings the world will ever see. Dress them up, dress them down, they'll flatter your legs like nobody's business, which I know because I tried them on in Louis Boston two years ago and couldn't bring myself to take them off for half an hour, after which I booked it to American Apparel for the vegan friendly option.
Cashmere tunics: The slouchier the better, and neutral tones, please! Throw them on over jeans, leggings of all persuasions, and if you're daring, opaque tights and ballerina flats.
Wedges: Of course you're not going to navigate a blizzard in heels, but that doesn't mean you can't step away from the Uggs. Three cheers to GAP, for these, which would look so Twiggy with that tunic.
Cashmere socks: Per Ines de la Fressange, Rover Vivier's brand ambassador, Cashmere House in the 8e Paris is the best place to buy cashmere socks in every color Pantone has ever schemed up and then some. If your plane ticket got lost in the mail, it's predictably J.Crew to the rescue:
Sermoneta gloves: From lilac scalloped kid gloves to cashmere-lined cinched at the wrist to keep snow out during snowball fights (which are apparently coming back with an Edith Whartonian vengeance), Sermoneta has variety enough to suit every facet of your personality.
Fur coat: Whether its J.Mendel or from the Hell's Kitchen flea market, no one is ever sorry to be wearing a fur when its cold out. It's warmer than those ridiculous puffers -- just look at Moscow in the middle of winter. I acquired my first piece of fur from my grandmother during a particularly devout vegetarian phase. So if you're squeamish but not militant, do the same and go vintage -- no animals will have been harmed to facilitate your particular transaction.
Missoni dress: We've covered daywear and outwear, but the winter dinner party/bar scene calls for a bit more imagination. Resist the riding boots, jeans and a party top impulse, and say hi hello to day to night perfection.
Moncler Gamme Rouge: If you've got to go puffer, say hello to this stunner- a mere $8,900 at Barney's. Moncler has gone through a bit of a Jersey Shoreification in recent years, but the Gamme Rouge line has remained insulated- no pun intended- by the sophistication of its design and collaborations with houses such as Giambattista Valli.
So put your best feet forward, my freezing fashion friends, and remember -- spring and all its attendant glory can only come if it has gone.