Thursday, October 12, 2006

Chicago sous la Neige


Oh Chicago, we knew it was coming and in true midwest fashion, it was by suprise...SNOW! (and inevitably winter).

Although I'm a big fan of the summer months, one thing I always miss is my outerwear. I love getting bundled up and picking out my coat or vest and a whatever scarf/hat/glove combination suits my mood. I look at winter as another opportunity to accessorize!

One of my best friends once told me that he could always tell a girl by her jacket and her hair. His reasoning was that most of the poeple who will see you in your lifetime will see you in your coat, so it is essentially an outword expression of your personality.

As a firm believer in fashion and style as a form of expression, I feel this theory is more than valid (though I would qualify it with people in general, not just girls. Who doesn't love a guy with good hair and a sense of style?). So, Dear Chicago, I've come to you with the tao of self expression via outerwear.

Lets start with a motto: Quality vs. Quantity. A good coat is not going to be cheap and an expensive coat will last longer and look MUCH better than a cheap one. Tailoring is key and the style should be classic. Look at it as an investment, not just a trendy piece. Choose something well-made, in a good color, that will last long enough for you to pass on to your children.

Speaking of color: I know you think you want that perfect, winter white cashmere blend pea coat, but think again! You'll spend as much money on dry-cleaning as you did on the coat. Winter is not clean. If you want something lighter, chose a camel color. I personally think that there is nothing more beautiful than cream accessories with a dark coat.

Next is tailoring. I'm not going to lie, I have a lot of coats. A bomber, a trench, and a duster. Length and tailoring are extremely important. Remember, you want to look your best, even when its freezing. I know that Chicago winters have instilled some bad- style choices involving floor length, quilted, North Face coats, but we can acheive warmth and beauty at the same time. An ankle length, double breasted, cashmere blend coat will keep you warm and be flattering at the same time.

Finally, my favorite, Accessories! The scarves, hats, and gloves! You can go a multitude of directions and pull in a lot of color with these warmth neccessities. When I wear my black, bishops collar wool coat, I like to wear a colored or cream pashmina tucked in to the coat, some black leather riding gloves, and a structured black wool hat. With my khaki trench, a knit scarf hanging loose with tan, suede gloves and a brown beret. And with my nordic vest a pair of knit gloves, and a knit stocking cap. Use your own judgement, but create a unified look.

And with that my all-weather friends, I wish you a happy and stylish start to the colder months!

tags: Chicago Fashion; winter coats; hats; scarves; gloves; accessories ; outerwear

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