A Winter Wardrobe Wishlist in the City of Perpetual Summer
We want to feel your pain.
By Thanksgiving, you can expect a few things -- holiday music on repeat, the proliferation of red, green and silver, and lists themed around winter wear -- the seven prettiest scarves, the best boots, tips on switching to a winter wardrobe. The latter's fine and all, except here in Houston, you'd be lucky if you break out a winter coat once. And forget about snow boots, unless you have a ski trip to Colorado booked. No, a winter wardrobe in Houston is like dreaming of a white Christmas, a hot cocoa-fueled fantasy. So don't mind us while we indulge in what accessories we're lusting after as temperatures sit at about 80 degrees -- the polar opposite of "brrr!"
The classic trapper hat has been a winter staple for the past few years, with good reason. It comes in plenty of fun designs to suit any fancy -- plaid, solid nylon in every color imaginable, plaid, feminine wool hats, plaid, all with the faux fur lining. And those trademark earflaps add to the tomboyish, outdoorsy look. We'd love to have one in every color, though here in Houston, you'll never be able to wear one of these for longer than five minutes before your head starts sweating. The most you can hope for is taking a picture while you try it on in the store, than sadly hanging it back on its rack.
Infinity scarf by Oak
These are popping up all over the place this year. The "infinity scarf" is one continuous loop of fabric, coming in a range of material, such as merino wool, cotton, and chunky knits. The fact that you can pile it high against your neck for warmth is a selling point -- unless, of course, it's muggy as hell outside, and the only thing you need to protect yourself from are the mosquitoes.
We always think of 12 little girls in two straights lines whenever we see hand muffs. Usually a fancy accessory -- a favorite for winter weddings -- they can be as dressy or informal as you like, with shearling, faux fur, polyester, and satin linings common fabrics. An adjustable strap is also pretty standard, and we've seen some with built-in zippers so you can stow it when you feel like it. Wearing hand muffs has a very elegant look to it we'd love to try to pull off - though if you wear them down any of these streets, you'd just look plain stupid.
Thanks to opaque tights, you can make bold, leggy statements all winter long. And don't fool yourself --you can't just have one pair. They come in every color imaginable, all in pleasing, easy-to-match solids, so you can stock up. And, year-in and year-out, they never go out of style (though chances are, they won't last the season, you'll be wearing them so much). Sure, being able to wear open-toed shoes year-round thanks to these climes isn't overrated, but we're missing out on some nylon accessorizing big time.
Winter Coats -- Any Will Do
We're not too picky in the coat department during our winter fantasies. In fact, the more the merrier -- body-length, bubble-like coats that look like cocoons, chic petticoats with those big sailor buttons, wool button downs with child-like toggles, feminine coats that cinch at the waist -- we'd like them all, to then coordinate with scarves, hats, and gloves, oh my. Except for fleece. That's just tacky.
The consistent inclusion of flip-flops in our footwear rotation makes us feel like we're still in college, risking ankle injury with every step. Yes, thigh-high boots are a common sight come September 21, but big, heavy, warm-weather boots? Not so much. It's a shame -- there are so many designs to coordinate with outfits each winter, from classy suede to masculine hiking boots to leather-rubber combinations with names like Caribou, that it'd be nice to strap on a pair and step confidently over freshly fallen snow. Even TOMS, the ubiquitous espadrille maker, has jumped on the bandwagon with his "botas."
Boots. Coats. Hats. Gloves. Sweaters. Earmuffs. Even hoodies. This time of year, you'd be hard-pressed to find clothing that isn't lined with shearling. Just looking at the white fluffy stuff makes you feel all warm inside, like being wrapped up in a cloud. Sometimes it goes too far -- there's a certain ratio of shearling to whatever the main fabric is that needs to be somewhere around 20-80, not the other way around (we're looking at you, Old Navy). But its presence is a constant reminder of what we're missing out on in this city of perpetual summer.
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