I cannot think of anything less chic than a girl shivering on the corner while not wearing enough clothing. I don’t care how amazing or expensive or trendy or stylish your outfit is – intentionally and plainly freezing negates the whole damn thing. First, it’s unattractive by nature, but it’s also the definition of trying too hard, and if you only learned one thing in high school it was probably that literally no one likes a trier-too-hard.
I regularly deal with sore feet. I own a pair of jeans that are frequently complimented but in reality are so tight that I can’t sit…or, um, eat. But these are my own secret battles to wage against myself! Being exceptionally cold is suuuuuper obvious. That’s the part that pushes it right off the stupidity cliff while my aching feet and circulation-limiting jeans are still teetering on the edge.
Look, I understand the desire not to look like Baymax. I’m vain, too – I get it. The first time I visited New York City was during a very frigid December. I brought the warmest (stylish) wool coats that California had to offer. I froze my tail off, and the violent and constant trembling surely didn’t make for the sophisticated trip I’d imagined. Instead of strolling down 5th Avenue while everyone envied my courageous choice to wear a turquoise trench among a sea of black ones, I scuttled from bar to bar wrapped in said coat, layered over an XL Prada sweater that belonged to my now-husband, and drank copious amounts of alcohol to keep warm.
A year later, when I packed my bags and bought a one-way ticket to The Big Apple, I’d somehow forgotten about the intensity of Northeastern winters. My husband (then friend) made a bet with me that I wouldn’t be so quick to pass up a puffer by the end of winter.
Pshhhaww. How plebeian. I couldn’t wear an ugly down jacket to meet with buyers from Bergdorf.
The only thing I find to be more fun than dressing well is winning, so I lasted through New Years before succumbing to the cold. On that first early morning in January, while I stood waiting for the M86 bus to take me across town, I knew I’d lost the bet. I high-tailed it to Century 21 and bought a highly discounted, knee-length down coat with a hood and a zipper. It was hideous. Like many puffer coats, the stitching was designed to create the illusion of a woman’s shape out of a sleeping-bag, but it sadly missed the mark and made me look like my chest was about 4” south of where it actually was.
Still, it was warm. Nine years later that original granny-bosomed puffer is long gone, but I own multiple others of many shapes and sizes, and I don’t know if I’m imagining it because I really, really want it to be true, or if they actually can be as flattering as a beautifully tailored Chloe trench? Like what’s cuter than a little fat baby in a snow suit? Nothing. Zero things. Why can’t the same be said of me?
So my advice on how to dress smartly when temps are seriously sub-freezing and NYC is getting blasted with 27 inches of snow? Don a big, warm, down jacket. See some of my faves below.