Saturday, November 27, 2010

What I Wore to Stay Warm

I may have mentioned this already, but it was cold here last week. Not enough snow on Thursday to close our hilly campus, but enough that the non-closure evoked numerous protest, especially since the school district closed all schools. My classes ran, a morning one and an afternoon, at less than 50% attendance. I skipped my Pilates class which is on the outskirts of town, along a road that's very low on the snow-clearing list.

But typical of our West Coast weather, the heavy snow turned to heavy rain late Thursday afternoon, and by Friday morning, the ground was snow-free and very soggy. Temperatures have shifted from below freezing up to around 8 Celsius, and they'll probably stay there for another week or so.
Grey, gloomy, cold, snowy, wet, chilly: all these conditions require winter coats that one enjoys wearing. Last week, I got out my thrifted sheepskin jacket one day and took comfort from its snuggly warmth. I was also very pleased that I had bought this all-cashmere classic several years ago, in the post-Christmas sale at Banana Republic (their Heritage line).

I should have popped my red leather gloves on to complete the picture, I guess. I'm very happy with the purple beret-red scarf-red-gloves combo, although I do have a red beret (and a black, and a grey-- most versatile hats ever!) as well. I'm not too keen on the over-matched look.

I've been wearing this coat for three years now, and I can't imagine why I wouldn't still want to wear it ten or fifteen years from now. An old friend to keep me warm through the dark winter days.

What about you? What garments are keeping you warm these days? Or do you live in one of those delightful spots where winter coats are not required?
Coat: Banana Republic Heritage Collection
Beret: Holt Renfrew
Alpaca Laceknit Scarf: my own handknit


  1. I'm one of the ones who lives where winter coats aren't really required. But I do have a red leather coat, an olive green leather coat, and a brown suede coat with fur collar and cuffs that was my MIL's in the 60s. I love them all, but only get to wear them occasionally ... Your coat is a classic! I'd love to see a close-up of the scarf (for the lace pattern) ...

  2. No winter coat required here, but when I go East I wear one I bought 30 years ago:). Like yours, black and cashmere. I predict great things for your garment.

  3. I have SO many coats and I think that's completely appropriate given where we live. Some options in my closet:

    Grey leather, long, late 60s, silver fox collar

    Lady Grey (the one I made)

    Jean jacket with fur vest on top

    White, textured Soia and Kyo coat (perhaps the most used - almost dead - so SAD)

    Italian navy cashmere, long, double breasted but almost A line (and very soft - not overly structured) from Holt's 20 years ago - one of the last things my mother bought me as a mother. Acknowledged as much. Lord this coat cost.

    This doesn't scratch the surface. I love outerwear.

  4. I do love that coat on you. I've gotta say I'm loving my Max Mara double-breasted, leather belted, spectactular colour of blue, wool coat.

  5. That coat sounds like one you will wear for years to come...and it sounds so soft. The coat will no doubt see many scarves and gloves come and go.

  6. Your coat looks like it can be worn throughout the changing trends.
    Yesterday I wore my fur coat for the first time this fall/winter. A good choice, since it was -15°C with a cold northern wind. Until yesterday, I have had my Moncler down coat ( starting season 5? ), my all time favorite!

  7. Tiffany: So even where we don't really need coats, we still like to have choices. . . as for my scarf, it was one of the earliest knits I posted about. Here's the URL:

  8. LPC: Thirty years -- that's impressive! My oldest coat, still worn if it's really, really cold, is about 20 years old. I'll look forward to many more years in both, following your example.
    Rachel: Can't wait to see it!
    Terri: Yes, I love that it's neutral so combines well with many accessories. I've been swapping out the red gloves this year with some caramel ones and I like that contrast as well.
    K: Yay! Another large coat wardrobe. Although it's not as cold here, the conditions can really vary, and right now I seem to have somewhere between 10 and 15 coats and jackets. Or more, but who really needs to know.
    That navy cashmere sounds perfect, and I bet your mom's pleased you still wear it. And the grey leather with the fur collar sounds sumptuous. But too sad about the Soia & Kyo -- hope you find a replacement that makes you happy.
    Metscan: Of course, it makes sense that you will have classics like these rather than a plethora of choices. The fur and the Moncler will be perfect for your much tougher weather conditions. Stay warm!

  9. It is with some shame that I admit that this week I have taken out my very ugly Uggs. I wear them to walk Lily. It has gotten down to the 40's here this week and I can't take cold feet. As ugly as they are they are so toasty and warm and I love them. But I will never wear them for any other reason than dog walking or in the house. I just couldn't impose their ugliness on others( the dogs don't mind them;-).

  10. We just got our first snowfall the other day, but it has been cooling down for a couple of weeks now and I've been wearing a long puffy coat, grey with hood and belt. Unfortunately, it's not down-filled, so I'm not sure how good it will be for Canada, but for here it's ok. Your black cashmere sounds lovely - a classic! P.

  11. Thanks for the link - that is absolutely beautiful! I wonder if I could get that knitted without one of the animals eating it ...

  12. What a beautiful red, with depth and character. I just unpacked the heavier cashmeres, yet by Tuesday the forecast is 12C! Those of us with curly hair love our berets but I might buy a pair of fur earmuffs when I visit the huge One of a Kind craft show later this week.

  13. LBR: I have a pair of ugly UGGs as well -- mine are ankle high with a roll of sheepskin as trim. Like hiking boots. Not pretty at all. But omg, they are so cozy!! So you will get no complaint from me, and Lily's probably just happy that you're willing to walk further if you're warm, right?
    Patricia: How cold does it get there then? Probably as cold as we get here on the West Coast?
    Tiffany: Depends on your menagerie . . . It was fun to knit, although obviously some sections require some concentration.
    Duchesse: Oh! I'm hoping to get to the Vanc'r One of a Kind next week, altho' by the time I do, I suspect the best stuff will be gone. Will you be blogging about the To one?

  14. My duck down quilted coat, it is the only thing keeping me warm at the moment, thank God I bought it, it has more than earned its keep. I am also a big fan of thermal layers wearing up to 3 to keep my core warm. it is FREEZING here, Daisy is under 8 inches of snow and it is coming my way soon! This maybe the first year I invest in a hat!
    We have decided to go to Helsinki next Christmas, I am really looking forward to checking out their coats!
    Regarding your last post I would have loved a son, I would have loved to know what it was like to raise a boy, I feel your pain at not seeing him acutely, I still get weepy after talking to Daisy!

  15. You know, I don't remember how cold it got last year - we had a lot of snow and it hung around a while, so definitely some minus numbers. Right now it's 2 degrees celcius, but at night it's supposed to go to -4. Later in the week it's supposed to go up to 5 during the day. P.

  16. I love your beautiful scarf and hat. You look toasty warm and happy. I wish we needed winter coats here...

  17. Alison: Down really is the best for staying warm, isn't it! That and my sheepskin are what I pull out when I really want comfort. And speaking of comfort, when does Daisy come home for holidays, or will she work right through whatever winter break there is. It doesn't seem fair, does it, that just when they get to be good company it's time for them to leave. . .
    Patricia: Nothing like you were used to in Ontario (that's where you were, right?), but cold enough for me . . . that's about where we were last week, even down to -10 at night, gasp!
    Susan T: We get pretty tired of them, though, by the time spring rolls around, although I can't complain compared to my compatriots to the East.

  18. Oh I have many coats, probably too many, and my black cashmere is long long long, almost to my ankles, a length that may be dowdy but is also toasty warm.

    I love the beret. My fine hair would be a flyaway mess. I need new earmuffs though.


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