Surviving Winter In Style: Tips from a New Englander
It's no secret that the Winter in the North East is brutal. But, to be fair, the holiday season is a magical time of year in New York and New England and one could even argue that January brings us into the New Year with renewed excitement and resolutions. Which brings us to February. The novelty of the first few snow falls has worn off. You've gotten to break out all your fabulous winter coats and fur already and by now, your enthusiasm for your resolutions has dissipated and you just want to stop having to run between ubers and subways into buildings to stay even mildly warm.
February is, by all accounts, the worst month of the year. I am allowed to designate it as such because I was born in February and therefore have the right to anoint it as the month in New York and New England that we would rather be anywhere but. Last year, I invoked February as "Indulguary" - the month where you are allowed and encouraged to live out every day and extraordinary indulgences (just to get by). I will still be celebrating Indulguary this year again, but I have also compiled some tips that I have learned over a lifetime of frigid winters that help me not only to indulge throughout the month but stay chic while doing it. (We are all guilty of hibernation, dressing for comfort over style and, yes, even letting ourselves go in favor of Seamless and Netflix, over February, whether we like to admit it or not).
My Dad always said the best way to survive winters in New England (and New York City, no doubt) is to get outside and embrace the weather. That doesn't mean I am advocating for you to go make snow angels in Washington Square Park but I have found that getting outside, even if just for a few minutes a day, will help. My parents are the ultimate Yankees and his suggestion for how to beat the cold was always the same - layers. That, and ski socks.
I take a different approach. (Although I do love socks to this day.) I also suggest that this February - get out there - go forth and seek that glass (bottle) of champagne you so desperately deserve. I say that you can look chic AF while indulging yourself and still be dressed appropriately for February:
Accessorize your outfit with practical accessories that play a role in keeping you warm. Ear muffs are a great option as they don't mess up your hair but we all know that if your ears are warm, it makes a big difference. Hats or headbands are also a favorite of mine and I never leave the house in the winter without something. I love a good fur pom pom hat (as pictured) and my fur headband is one of my best winter purchases of all time.
Always have a pair of gloves on hand. I love fingerless gloves because I can still use my phone or hold my champagne. Gushlow and Cole makes my favorite fingerless gloves of the moment (pictured). I also love muffs for going out at night because they are the chicest thing you can wear when it's 15 degrees out. See a mink muff like mine pictured here.
Don't be afraid of Fur. Now, clearly, I am not PETA's favorite person. I am a self-proclaimed carnivore and hunter and I live in fur in the winter. I inherited a lot of my furs from family members but I use them all the time because they are warm. Trust me on this. Faux fur also works too and there are some great ones out this season that are now on sale.
Invest in a high quality down coat. It may not be wearable in all situations but it is going to take you a long ways in the middle of February when the wind chill in Midtown brings the temperature to negative 10 degrees. I like Moncler (on the high end), Canada Goose and Mackage. I have a plain black, longer down coat that because of it's length, I can dress it up a bit.
Which brings me to my next point: get a nice, long dress coat. It will take you from meetings to a nighttime event. And a good quality wool coat will last for a long time. I like ones with touches of fur (naturally) or that are shearling.
Don't be afraid to rock boots in New York City. Booties, are great of course. I almost always choose booties over heels in the winter months because I can wear socks. And luckily for us this winter, military in is so you can wear chunky booties that hold up well in the snow and sleet. But I also advocate for purchasing a good pair of (stylish) boots. I have a pair of Pajar boots that look just as chic in a ski chalet eating fondue as they do with skinny jeans on Bleecker Street These Pajar boots are on major sale right now. Sorel always makes warm ones that are rugged and cute and are reasonably priced and I'm loving these Frye boots.
Of course, not everyone can be outdoors in the winter wonderland, dog sledding through the frozen tundra, wearing these winter getups which is why they are also applicable to the grey slushy sidewalks of New York City. And of course, in staying true to the theme of indulgence in February, I would highly suggest purchasing yourself a Valentine's Day / Something to look forward to present that you can actually use this Winter.