The all too familiar sound of the snow crunching beneath my boots is back in Montreal, this lovely place we call home. I can’t pretend though, I hate winter. I am not a winter person and seriously, my personal style is suffering.
I set out months ago to write a piece on personal style and each time I started, I ended up switching gears at the risk of boring you with a list of five tips on how to find your own personal style. It did however, get me thinking about my own style and why I stopped wearing dresses and skirts year round.
Before I was in the retail/fashion business, I had a more “professional” career that required professional looking style and I had a closet full of dresses and skirts. I loved a good skirt, tights and pair of boots in the fall/winter. I still do and often find myself in (my own or other) dressing rooms trying on a super cute dress saying “where am I wearing this?” or “where am I going”? But why can’t I wear a casual dress on any given day of this season? (I can wear a summer dress every day of July and never once question my choice). I have worn said dress recently to which I got two “oh you look nice, where are you going?” comments. I’m actually going to Starbucks. For real that’s where I was going. Why does this bother me? Why am I second guessing this choice when in truth, cozy tights with feet and a soft stretchy cotton dress is often more comfortable than jeans!
When it’s cold, it’s cold. I relinquish my style efforts for the sake of warmth and safety.
Safety? Yes, safety. I am utterly terrified of slipping on ice. I loathe ice. I would walk in boots with ice picks if I had to. That being said, the new, non weather proof boots I purchased on Boxing Day are still sitting in my closet. Shiny and new. Because that was the last dry day. Oh I and also turn into the schlep master (Merriam-Webster.com defines Schlep as “to carry or pull (something) with difficulty). No more running out to the gym in my runners. Now I run out in my winter boots so I don’t slip while walking the treacherous path to the daycare to drop my son off, have my runners in my gym bag that is now also heavier because winter clothes are thicker and another bag with regular boots to change in to when I eventually get to work. There are also a few rules to remember when planning to get dressed. For example, on a very cold day, remember to wear a necklace instead of a fashion scarf because you might need to wear your warm blanket scarf outside. Too many scarves. Also, dress in layers. I cannot wear the stunning pink, thick turtle neck sweater to work because my boutique is a cool 85 degrees inside. I can’t control the level of heat. Find me in boots and a tank top.
Hot to cold. Freezing to warm. Inside, outside. Walking the mall in your winter coat. There’s another beauty. Take your kids who then want you to hold their coats. Forget it. My cute winter plaid is nowhere to be seen because I am a mountain of coats. There is no way to look cute in a winter coat and because I am officially obsessed with Instagram I have decided this is true unless you are a model or fashion blogger that is wearing one only in a picture. It might be unzipped, with a cute scarf and there is definitely no snow on the ground. The Instagram pics, however, show me
some awesome winter style ideas. For example, thigh high boots with a skirt. These boots are the hottest ticket this season. Seems like an excellent winter choice for someone living in the north. Or hold on, let me snap a pic of myself in my winter blouse, suede booties and ripped jeans. The wind surely isn’t getting through this outfit. At least I’m wearing a cute floppy hat to keep me warm. Totally realistic for an old fashioned Montreal Winter.
Technically, winter is way more stylish now than when we were kids. When I was in high school I wouldn’t be caught dead in winter boots. Without naming names, we all know there are a variety of fashionable boots out there to complete any winter look at any age. Coats are nicer now, hats are adorable.
But still. My hands are dry, my hair has static my lips are cracked and I’m so very pale. Bronzer and vitamin E lipstick are my go to staples to get me through this season. That and visions of warmer days.
Regarding personal style, no matter what the season, be yourself. Wear the skirt, the bright red lipstick, the glittery top. Stay true to yourself and who you are. Don’t force yourself into jeans if you love leggings. Afraid of color? Stick to black if that is you. I would never let you walk out of the dressing room if you aren’t feeling yourself. My recommendation though, is to try something new. Don’t be afraid of an accessory or a style. Try it one time. Our personal styles evolve with our age, lifestyle and the times. Sometimes change is good.
So on this winter day, I will not let the season get the best of me or my style. I will put on my tights and my dress and pray I don’t slip walking into Starbucks.