If you live in the Northeast of the US or in some other part of North America that has been hammered by snowstorms this winter, have the conditions worn down your standards of dress? An article under the headline "Some lament a winter full of dress-down days" in the Boston Globe this morning caught my attention.
As he schlepped over slushy sidewalks in South Boston, investment consultant Perry Wilkes looked as if he were on his way to an ice fishing derby rather than a white-collar job downtown. Normally, Wilkes wears a suit coat and slacks, but yesterday he was in jeans, large black boots, and a jacket that looked as if it could withstand the winds atop Mount Washington.
He wasn’t the only one. With every recent storm, the desire to look presentable at work has seemed to erode like a bit of Cape Cod shoreline. By the time Tuesday’s snow gave way to yesterday’s messy sleet and rain, professional attire had pretty much given way to clothes previously appropriate only for a lazy Sunday around the house. (Continuation)
As for me, I don't have to wear a coat and tie, so I have pretty much been wearing what I wear throughout the winter: wool trousers, a nice sport shirt, and, when going outside, a heavy zip-up cardigan with a high collar, a wool bomber jacket, a fedora, ear pops (if you don't know what those are--and most people don't--look here), and lined leather gloves. But conditions have made it impracticable to wear any of my favorite shoes. Instead, when the sidewalks are clear, I wear a pair of homely but waterproof Rockport shoes, and, when there's still a lot of snow and slush around, Timberland boots.
I get the longshoreman cracks a lot too. well, that or "irish fisherman" but that may be as much due to my ethnicity and the fact i've always got a pipe lit.
Personally unless i'm going somewhere important enough to warrant a suit, my standard winter clothes are:
Cashmere scarf (reversible, one side is brown and gray plaid to tie my main colors together, the other is charcoal and heather herringbone)
cashmere lined calfskin gloves
Gray duffel coat i picked up for 25 at a thrift store, looks brand new.
sweater over the dress shirt, blue with leather patches, tan ribbed or black british military.
often a tweed sport coat over the sweater
a knit wool cap made by a friend
oxfords or wellies with my oxfords in a bag, depending on weather
a pair of cords, grey flannel pants or chinos, depending on the weather.
I don't tend to look to shabby imho, and once i get the watch cap and duffel off I no longer look like a fisherman. also, i'm good in that outfit to 5 degrees f (15 below with windchill) and if i open the coat and scarf i'm good up to about 40 f.
practicality and style aren't mutually exclusive (if you consider me stylish).
I used to be into clothes, but it seems as I get older I care less and less what I wear.
I find if I keep well groomed, fit and bathed, clothes can matter less.
That being said, at this time of year of like to mix the dressy with the utilitarian, much like everyone else seems to be mentioning: my Carharts jacket with moleskin pants and turtleneck, my Agway-bought hoodie with a JCrew dress shirt and cashmere V-neck, my vintage English toggle coat with a flannel shirt, jeans and Clarke boots.
It's always better when you mix it up, and even better when you have a reason to.
I try to look presentable every day... a rare thing among college students it seems. I can't stand these sloppy looking students that roll out of bed, slap on a winter jacket, and literally just go right to class their PJ's.
I'll usually wear my Mammut Ultimate Hoody (Called a hoody, but not a hoody) with a fleece underneath to insulate and my North Face boots. That stuff is more for my hiking/snowshoeing type stuff but it looks decent and fits me well.
If I'm wearing a button down that day or a something other than a t-shirt I'll usually wear my wool coat my girlfriend got me for the Christmas before last paired with my red plaid Stormy Kromer(GREAT HAT http://www.stormykromer.com/).
Yup, I live up in Maine...bring on the spring!
I'm in a suit almost everday, and I'm not outside for pro-longed periods (walking to and from the car garage is about 5 minutes--tops). I wear a long wool Ralph Lauren black wool overcoast I've had for 13 years that was worth every penny--warmer than most any other non-dress coat I've owned.
I wear black oxfords, but I used Sno-Seal to waterpoof them, and then I wear some Tingleys overshoes over them to protect them from the salt as well.
About the only thing I'll wear that isn't dressy (when its really cold) is a black stocking cap to keep my head and ears from freezing....that's my longshoreman piece....