Sunday, February 25, 2007

It's Hard To Be A Fashion Plate When It's 8° Out

I have no idea how to dress for cold weather, so my upcoming visit to Michigan presents a bit of a packing dilemma. Fortunately, I know people who DO know how to dress for cold weather and they've recommended a few Michigan must-haves.

Must-Have #1: Boots

Shortly after Christmas, I stumbled upon these boots at my local Marshall's. They were on clearance for $20. "Whoa! What a bargain!" I thought to myself. I called Chris later and asked if he thought I should get them. "Why would you need boots?" Chris answered, which I took to mean, "I have no intention of ever wanting you to live with me," so I didn't buy them. Because, really, why ELSE would I need boots?

But then later, when I started planning my trip to Michigan, Chris said, "I guess you're gonna need boots, huh?" "Not a problem," I thought, "I will simply return to my friendly neighborhood Marshall's and purchase those boots I saw a few weeks ago. Of course they will still be there, as I live in southeastern Virginia and have not seen more than an inch of snow total in the past two years." And the boots WERE still there when I returned. Better yet, they'd been further marked down to $10. But do you think they had my size? Answer: no.

Neither did any other Marshall's in my area, nor any other Marshall's in my mom's area. Believe me, we checked. I admit I might have even checked a Marshall's or two between my area and my mom's area when I visited last weekend. Nobody has those fuckin' boots.

So this morning I bought some boots online. The exact same boots, in fact. For $84.

Must-Have #2: Flannel-Lined Jeans

Both Lulu and my friend Jess, who's from upstate New York, have sung the praises of flannel-lined jeans. And I could really get into some flannel-lined jeans were it not for the fact that every single pair I've seen for sale looks like this. I mean, call me vain, but I would rather be cold than wear mom jeans.

Must-Have #3: Long Underwear

Here's the problem: I'm not even a very big fan of short underwear, so long underwear's gonna be a tough sell.

And what's the deal? Are you supposed to wear regular underwear and then LONG underwear? AND clothes? Don't you kind of end up looking like the Michelin Man?

I'm not opposed to layering -- it is, in fact, central to my look. But my idea of layering involves a tank top and a deliberately threadbare t-shirt. If it's cold out, I'll throw on a cardigan. So I'm not sure that long johns have a place in my wardrobe. From preliminary online window shopping I know that some companies offer camisoles as part of their long underwear line, and I could definitely rock a camisole, but I'm sort of suspicious of a camisole's ability to actually keep me warm.

Maybe I should just wear TWO threadbare t-shirts.

Will that work, tundra people? And are there other cold weather must-haves I'm overlooking?


lulu said...

get the silk long underwear, its super light, so it doesn't feel or look like you are a sausage.

And get some socks that are not all cotton, ones with wool in them.

Or just stay in bed all weekend and order take-out.

wonderturtle said...

I believe CuddleDuds makes some lovely soft and thin warm undergarment supplements. That's my new name for them.

Megan said...

Lulu - Hmmmm. Staying in bed all weekend does have a certain appeal. Assuming I'm not still pissed at Chris about the $74 I could have saved. ;-)

WT - Thank you! CuddlDuds looks WAY cooler than most of what's out there. Now find me some flannel-lined jeans.

Clare said...

Second the silk long underwear. It's so thin you can wear it under anything. Silk long underwear + a wool sweater is very effective. Other than that, just pretend you're going on an arctic expedition: layers, fleece, hat, etc.

Anonymous said...

I recommend the silk undies as well-- they're thinner, retain heat better and don't get itchy the way Wal-Mart brand do. But unless you're planning to go hunting and plant yer butt in a snowbank or sleep outdoors, you probably don't NEED long undies. That is, unless Chris has no extra blankets, no heater and you're planning to sleep on the couch under a thin sheet.

as for the boots-- IMHO ANY boot with LACES are not 100% waterproof, only those hideous green or black boots that make you look like a lawn tech. Just my $.02

lulu said...

Don't listen to him. He's a boy. They don't get cold as easily. If you plan on being outside for any length of time, walking around or whatever, you'll be glad you have them.

Flannery Alden said...

Anything with Thinsulate or Therma-silk is good. Plus, you'll need a cute hat, something warm that will cover your ears, yet stylish.

Don't bother with the flannel lined jeans if you've go the silk long undies. I always feel like Ralphie's little brother in flannel lined pants.

The best solution is to layer, layer, layer. Long undies, flannel shirt, v-neck fleece pullover or sweater and a scarf. That should keep you warm when your inside. Then you only need a down filled, water-proof, knee-length coat, gloves, boots, and hat when you head outdoors.

Oh, and don't forget the sunglasses. When the sun shines, the glare off the snow is blinding, especially if one is hungover...

Frank Sirmarco said...

Snow suit and moon boots...

...'nuff said.

Charm School Reject said...

All of these are great suggestions (silk long johns? Never heard of 'em but I want 'em) but honestly, if you are gonna be walking around in that crap, no one will care what you look like. You should see some of the people I encounter walking to work on a cold Chicago morning. I wear sweats OVER my work pants for the walk and then just take 'em off when I get there. Classy? Nope. Cute? Nope. But damn are they warm! Make sure your clothes are fitted though. Baggy shirts do not equal a wind break.

Coaster Punchman said...

I don't think long underwear are necessary unless you're winter camping or hiking outside for 5 hours in below zero weather. You'd be just fine doing normal layering with clothes you already have - e.g. do you have some tights or something to wear under your pants? If worst comes to worst you can borrow a pair from your boyfriend! And yes, I would wear normal underwear under the long underwear.

Tenacious S said...

Make sure you have a hat that covers your ears, a scarf and warm gloves (mittens are even warmer). That's my two cents.

Megan said...

So nobody cares that Chris screwed me out of $74? Even a little bit?

Thanks for all the cold weather advice. There will most assuredly NOT be any hiking or ice fishing or whatever the hell goes on at the North Pole, but the general consensus on silk long johns being what it is, I'll start shopping.

Unclejbird said...

Careful with the flannel jeans....the pic you posted looks DANGEROUSLY close to MOM JEANS.

Anon. Blogger said...

Another thumbs up on the silk long johns, although I never wore them unless skiing, sledding, etc.

I have never worn flannel lined jeans because I have never felt the desire to have more bulk below the waist than the Good Lord gave me (i.e., Michelin fashion). I recall seeing them in the Land's End catalog, I think. Maybe they are in the sale / clearance section online now. Eddie Bauer is another good source, I'll bet.

I know it is an ethics thing for some people, and I get that, but fur is in fact the very warmest and cozy coat / jacket material - whether it is the lining or the coat itself. I just gave my fur coats to my friend in Chicago when I went there a couple of weeks ago because they are useless here on the desert. Believe me, when it was below zero there I was happy that I had them with me! If you end up moving there and it is not an ethics issue for you... add it to a wish list or something.

Anonymous said...



Megan said...

J - I made a reference to mom jeans, silly.

AB - I'm a vegetarian. It's TOTALLY an ethics issue. Don't get me started. :-)

Orange - I know, right?! (as the kids say)

Phil said...

Re: Chris and the $74 dollars. That made me laughg. Classic miscommunication between a male and female of our species. Get used to it.

You might want to wait to purchase some things till you get there. It's bound to be less expensive. Perhaps a wider selection available, plus you will have a better idea of exactly what you need.

Anon. Blogger said...

Sorry.... (blush) For me it was never about vanity, it was WARMTH. No matter what anyone ever says, Thinsolate, or whatever man manufactures can not beat...

But I understand where you are coming from... At least I didn't let the poor little guys / gals lives get wasted in a closet in the desert. They have a nobel purpose in Chicago.

I know, I know, I'm lame. Please don't hold it against me. I'm a good person over all - but I do eat meat, too. I was raised by a mom and dad that were had next to nothing in the depression. If not for hunting in the winter, there was little to eat except what was preserved in the cellar - and that was rationed. Hard to believe that I'm only a generation away from that.

My mom died with a gun in her home for protection. She was always prepared to shoot to kill. Personally, I don't like to look at them, much less touch them... so I'm the next generation... perhaps you are more evolved. Interesting.

Did you read about my kitten this morning? I spent my day on her and only her... I love animals, honest!

Megan said...

Phil - Good idea about waiting. Plus it could end up being really hot there, right?

AB - Don't worry, I still like you. And I agree, better to give your furs to someone who can and will actually use them than for the little suckers to have died in vain.

Flannery Alden said...

I think $74 would cover a nice meal out and a box of Godiva chocolates, Chris.

Charm School Reject said...

Definitely wait til you get there to buy anything. The weather out here changes every twenty minutes or so. Today its a whopping 33 degrees.

Plus, they still have tons of winter stuff on clearance...except for boots, I tried to buy some last week.

genn6 said...

I agree with Flannery, though I almost always agree with Flannery. Don't get the mom-jeans if you're getting the silk long-underwear and they key is in the number of layers you in tank top, T-shirt, long underwear-shirt, sweater on top. You shouldn't need anymore than two layers on your legs.

I hear it takes the body two-three days to really adjust to the temperature changes so you might want to initially stay a little "overdressed".....well, not all the time, though. ;)

Have fun!