7 Nov 2011

Guest Post: The Marriage of Style and Season

Hello, everyone! My name is Sarah and I blog at Rhinestones and Telephones. I'm delighted to be a guest blogger at Tors' online home whilst she is off in the wilds of Wales.

Tors is a terrifically crafty and clever lady and I always look forward to her posts. Recently, she talked about her difficulties in meshing her style with the practical aspects of a Welsh winter. In her own words:

"...try dressing stylishly whilst wearing SWAT boots and the warmest coat you have (and thermals, and woolly hat, and crazy hair). I defy anyone to wear make-up whilst standing at the back of the Brecon Beacons in pouring rain and driving wind in a jacket made for a twelve year old (read: slightly too short in the arms and with a hood that doesn't quite cover your large adult head)."

Stylish Debi from My Happy Sewing Place and The Sew Weekly looking chic and cozy in her handmade cape!

As a Canadian, and a dedicated wearer of skirts and dresses in all weather, I am completely empathetic to Tors' dilemma and detest the SWAT Team look. In my wardrobe, the advent of winter does not mean I put away my personal look and dress like a completely different person for the next 8 months. What Tors and many of us are looking for, is a wardrobe full of versatile and practical garments that meet the needs of the season, yet don't sacrifice style or make our bank accounts scream in agony.

Taking a peek at Tors' Pinterest shows a woman of excellent style and taste with a penchant for vintage and vintage-inspired clothing. In her Trousers & Shorts pinboard, you can see she loves high-waisted, classically styled trousers. With her slender figure, I think she would look absolutely fantastic in classic 1940's style side button trousers: warm and stylish!

Gorgeous, no? I have a pair of Heyday trousers and they are great. They take a lot of abuse (Play Doh, anyone?) and come out of the wash like new! I'm sure crafty Tors could easily whip herself up a pair from EvaDress 3322. I'm planning on making a pair in dark denim and another in charcoal corduroy.

Given that Chez Tors is on the side of a mountain facing a valley, freezing winds and the like are the norm. I sympathize. I live near the lake where the wonderful phenomenon of 'lake effect snow' and 'cold vs. warm fronts' are played out in Olympic proportions all season long. My solution? A long, fully lined winter coat that either zips or button from collar to calves. Paired with waterproof, lined, knee-length winter boots I am very toasty warm in my skirts and dresses. I found my full-length red wool coat for $10 last year in my local thrift store. Score!

Expert layering is also essential. By this, I mean layers that are warm but can easily be removed once indoors. There's nothing worse than being all kitted up for the cold outdoors only to swelter in your central-heating-set-to-equator-hot office. Layering - it's a lifesaver.

Source: etsy.com via Tors on Pinteres

Wouldn't Tors look terrific in this dress? Layered with warm tights, boots, and a fuzzy cardigan (a vintage beaded one, methinks), she would be toasty battling the elements on her way to work, yet still comfortable in her tropically heated office. I can also see her looking fabulous in Colette Patterns' Peony.

When one lives in a cold climate, the fabric of choice for warm winter garments tends to be wool....unless you're allergic, like Tors and I. *humph* While many would suggest lining the garments as a solution, but sometimes those itchies still seem to find a way to sneak though and drive me nuts! Solution? Warm, comfortable, durable, and easy care fabrics like corduroy, twill, and heavy jersey (cotton, bamboo, etc). I also try to use warm fabrics in unusual ways such as a Jasmine blouse sewn from flannel. Cozy and chic!

Refashionista Queen Zoe of So, Zo and her refashioned sweatshirt. Beautiful!

So there you have it! My solution for marrying your style with the season: a combination of warm and cozy handmade and purchased pieces, peppered by the occasional purchase of an investment piece. Bring on winter!

* * * * *

These ladies have chilly chic down to a fine art:
Diary of a Vintage Girl
Tea and Crumpets
The Freelancer's Fashion Blog
Twila Jean
Vixen Vintage


  1. Fab guest post Sarah! Thanks for featuring me!! xoxoxo

  2. Nice post! And some great tips! :-)


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