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Winter Wear of Yonder Years

winter wear

Growing up in Florida, I didn’t have a winter wardrobe. There was only one season and my closet reflected that. But when I moved to Philadelphia, twenty degrees days quickly taught me to dress appropriately. Even though putting on tights is probably one of women’s least favorite physical activity (thanks Macy for that fun fact!), it’s necessary to keep my appendages at their rightful temperature – 98.6 degrees.

The Weather Channel has some of the most interesting articles, and I recently came across one about winter wear of yonder years. Again, because of my upbringing, I had no clue that wool was the fabric of choice for winter and dates back to ancient Greece. Even though it wasn’t an ideal choice as it absorbs water like a sponge, it was used for centuries to keep warm. Fur was an alternative, but very expensive. Then, in the late 1930s, Eddie Bauer invented the down jacket. After almost suffering from hypothermia, Bauer set out to find a garment that would provide warmth without the problems of wool. His solution was goose down and nylon. By mixing the two, he developed a product that has remained pretty much similar since. Modern coats might use different fabrics, but the concept is the same. Neat, right?

Even though I’ve been a north easterner for 4 years, I’m still learning the ways of winter. Does anyone else have any suggestions for how to be warm and stylish for the next couple of months?

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  1. Reply


    Silk underwear! Thin and invisible under clothes, but wonderfully warm.

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Silk underwear?!? I never would have though of it! Thank you.

  2. Reply


    Such lovely photographs! x


  3. Reply


    This is so cool! πŸ™‚

    Irene Wibowo

  4. Reply

    Carlee McTavish

    Nice photographs! Hahaha, how to be warm and stylish is something that I usually forego in Niagara in the winter. I used to try, I really did, but when it is minus 14 *without* the wind chill, it’s just not worth it. Since living in the UK, I’ve started wearing leggings underneath my pants, and I double up my socks (socks make all the difference, I’ve found, and no one can tell if you are wearing three pairs of socks under your boots haha). And if I really do have to look nice (like *really* nice) for something, I’ll bring a change of clothes and shoes for when I get to there. Not ideal, but I just can’t be bothered to fight with the wind and snow anymore πŸ™‚

  5. Reply

    Ana Sancho Rumeu

    Another warm weather (Spain) transplant to the cold (NY) here. I find a really good outer layer and wool socks make all the difference. But if I have to spend time outside I love Uniqlo’s heattech tights and under shirts. Then a turtleneck, a skirt, wool socks over the tights and tall boots. Mittens are warmer than gloves and a nice, waterproof down jacket is the best investment (that and cashmere!)

    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      I haven’t heard of Uniqlo’s heattech tights. Those sound warm! Tights have been very helpful this winter and I’m finding that they’re as much a necessity during the colder months as a bra and underwear.

  6. Reply


    Layers! And something out of Merinowool underneath it all. Merino is very warm but does not make you sweat when you get inside.

  7. Reply


    I second the silk underwear comment. LL Bean sells some nice durable ones. I machine wash mine on the cold cycle and hang them up to dry.

  8. Reply

    Natasha Estrada

    Nylon wasn’t actually introduced until 1939. The patent on the Eddie Bauer jacket was December 26 1939. ;D


    • Reply

      Maddie Flanigan

      Thank Natasha! I should have fact checked that. I’ll update the post to say late 1930s (rather than just 1930s).

  9. Reply

    Craft Sanctuary

    Fleece-lined tights. The BEST thing I’ve ever worn for warmth!

  10. Reply


    I grew up in Santa Cruz, CA where the temperature range is 50-75. Now I’m further North in California and am perpetually cold during winter, which always seems to be 30’s-40’s. I pretty much wear Smartwool long underware under everything, but my problem is most of my normal pants are too tight. I need to get a separate winter pant wardrobe.

  11. Reply

    Amanda Russell

    My aesthetic may not work for you as we have very different bodies LOL but I always love either a medium weight sheath dress or a wool skirt and tights paired with a little sweater, or long sleeved tee and cardi, for days when it gets cold and wet here, and I always wear boots if I’m not wearing pants. I always feel pretty when i wear a dress or skirt in winter, and that’s a nice feeling when it’s cold and gray πŸ™‚

    Here, layering is the key cause sometimes you find yourself in a place with a really ambitious heating system, and other times you’re stuck on a bus which is basically a large metal bullet whizzing through coldness and you can’t feel your toes LOL.

  12. Reply


    I’m really surprised you can patent a garment. I know you can’t technically copyright clothing designs but I guess the down quilted jacket was so unique or something.

    As for cold weather – I say whatever the russians or skandinavians wear is what I would try to emulate. I don’t have a winter wardrobe either. Whenever I visit family up north for holidays I go a little crazy trying to figure out what to wear. I realized I owned literally two pairs of pants, one are so long I have to wear heels with them. What would I do in the north!?!?

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