Cold and Colder

If you’ve been keeping up with me, you’ll know that I’m in a career transition that involves relocating to a (bigger, better) new city.

Specifically, that city is Minneapolis, MN.

Even though it’s only 100 miles due north from where I’ve been living, it still manages to routinely be 10-15 degrees colder.

And that’s saying something.

This week the temps dipped into the negative single digits, and that’s not counting the windchill.

After shivering in my light down Patagonia coat and repeatedly asking myself why I live in the Northern Hemisphere for several days, I finally realized I would not survive without a warmer coat, especially when I now have to park my car outside.

Getting into a freezing car and waiting for it to warm up is a particular kind of torture.

After a bit of research I settled on this Fjallraven Nuuk parka:

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It’s waterproof, windproof and has synthetic fill and faux fur. I still haven’t even explored all of the pockets and features, but there is a phone pocket with earphone cord cut-out in addition to several interior and exterior pockets. The waist can be cinched and overall, this coat is flattering, as far as winter coats go.

Did I mention it’s incredibly warm?

Before I purchased the coat my friend P. and I were discussing different outerwear brands, specifically Moncler and Canada Goose.

Moncler parkas start at about $1400 and go up to – wait for it! – nearly $6k. 

Those prices make the Canada Goose parkas seem like relative bargains in the $750-1200 range (although most are reliably $900).

My two cents:

  • I need a warm coat.
  • I like stylish things.
  • I still can’t justify buying one of those super pricey parkas.

Here’s why: if you’ve ever lived somewhere brutally cold, you’ll know it’s a common phenomenon to have to either check your coat at restaurant or event (this is the preferred option, especially with a receipt and people to actually guard the coats), hang it yourself in a rack that is usually in an unsupervised location, or throw it randomly on a pile in someone’s bedroom if you are at a house party.

All of these choices leave you, on some level, hoping your coat is still there when you’re ready to leave.

And it would absolutely stink to have someone steal your $1400 coat and then have to freeze your way home.

Moral of the story: Never buy the most expensive coat in the pile.

So I didn’t.

Don’t get me wrong: the Fjallraven Nuuk is still a really nice coat. If you decide to invest in one, know that they run big.

To top off the coat, I also decided I needed a hat like this:

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This Ted Baker beanie is fun to wear, and warm. Perfect combo.

 

 

 

Stitch Fix #3

Stitch Fix #3 showed up at my house last weekend.

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Honestly, I forgot it was coming so this was a pleasant surprise.

Last Fix, I kept just one item. Sadness. But I didn’t give up.

Full disclosure: first glance at this box didn’t seem too promising.

The first item that I unpacked was a faux suede jacket. It was the color of a weimaraner.

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Initially, I thought the cut was bad. The seams were not finished. It looked cheap.

I tried it on and styled the collar a few ways. There are an abundance of snaps and in the end, there are at least four ways to wear it.

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The faux fur lining is also super soft. Surprisingly, this was the least expensive item in the box ($58, eventually $43.50 with 25% discount).

The rest of the items also had a similar winter feel. 

Item #2, a navy and fuchsia blouse with brass studs:

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Super pretty. Super unusual. What Stitch Fix is all about.

Here’s the styling card that came with it:

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Next up was a quilted olive sweatshirt. When I pulled this out of the box, I thought the color was boring. Meh.

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But when I tried it on, it fit really well. Like, really well. And my photography is lousy, so it doesn’t show that the color is actually olive and not puce. I’m showing it here with two shark tooth necklaces I was wearing when the package arrived.

Close up of those necklaces:

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This is a good layering piece.

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The fourth item was a striped cowl-neck sweater. This had a strong Edith A. Miller vibe. 

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Definitely my style.

The last thing was a pair of dark wash jeans. I really don’t own many pairs of jeans and only wear them on the weekend. They fit well, though, and it was a deal  to just keep them.

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In the end, I kept it all. Final tab was $237, which I think is more than fair.

While I wouldn’t have gravitated to any of these items in a store, I was happy to add some spice to my usual wardrobe – which (again) is what Stitch Fix is all about.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter Accessories

Ironically, it was warmer in Canada this week than at home.

Living in Minnesota, I thought I had some serious street cred when it came to winter dressing.

But I will give it to Canadian retailers, who have elevated the art of merchandising winter accessories to a new level.

First up, the snood:

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  1. Club Monaco (the price is not for the faint of heart, but this is a very interesting knit)
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  3. Aritzia (the drawstring detail makes this special, also comes in black)

 Banana Republic also has some pretty cashmere scarves. I like this blue one:

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These BR gloves have a suede detail and zipper at the wrist:

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While not technically a winter accessory, these J. Crew perfumes would also be good to wear now.

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The one called No. 57 is spicy and particularly suited to winter.

Let it snow! (I guess).