How To Stay Warm Without Looking Like A Dancing Bear


I imagine she’s trying not to burst into laughter

My aversion to wearing a thick winter coat started around the time I realized I was a girl. Many a New England winter morning you could find my mother shouting “Put Your Coat On” from the front door. Being a bit of a shrimp, it was always the mass of the deep-weather winter coat that I was opposed to. Bulky coats can manage to swallow you and make you look like a sad little Weeblo tottering in the snow.

I kept the ban going on the burly winter coat until a few years ago. I was walking through the bitterly cold streets of Chicago shivering in a ridiculously thin but favored black wool Anna Sui matador jacket. My host happened to be a commanding, bigger-than-me gal who said she was going to tackle me if I didn’t put on a proper winter coat. Which I did.

She had selected a particularly fluffy one from her collection and so I ended up wobbling through the streets of Chicago for the rest of the trip quite warm but looking–and therefore, feeling–very much like a dancing bear.

When I got home, and after a gnarly bout of the flu, I decided to grow the hell up and dress properly for the weather.

Bottom line: I have found supreme warmth and the look of a female in the form of an L.L. Bean Lambswool Peacoat like the one pictured. (Approximately $200 and worth it.)

If you want to stay warm but keep a close-to-the-body silhouette during the winter then select a coat with modern condensed insulation in it, like this one.

“Thinsulate” is a common type of insulation found in many cold-weather coats. It provides deep warmth without bulk. The idea is that its fibers are finer and trap more air in less space. This coat, for instance, will keep you comfortable to temperatures as low as -10 degrees Fahrenheit.

For the males in the audience: Thinsulate-like insulation is found in many fine men’s winter coats as well. And there are few things more nice to behold on a brisk day than a tall cup of handsomeness in a beautifully cut winter coat, strolling confidently along the street. Make sure the fit is right lest you end up looking like the chap above.

2 Responses to “How To Stay Warm Without Looking Like A Dancing Bear”

  1. […] more reading on cold weather style strategies, read my related post: How To Stay Warm Without Looking Like a Dancing Bear. Posted January 15, 2012 in Personal Style Follow responses via RSS 2.0 […]

    January 15, 2012 @ 10:26 pm
  2. […] I add a warmish neck scarf in a pleasing color, and/or a short jacket as outerwear staples. The grey half-sleeve jacket above is by Valette. It has a throwback design that adds a touch of something, and it’s easy to throw on and off, with no zippers; just a snap or two. If you’re on the petite side, keep jackets either short (waist-length or above), or go full-Monty long and fitted. Read here for tips on selecting a winter coat. […]

    November 20, 2013 @ 8:20 pm

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