Arctic gale force winds, chapped faces, not a cab in sight, and did we mention all that snow on the ground? January is not prime fashion season. Need more proof? Everyone is wearing the exact same thing! (And wants to look exactly like Amanda Brooks, left.)
Mid-winter is like one great sartorial hangover when all attempts to be stylish get waylaid by an overwhelming need to wear long underpants. Thermal trousers and the following water-proof, wind-proof, sex appeal-proof garments make up the Official Winter Uniform of 2011.
L.L.Bean has many competitors, but nothing compares to its classic Bean Boot. This season we've noticed a rise in its popularity, coinciding of course with the style movement for all things "heritage"..(We call it a "movement," because the NYTimes Style Section features a story on it every Sunday.) At any rate, this boot shines, because it's extremely affordable and comes with options! Six- or eight-inch height? With Thinsulate or without? Buy a pair for yourselves, ladies, and also a pair for your gentlemen. (See how to wear them at left.)
Before the temp even dips below freezing, every woman in NYC should pick up a pair of American Apparel's winter legging. The "non-pant" does indeed pass as a pant when it's thick as an igloo yet still fits neatly into your tallest ski boots. Buy a second pair...because who wants to venture outside and pick up laundry?
Moncler's Soho shop is so exclusive that a bouncer stands guard at the door and all editorial features offer prices "upon request." These are enough reasons to covet the impossibly chic parkas, worn by Lavo-bound tourists and uptown socialites alike. And since Moncler is so clearly French, it has to be the best, right? Burn all your inferior puffer coats. Oh, and start saving. A standard down-filled jacket will set you back almost two grand.
If I had a nickel for every chick in Murray Hill who marched to and from work in a pair of Hunter boots on sunny days, I could easily buy everyone a round at Brother Jimmy's. Full disclosure: I am totally guilty of this! Hunter boots are rain-specific, yes, but they look so sleek and classic that I am sometimes even tempted to wear them in summer. Pro tip: grab a pair of fleece liners, as the wellies themselves are not warm.
The arbiters of man-style (aka "menswear bloggers") have already proclaimed Barbour coats passe, but any denizen of the Fairfield County (or the West Village) lifestyle knows that this vanguard of British waxed cotton boasts timeless cool. Throw on the classic Bedale with your Bean boots and you're ready for any adventure...or just ready to grab dinner at Peels. (See the full effect above.)
Madewell's "cozy up scarf" is just a removable, convertible man-repelling device, and that's why we love it. Or maybe we love the faux-fur snood because it's cheap and keeps us warm while standing in line at the Jane Hotel. Check it out on Jen Rubio of Quick & Curious at left.
Pendleton Woolen Mills has partnered with Opening Ceremony at the ACE Hotel, and just about everywhere else, to bring its trademark technicolor patterns to the hip and jaded masses. I pray every night that this trend never dies. Take it down low with Aldo's Pendleton-inspired "Rubio" boot.
Quick! You have to be at a wedding/board meeting/blind date/black tie gala in twenty minute and have absolutely nothing to wear. Just kidding! You have a closet full of flannel button-downs. Pair them with some sort of sequined skirt (and the wellingtons, natch) or for the gents, wool pants. We're partial to J.Crew's version - mainly because they fit well on both dudes and ladies.
Speaking of sequins, tread lightly. They've appeared on everything from shorts to shawls this season. (Note Jen's pantaloons above.) Are a million magpie fashionistas spreading the sparkle too thin? Perhaps, but nothing says "party time" in January like a paillette-covered dress...over the American Apparel winter leggings...and under the hugest Moncler parka this side of Gstaad. No specific make or model here because every brand boasts sequins right now. Shine on!