"B" snuggly: Winter resources

Winter essential
In chilly Canada, winter hosiery means high-denier, well-made tights, and those are pricey. I'm talking Donna Karan, never mind Wolford–at least $20 a pair. I have walked through the toe in a day.

By March, I've stuffed a drawerful–and what do you do with one-legged pantyhose? (Would that be a pantyho?)

I've found a frugal cheat: Under pants or a calf-length skirt, I wear knee-high opaque socks and capri-length silk long underwear. Easily replace the sock; the capris are warmer than tights and far more durable.

Secret weapon
Silk pointelle longjohn capris ($33, free shipping now) from LL Bean are available in misses' and women's sizes in black, ivory and mocha.

If you travel, the capris and marching scoopneck top are indispensable anywhere that doesn't provide reliable heating, and in a pinch, they make good pjs. Throw into a lingerie bag to launder.

Fuchsia sheepskin slips
A fond mention too, for Bean's Wicked Good Moccasins, a family essential. This year they come in more colours, including Fuchsia, shown, and my favourite, Vintage Red. Price, $50.

Winter boots are another problem: what's warm, doesn't look like you've hopped off your snowmobile and are not so expensive that you'll be paying for them in July?

Short shearling wedge
I'm crushing on these these genuine shearling-lined, camel suede boots with funky wedge heels and discreet traction soles. With jeans or a skirt, cool but toasty.

You are never going to believe who make them, Eddie Bauer! Price, $169 with free shipping. (Okay, you gotta spray 'em, but they're worth the effort.)
Biker boot in cordovan

For those in more temperate locales or for indoor wear here, Bauer also sell a surprisingly sleek pair of distressed leather biker boots in cordovan, a hard to find colour, with nickel hardware and a sculpted but not too-tight toe. Well-priced at $199 and also available in a rich grey and classic tan.
Blundstone winter model
I'm devoted to the nerdy, endearing Blundstone for casual wear. There's a new winter model (#560) this year with Thinsulate interior, sheepskin insole and slip-resistant sole. The specially-treated leather is impervious to slush (just wipe off).

In Blunnies, I stride by many a woman picking her way over icy sidewalks in stilletto boots– but I admit she looks sexier from the knee down. Price, $190 from the Australian Boot Company and other sellers.

And don't forget the last–and most stylish–B: Bompard offer four more days of that 20% off sale! (There will be a sale the first week in January, but last year everything I wanted was sold out.) Shown, reversible 100% cashmere scarf in new camel and flame orange, €114.


Anonymous said…
Pantyho? Too funny! Thanks for the great tips and suggestions---I'm gonna check 'em out.
Susan B said…
Wow, I'm really impressed with those Eddie Bauer boots. And the Lands End moccasins are calling my name, as my last pair of sheepskins finally wore out this year.
Northmoon said…
Great idea re the silk longjohns!

I never buy suede boots for winter wear. Does spraying them really protect from salt slush? If so they've improved a lot and perhaps I should get over my concern.
Pearl said…
Well, I bought a Bompard turtleneck: my current cashmere sadly has developed a ridiculous hole in it. This is my Xmas gift to me: the rest of the bonus goes to plastic payments! It looks so lovely I cannot wait to get it in my hands!
materfamilias said…
I love the silk longjohns I picked up years ago when Pater was living/working in Ottawa and I'd fly in for very cold conjugal visits. They make all the comfort difference, and I like your suggestions of combining them with socks rather than wearing out expensive pantyhose.

And those suede Eddie Bauer boots are a great find . . .suede doesn't make much sense here, given the amount of wet we generally have -- our snow inevitably turns to the slushiest mess imaginable. Still, at that price. . . .
Belle de Ville said…
There is nothing more frustrating than wearing an expensive pair of panyhose for just one day. I like the Wolford brand but at $52 a pair, I have to opt for Donna Karan.
I love those Bean moccasins. They are going on my Xmas list.
Frugal Scholar said…
That idea about combining socks and long underwear (called "love killers" according to a German acquaintance) is absolute genius! We have coldish, damp winters here, in spite of being in the "deep south."

LLBean-as of today and for a few more days--is having a 10% off everything sale! Plus a 10 dollar gift card if you spend $50.
LPC said…
I'm with Belle on the stockings - DK all the way if I'm wearing them. And when it comes to winter, well, down here we just put on a jacket:). I like those Bean Moccasins in red too.
Toby Wollin said…
I've been wearing wool tights for years. I used to be able to get great thick cabled ones from a site in Canada (which I think has gone out of business - my memory is that it was called 'bluexxxx"), but now I buy these and I've been wearing mine for a couple of years (and considering that I'm talking Upstate NY, and I'm wearing mine literally all the time, this says something about quality. I just wash them and hang them over the rod to dry). http://www.mytights.com/us/classic-hosiery/wool/trasparenze-gennifer-merino-wool-tights.html
Susan said…
Duchesse, I live in warm Texas, where dressing for warmth is a rare need. But, this year I discovered La Canadienne boots, which are very very comfortable. In fact, I have my short ones on right now as they have become my footwear of choice. I will be wearing them to England in January, so we will see how warm they are.
Susan, I can guarantee anything La Canadienne will be warm enough for a trip to England. What you'll have to deal with there is the damp chill, even indoors (very similar to Amsterdam where I go often for work) and the silk long underwear - and camisoles etc to wear under clothing is a big help for that.

I've had Nubuck boots that survived many Montréal winters (colder than Toronto but also quite damp, as we are an island) with proper treatment; it depends on the suede. Synthetic boots aren't ideal either as they don't really adapt to the foot.

I loathe winter (though I'm still happier living here than in Haiti).
MJ said…
I wear the inexpensive L'Eggs tights, and they last me forever. Here's my tip from long ago for dealing with tights where only one leg is good: if you have two pair that are the same, cut off the legs with the holes in them somewhere mid-thigh. Then simply pull on both pairs (assuming you can make it work for one left and one right leg). Not sure this would work with control top - it might squeeze you to death.
Tiffany said…
I enjoyed 'pantyho' too! And I love those shearling wedge boots - a great combination of function and attitude. Living in the land of the Blundstone, I'm glad to hear they're useful the world over.
Duchesse said…
Northmoon: Spraying assiduously protected my Roots suede boots very well, I think I wore them 4 winters. I'd stay away from very fine suede but these look sturdy.

Pearl: Lucky! What colour?

Toby: Thanks for link; I've worn some wool tights over the years but like the sleek stretchiness of nylon.

MJ: Put plainly, I would not enjoy double-bagging my crotch :) but I have heard of this method. I like the breathability of silk.

Fugal: Love killers! Yes, they are not alluring, but at least they are *black* silk and I try to make up for it with a pretty bra and leopard-print panties.

Susan and lagatta: Sharing the love for La Canadienne! (And now they have an online store!) Higher priced but quality is there.

Tiffany: I actually mourn when it warms up too much to wear mine.
diverchic said…
Winter Silks has low rise leopard print silk long johns that look pretty sexy on the models.

I love your economical ideas for gifts. You might get one. Do you like feathers?
Well, I wouldn't have much use for La Canadienne's online store, as I live perhaps 20 minutes' walk from their flagship store on Laurier.

They are pricy but I'm keeping my eyes peeled for sales. I do want to point out that they carry narrow and wide withs in several models, which is an important consideration for many people.

Actually, I believe German "love-killers" are long underwear in rather repulsive health fabrics, mixes of woollens and synthetics. Nothing as nice as black silk pointelle.
Duchesse said…
diverchic: Leopard long johns, what a hoot!

lagatta: Good luck with the sale! How can woolen-synthetic blend be 'health'?

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