Sunday, January 28, 2018

How to Wear Vintage & Stay Warm in Winter

We finally have snow and the temperatures are dropping fast over here. For many vintage lovers who live in warm and moderate climates autumn and winter are a wonderful time to bring out their cute little knits, half boots and trench coats. For those of us who live up north, the period between November and May is usually the time when we give up on all stylish pursuits and commit to ugly puffed jackets and rubber boots.

Ann Sheridan, Christmas 1940’s (Source)
But we don't have to! Here are my tips on how to dress vintage and stay warm all winter. 

1. Stick to natural fibers 
Step away from that polyester sweater and reach for woolen pullovers. Icelandic wool is particularly warm, but so is cashmere as well as alpaca.If you're crafty you can make your own vintage sweater using some great free patterns out there. But if you're not, you can often find sweaters in second hand shops that have a very vintage look. Just be sure to check the wool content on the label.  

Boiled wool skating outfit 1940's(Source)
Snow Queen sweater, mittens, hat knitting pattern, 1940's (Source)
Cotton or linen underthings and silk blouses (silk is surprisingly warm despite being so light) are also a great way to keep yourself nice and snug.     

2. Layer up 
Again, this may seem obvious, but layering is almost an art form. Start with thinner layers first and then build it up. A combination of a camisole, a blouse and a sweater or vest over it can keep you pretty warm. Make sure to put on a pair of long johns or thin tights under your trousers for extra warmth.  

Barbara Stanwyck wearing a gray gabardine ski head, Edith Head, Photoplay 1942 (Source)
Many people avoid skirts in the winter thinking that they cannot provide enough warmth, but, once again, it's all about layering. Add a warm petticoat to your outfit and you may be able to get away with wearing a skirt even when it's -15°C and lower. Look for skirts that are made of wool.

Woolen skirts are a great way to stay warm in winter (Source)
I have my own trick with tights. I tend to wear a pair of very thin tights and then add another pair of woolly tights. Alternatively, you can wear a pair of warm leggins over your tights. Don't forget warm socks since feet can get quite cold. 

3. Cover your head
You know how your mom has always told you to cover your head when it's cold? Well, that's a pretty good tip. You would be surprised by just how much more comfortable you will be if you would only put on a cute hat or a lovely scarf. 

Knit Yourself a 1940's Turban (Source)
Vintage magazines are full of great hats, scarfs and turbans. In fact, if you are crafty, you can knit a cute turban. A scarf, if it's long enough, can cover both your head and neck, giving even more protection against the elements.

4. Expand your style inspiration
Whatever your favorite time period, look for new fashion icons who lived in colder climates. You would be surprised how many images from Denmark, Sweden and even Soviet Union you can find. These may be a little less glamorous, but they will give you some ideas on how to keep warm.
Estonian fashion Winter 1933. Taluperenainen 1932-33. Source
Finnish fashion, February 1942. Source
Fashions for the coming winter, Kotiliesi, October 1954. Source
Two girls by the sign "Swedish Tourist Association's hostel", Nordiska museet (Source)
The Fashion Album, Autumn/Winter1955-1956, wool dresses, Soviet Union (Source)
For more inspiration, you can check out my vintage winter Pinterest board. 

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