November 23, 2010

Layers for the longest season

Fall is officially over for Minnesota. It was a harsh, abrupt turn to the long winter. Recent weeks have involved a snow storm and an ice storm, which was a real doozy. But a weird thing happened to me: I'm used to this insanity now. I might go so far as to say I enjoy it. However, I will maintain my longstanding position that people, especially people still rocking melanin, are not supposed to actually live in this climate.

Today, for not very good reasons, I decided to walk for a mile or so to take care of some business. It was below freezing, yet sunny with a beautiful blue sky. Walking was a choice I consciously made so that I could spend time in the freezing cold outdoors. I hardly know who I am anymore.

Regardless, I like what I wore:

Sometimes getting dressed in all the necessary layers is fun. Such as on days when you aren't already late for work or something not very fun like that. Mike bought this vintage wool coat a couple years ago at a thrift store, but never wears it. Mine now.
Most of these items are of matronly provenance. The boots are Santana (not the Carlos one, the Canadian one for cold weather) and were purchased at the Clark's store (first winter frantic buy, enticed by claims of high tech foot warming capabilities). 
The thick legging/pants are Ellen Tracy, it's true. They have those angular contour raw-edged stitched details like the cool kids are wearing. Cardigan, very warm, J. Crew. Scarf: unknown brand but of very fine materials, bought at gh2 in Minneapolis.

   Out of curiosity I googled the coat brand. The tag reads: Student Shop, Hughes Hatcher Suffrin, Detroit. I found the photo to the right of the Harry Suffrin store in Detroit, which during the 1940s outfitted "dapper gentlemen," and offered free tailoring.

Harry Suffrin later merged with Hughes and Hatcher, and opened many shops in the city, such as the one below, on Michigan Ave Mall. But by 1980, they had gone out of business.

I wonder about the young man who bought this coat, and what sort of life he envisioned when picking this out in the Student Shop. And at what point did this coat seem so outdated or no longer needed that it made its way onto the thrift circuit? 


On my walk I gathered some small pine cones to decorate the apartment. I also documented decay in the forms of last week's snowmen and last season's foliage.
Poor guy:

The outdoors version of this outfits is a little less exciting, but there were mittens, too.

During my first winter in MN, I never left the house and went crazy. Things are looking much better this time around. I am feeling inspired and have winter ideas. The holidays are also so close, and we have a pretty excellent feast among friends to look forward to on Thursday. Very exciting things, indeed.


Lorena said...

It's hard to dress for cold weather and still look good but this outfit is great - I love that you find such good stuff in the most unexpected places. That hat is the best, seriously - what I look for everywhere but never find haha.

I can't stand the cold but I kind of miss seeing that much snow on the ground. Where Cory and I grew up, the temperature is -15C to -30C for like half the year, sometimes colder! It's completely unbearably cold and I NEVER got used to it. Every winter was torture and I'm going back to visit for Christmas and I'm kind of terrified. I can't even fathom how I made it through so many winters there but I guess you just learn to deal with it.

I can still understand why it's nice to go for walks when it's chilly though. The air seems cleaner somehow, very crisp and refreshing. Did your fingers freeze up while snapping photos? The wilting flowers shot is lovely.

Rosa&Carlotta said...

wow, I love your hat :D
check out our fashion illustrations at :)

Susie said...

Lorena, you mentioned this tundra you hail from before, but I must now ask: where exactly did you and Cory grow up? Sounds truly unbearable. Here is as cold as I can handle.

The key to my fingers not falling off was that those mittens have fingerless gloves underneath so I never took them off completely.

those tricks said...

haha : "I hardly know who I am anymore."
I'm really into that big 'ol grey scarf!

Carissa said...

Who loves their orange lipstick I made you buy????