Monday, December 14, 2009

Winter Wonderland

Winter has not officially begun but those of us in the colder climates know that he's already arrived, unofficially. The foot of snow, 50 MPH winds and freezing rain we got in parts of the Midwest is testament to his arrival.

Winter can be a bleak season when you might not want to venture out of doors, understandably so. But with the drop in temperatures and that fluffy white stuff covering the ground comes the overcoats, tweed suits, scarves and heavy weight fedoras. It is a high point in the style year just like the summer, though on the opposite end of the spectrum. The yearly cycle of sartorialistic yin and yang, winter and summer, respectively. Both are equally important but completely different in fabrics, colors and cut.

In celebration of winter, take a look at these Esquire and Apparel Arts illustrations from the 1930s. Notice the multiple different styles of overcoats and the varieties in colors, hat choices and suits.

Let's start off with a couple items that are often overlooked but are immensely important to tie a look together: socks and shoes for winter.

Click all photos to enlarge.

Argyle is a favorite sock pattern of mine and goes very well with casual looks. Argyle socks are also easily found at your nearest GAP, J.C. Penney , Younkers and other popular clothing outlets. I prefer the GAP socks because their patterns and styles change with each season, they're priced fairly and are good quality.

Notice the green Tartan socks on the right side:

Notice the large variety of overcoats pictured, from a regular wool overcoat with a nice windowpane pattern to an overcoat with a fur collar and another made entirely out of fur in the background. The Golden Era was truly an age of variety.
The man in the fur overcoat is also wearing a black Derby with a brown/tan coat. Black and brown can work together.

Another fur-collared overcoat. They weren't squeamish about the use of fur. I consider that a good thing.

The ingrediants for the collegiate winter look.

Winter offers a plethora of hats to keep our heads and ears warm. Notice the article at the bottom of the page states that only one "snap brim hat is neccessary" as well as some sort of country hat, but every other hat on the page is absolutely needed. Goes to show that one can have even a hat wardrobe.

A nice formal overcoat with an Astrakhan fur collar.

Scarves are a wonderful accessory that can help mature and liven up even the dullest outfit. Mix and match colors and textures depending upon the occasion and create an individual style for yourself. Scarves are the winter brother of the summer ascot.

Nothing says style like skiing in a suit, preferably a sport suit with a belted back, bi-swing back and/or a center gusset.

Try variety this winter.



Nice illustrations but fur no

pablo banqup said...

I quite like the fur collar look.

The last time I went skiing they had some black and white pictures of old school skiers. Big leather boots and suits. I don't think you could really pull it off these days.

Will said...

Just be wary of the '70s faux fur collar overcoats. ;)

Yeah, I'm not going to try skiing in a suit anytime soon. Not only could few people pull it off nowadays but knowing the way I ski I wouldn't want to ruin the suit!

Horatio said...

I can't imagine skiing in a suit. As stylish as it might be, there are much better outfits for skiing available now--ones that keep you considerably warmer and dryer, not to mention allowing a greater range of motion. Even a sweater seems too bulky and impractical anymore.

As for fur--heck yes! While cruelty to animals is unconscionable, fur does not have to be made cruelly. Using an animal for its fur is no worse than using it for its hide, i.e., leather, or its flesh, i.e., meat.


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