Ever wonder how the hell those gorgeous vixens stay warm? Seriously. Take a moment and browse anywhere online or in books to see what vintage ladies couture or fashion looks like. So seldom to we see pantaloons or anything less than a skirt before the 1970s. In an era of timeless, gentle contours in a woman’s wardrobe, we are left with frozen knees and icicles for shins. Or so it seems.
I did a little bit of logical research this month for the Revival Style Guide that traced me to Modcloth.com (Click for link), to the outstanding array of outerwears available from RubyLane.com (Click for link), and back to my own closet collection. What made bare stocking’d legs tolerant of the bitter cold winters of years past? Furthermore, what can we learn about keeping warm and timeless? Is it really possible? The very, very short answer is yes. Let’s dig in, darlings.
The eyelet lace of a flapper’s 3/4 length shawl drapes roomily from her shoulders. If you’ve ever carried one in your arms, you’ll know these are no flimsy decorations. Usually they were comprised of velvets and wools and whatever it took to bedeck it in sequins or other adornments. These ornate statement pieces are a starch contrast to their post-market crash counterparts. Nevertheless, note the length of the coat itself. The 1930s was a time to establish standards. When you have to strip down to the bare necessities to live comfortably in a disasterous economy, minimalism and need-based design overtakes, respectively. The 40s-inspired coat is relatively similar to the 30s. Culturally, there were many similarities between the two decades in America. Socially… Well, that’s another story.
Let’s fast forward to today. Leggings, chunky knit sweaters, Ugg (ugh) boots. and name-brand athletic-looking coats that have no roots in their design are all rampantly changing the look of winter away from the traditional wares. Whyyyyy would you do that…? Seriously folks why has society fed into paying over $100 for a coat or pair of boots that has no personality? Warm, classy garments don’t have to compromise comfort, either. Take for instance this a-line coat from our darling friends at Modcloth: (Click Here!). Put your Ugh boots on the shelf and pick up something with a bit more flavor this season. I’d bet you’ll find yourself able to wear a skirt underneath these layers without feeling as much as a litle chill.
So yes, longer coats are, in my most humble opinion, a MUST HAVE for every winter. They’re feminine, fierce, and good for pretty much everything. If ever you’ve wanted to wear a lighter outfit to work or just to feel more comfortable but worry about that temperature, I recommend the purchase. Antique stores, vintage-inspired websites, the all-powerful Etsy, Amazon, and even some current store chains all carry a plethora of clozy coats.
Before we conclude that a longer coat is the answer to staying warm, I should also add in a few tidbits that will give additional insight to the age-old qualm of staying warm and tasteful each winter. I took a few Google Image searches of what a ‘vintage winter outfit’ would look like. Primarily, this search revolved around the 40s and 50s: Staples of pop cultural icons here in the West. The good news is, this is exactly what we’re talking about! Note that the stockings involved here were mostly wool, adding extra warmth. Hats, scarves, and those iconic long gloves complete the human toaster effect. The footwear was varied, because just like all of us today, some of us are better or worse at keeping warm on our own. Pay careful attention to the boots of the madame in the blue coat, though. That’s where it’s at.
So here’s the breakdown for the rest of winter in Revival Style: Longer coats! Wool socks or leggings, or just longer skirts. Longer gloves if you can find them. Last but not least, boots with character. Thanks for tuning into the revival style guide- I look forward to sharing the latest of the outdated!