New Trend: Global Warming Style!

October 21, 2010

As the temperatures dip into the 40’s and months of cold weather loom before us you’d think (or is it just me?) that people would be reaching for their sweaters and warm clothes?

Well, reach all you want because long sleeves seem to have gone the way of the wooly mammoths!  It makes no sense to me.  Sure we had a warmer than usual summer but last winter was no walk in the park here in bitterly cold, snowy, windy New England.  I’m actually beginning to think that global warming has melted a few designers’ (or New Englanders’) brains.

Yes, I’ve seen this trend coming, but I kept hoping that it was an aberration or a test trend to see if we’d notice.  But, yesterday, when I hit the stores determined to find some long-sleeved sweaters and jackets to get me through the season, my efforts were in vain.  Three-quarter length sleeves and yes (believe it or not) even sleeveless or cap sleeve tops reign.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love 3/4 sleeve tops, and I have plenty of them but when the temperatures dip below freezing I want every inch of my sleeve (thank you very much!), especially when it comes to sweaters and jackets.  And, believe it or not, on some websites when you search for long-sleeve tops they include 3/4 sleeves.  It seems that 3/4 sleeves have usurped the position once held by long sleeves!  Please say it isn’t so!  Short of putting my heat up to 80 degrees, what’s a girl to do?

I’m not making this up.  And, it doesn’t have a lot to do with the fact that I do not wear wool.  Short of a few basic cashmere sweaters out there (that wouldn’t be my style anyway), even the wool sweaters are not long-sleeved.

I know that those of you who tend to run warm are smiling with glee because you have a million things to choose from.  For the rest of us, it’s going to be a long, frosty winter.

If, like me, you run cold and anticipate a long 6 months of doing jumping jacks endlessly to get your blood circulating or hiding under a big, cozy puff as much as possible, here are a few ideas to help make the season more manageable and fashionable.  I know it’s only October but it’s good to start early since the shopping season is all but over sooner than you think!

Run out now and get…

1.  Warm Undergarments – ‘Only Hearts,’ Hanro and Hanky Panky are 3 companies that make lightweight, form fitting undergarments that keep you warm but don’t add bulk.  I have a big selection and wear one every day.  Hint: If you have trouble with thin straps following off your shoulder like I do (it’s so annoying), get ones with wider straps (like this one), and they’ll stay put.

2.    Layers – This seems obvious but some of us have an aversion to too many layers.  I like things that feel sleek and polished so if I get too many layers going I just feel messy and overwhelmed…but that’s just me.  I try to keep my layers as un-bulky as possible (that’s where #1 above can help).  You can also layer a long sleeve top (as sleek as possible, please) under a short sleeve or 3/4 sleeve top.  It’s very fashionable and works, especially if you have a funky side to your personality!  Hint: Make sure the transition (between sleeves) blends nicely or all the focus will go to your forearms.

3.    Scarves – Thankfully, scarves have made a comeback in the past 2 years.  While I don’t consider myself the most avid scarf person on the planet, I have grown to love them in my wardrobe (and have learned a few fabulous scarf ties), so when the temperatures dip, the scarves come in very handy.  Hint: Long rectangular scarves are much more versatile than square ones. (Look at these beautiful scarves from my colleague Rachael Ades — — she works out of her home and the scarves are also SUPER affordable.)

4.    Boots – Okay, so I admit it…I probably have 12 pairs of boots in my closet.  Everything from booties to knee high (no, I don’t have any over-the-knee boots nor do I think I will anytime soon) in both black and brown.  I wear all of them (in case you’re wondering).  Essentially, each year I try to go from sandals directly into boots (that’s where the booties come in) – for reasons I’ll go into another time ?!  The bottom line is that when your feet and ankles are toasty the rest of you feels warmer, too (especially if you are also wearing a scarf!).  Hint: I buy my boots a half size too big and get cozy liners to put in the bottom. Oooooh, so nice!

So, short of moving to the tropics, these tips will help a bit.  While I’ll probably always be envious of the women who can wear a sleeveless dress to a dressy event in the middle of winter and not spend the whole evening hovering by a heating vent (I’m missing that gene, I think!), I like knowing that I can still look pulled together and be reasonably warm whatever the occasion.

Do you have more ideas to share for keeping warm as we head into the winter months.  Please do share!

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