Fashion Five.

I am no fashion authority.  What I am though is a seasoned shopper (a.k.a. shopaholic).  Meaning that I have done a lot of leg work in finding out what works and doesn’t in cold weather wear, functionality, convenience, fit, quality and durability.  What I wish to impart here is simply a collection of my current favourite items for day to day use and wear.  Keep in mind that while I work in the corporate world, it is located in a very small, rural community.  The reason for my mentioning this will become evident by the seeming casualness of some items mentioned as office appropriate.  The following are an eclectic mixture of pieces both office and casual centric, not all at the same time.


Coach Large City Tote.  No, I don’t live in a city, but I do work in an office.  This tote is just big enough, without being obtrusive, to stow my 15″ MacBook Pro, iPad, electronics power cords, camera, spare batteries, cosmetics and other items necessary for daily life on the go.  It is a little pricey, but worth it.  This bag is sturdy, universal enough to go from work to weekend, and for a tote, it has a variety of inner compartments on either side of the main large central area.  A small investment piece that will last you a lifetime if cared for respectfully.


Parajumpers Long Bear Parka.  Another piece on the pricey side.  However, the climate in Northwestern Ontario from November through to April is subzero.  In fact, in the past three weeks the median temperature has averaged -30 degrees Celsius.  We have already seen -40 degrees Celsius with windchill factored in.  I am tall and the length of this down filled, fur lined hooded parka covers my legs to just above the knee.  It is a practical and great looking all purpose overcoat for Canadian winters.  The sizing runs a little small, as the company is European.  If you normally wear a small, you might want to consider a medium, though, you would be best to find a retailer near you where you can try one on before buying to guarantee a good fit.  One thing I love about mine is that I have yet to see another person on the street with a Parajumpers Parka.  So, if you like to stand out in a crowd, get one of these and not only will you feel warm, but unique as well.


Moon Boot by Tecnica.  Yes, these are reminiscent of a ski hill in a bad 80s movie, but they by far are the lightest, yet warmest boots I have ever worn.  Considering the price, at $100 a pair, they are also the best value to keep your feet warm this winter.  Compared to some technical winter-wear giants, whose boots I have paid hundreds for, these are exponentially warmer.  Given that I have already described the climate where I live, I never imagined that these light as air boots would keep my feet as warm as they do.  I can only guess it is due to the hundreds of tiny little air pockets in the thick, foamy footbed and surrounding boot area.  And, honestly, how retro-cool do they look?


J. Crew Boyfriend Cashmere Sweater.  Or, any soft, slightly oversized, cashmere sweater.  It can be equally dressed up for the office or down for the weekend.  With a neutral colour, like this heather grey, it will pair will almost anything and still look great.  Depending on the gauge of the knit, cashmere can be lightweight enough for year-round wear.  It is a staple item that should be in everyone’s wardrobe arsenal.


Abercrombie & Fitch Flannel Shirt.  Classic plaid prints never go out of style.  And, like a cashmere sweater, they can be styled up or down for both work and casual wear.  This one is particularly soft and the colours are vibrant and eye-catching.  It pairs well with dark denim, but also looks sharp with a navy trouser and blazer.  Abercrombie items are well crafted and durable.  For relatively inexpensive pricing, you get pieces that will last for years.

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