Wednesday, 21 January 2015


School run fashion: oh, the glamour
"You're wrapped up warm," said another mum to me yesterday as I did the school run.

Er, yes. That would be because it is 2 degrees celsius out there this afternoon. So, yes, I am wrapped up in my full Long Island winter gear: fashionistas might like to note it consists of LL Bean coat and sheepskin boots, J.Crew hat and scarf-from-ages-ago. And my special smartphone-friendly leather gloves.

Other Mums looked quite jaunty in their normal get-ups, without hat or gloves, but not me. I believe in dressing appropriately for the weather, however unglamorous it may be. I'll have you know if it gets any colder I'll be wearing my thermal ski leggings underneath, and my toasty Uniqlo heat-layering black top (note to self: do not wear it to any more work meetings in overheated offices. People will think you are having hot flushes).

Fellow blogger Tara at Sticky Fingers posted the other day about wrapping up warm for the rugby sidelines, and I'm totally with her on that. If I go to a sports event, I'm the one huddled in the most clothes possible, wondering where the hot coffee is (and not knowing what on earth is going on in the game). The boys have tennis lessons in a local park, and it takes place outdoors on a floodlit court. Which has been fine until this week, when it really is too cold to sit around watching for 45 minutes, so I retreated indoors. Normally, I would be there in full ski gear, daydreaming about being at the Australian Open instead of watching a bunch of nine year olds try to get the ball over the net.

Earlier this winter, when the temperature was somewhat milder, I was amused by another Mum at tennis who was far more concerned about her child being cold. As they are running around (and don't seem to feel the cold anyway) this wasn't really an issue. In fact, the child was determinedly throwing his thick coat off and insisting he was fine, until she finally she took off her own pink jumper and made him wear that - oh the indignity - while she sat there, martyr-like, looking frozen. As you an imagine it all ended in tears.

I know Toni aka Expat Mum, in Chicago, will scoff at our softness, but it really is a bit parky in England at the moment. And, unlike America, we don't have nice heated car seats, well-insulated houses and efficient, vented-air heating systems. In the land of clunky radiators, British Gas and "put on another jumper," winter is really quite harsh.

I'll leave you with a lovely advert from Sweden which I happened to write about this week. It's called "Vintersaga" and it's all about melancholy wintery feelings in the land of the frozen north. Enjoy.


Clare Taylor said...

Funny enough I was just thinking about this - dressing appropriately in cold weather, and how in the UK people don't seem to do it as much - as I walked to school to collect the boys this afternoon, in -13degC. I was wearing my woollen hat (with a jaunty fur trim flower), warm leather gloves and my calf-length shearling coat and I don't mind saying, I was warm as toast. The real thing really IS better than the North Face alternative. However, I know the whole fur / shearling thing can cause judge-ism back in the UK, and whilst I'm perfectly prepared to defend my purchases with a laughing retort about having lived through 6 Russian winters so believe I'm entitled to be warm, it did occur to me that there may be people in the UK who would never comment out loud but likewise would probably never speak to me again either. Perhaps I might just have to be cold once I get back to Blighty?

Mandy said...

I always find it interesting to read about what "cold" is to other people in other places!
Here when it's 2 degrees Celsius in winter I'm guilty of letting my daughter out with her jacket wide open, and have more then once taken the puppy out wearing just a t-shirt and jeans.
It's the -35 days, or -46 with the wind chill where I actually bundle up in weather appropriate garb. :) Chances are that's why I've got arthritis starting in my hands and I'm not yet 40...
Long time lurker, first time commenter! :)

Dumdad said...

Just watching the video made me want to put on an extra jumper!