…and slap these bad boys on your mug. Seriously. This is not a drill. Every time I
saunter wander past the Fendi store in Soho I go weak at the knees. That crooked arm. Those cat-eye stylings. The crystal embellishments. It’s enough to make you run away and join a cult, a cult led by an oh-so-stylishly-dressed-influencer named Kaiser Karl. Don’t question it. Follow your instincts. Just go ahead and get these marvelous shades. Then bask in the glory of being on top of your style game. No sun necessary.
Right now I am stationed in the uber cool city of Berlin. And one thing that I have to contend with, that I have never had to contend with before, is dressing for a northern hemisphere winter. And boy am I unprepared.
Friends based in New York have, horrifyingly, worded me up on what you need. A proper down jacket: I hate down jackets. Heat Tech undergarments from Uniqlo: I once walked into a Uniqlo store and walked straight back out as I cannot stand the look of those awful, awful packable down puffer jackets for women (my prior point stands, but full disclaimer, I did end up buying one, but only the newer version that’s a diamond stitch and ONLY as a layering piece, I will never ever wear one of the classic down styles as my outer jacket!). And apparently, you need boots that have superior waterproof qualities, insulation, and extremely good tread because black ice is a real bitch.
As a true Melbournite who had only traveled to the ever balmy South East Asia and Europe in summer, the coldest I had experienced was probably somewhere around the 3 degree celsius mark. Sure – I had been to the snow a couple of times, but I felt even then it was above freezing temperatures, and again, I disliked it so much that I kept my distance (ie I try to avoid the cold as much as possible).
So this dressing for winter thing has got me freaked out. If I am settling in New York long term, must I buy a horribly ugly down jacket? Do I need an actual snow boot? Does anyone make snow boots that don’t make me want to throw up? And the worst thought of all for an Australian with an appreciation of style – would I have to wear Ugg boots? In public? (Seriously, people in the US love them – I don’t get it).
In my frantic search before I flew to Germany, I stumbled across these Coach bad boys online (pic below). I love these Urban Hiker boot, they work with denim, leather leggings and the best winter style staple – a roll neck sweater dress. But I am not confident they meet all the criteria for battling the streets post crazy winter snowstorm. They are definitely on my wishlist, but not as my ultimate snow battling companion.
When I hit Berlin the best I was equipped with was a pair of Sportsgirl heeled Chelsea Boots (see pic of similar style from Monki below). Fearing that the city would be blanketed in snow any minute, I continued a hunt for a suitable (or perhaps much more suitable than what was in my possession) boot. And here is what I discovered: no, nobody makes a snow boot that is even remotely attractive or stylish. Nobody. Even more so, nobody makes any sort of winter boot in black. Sorry guys, I am from Melbourne, if I am going to HAVE to buy a pair of these things, it’s gotta be in black.
In the end, I negotiated out the style factor and purchased a pair of Timberlands. Sure, I never, ever envisioned buying Timberlands, but they are waterproof, fleece-lined and have a good tread. Plus, I did opt for the style that rolls down to revel the teddy lining. I felt with these I could at least pull off that whole ‘toughened up sleek’ style – I am envisioning wearing them with my black and white pencil skirt with black tights, oversized white man shirt (courtesy of the boyfriend), chunky silver necklace, and faux fur vest. And, if it is freezing, I can roll up the boots and voila, they are combat boots. I must admit, they are not so bad, but the question still lingers – will they be enough to combat a full on city snow attack?
It was therefore with great glee that I discovered Balenciaga’s Lace Up Snow Boots, courtesy of FarFetch. Firstly, they are black. Secondly, they don’t look horrible! They are the best looking pair of Snow Boots that I have found, in fact, there is no feeling of nausea at all when I look them. And so my search is complete. I won’t buy them just yet – I think I actually need to experience how bad a Northern Hemisphere winter is before I cough up the money for these, but at least I know they exist. And who knows, maybe walking through city snow is so bad, I won’t even care what boots I am wearing. Haha, yeah right.
You know those moments when you discover something new, and you’re not sure how you feel about it, so you let it sink in for awhile before you decide what stance you are going to take? Well, that’s what happened when I saw this TopShop Unique Artichoke Floral Shirt Dress.
At first, it caught my eye. I loved the blue and black color tones, and of course I am a sucker for a good print. And, I loved the electric blue underlay that peeks out – I think there are some really cool things happening with hemlines at the moment, and this definitely played into that notion. But I was slightly thrown by the fact that it was TopShop Unique.
It’s not that I am against TopShop – no, I love TopShop, particularly for those times when the budget is stretched and I am wanting something fashion-forward, or even just when my other label loves have let me down. But it was because I stumbled across the dress while on my daily peruse of Net-A-Porter, and that threw me. I simply wasn’t expecting to see the TopShop brand (albeit their higher-tier brand Unique) on Net-A-Porter.
So what did I do? Well, I added the dress to my wishlist (just-in-case), and continued salivating over the other latest arrivals. Though as I continued about my business the following days, the dress kept popping up in my mind. And as I returned to it again and again in my mind and my browser, I realized that gosh-damn it this dress is brilliant. Made so by the fact that the print features artichokes, the silk georgette slip is removable (making that cool peek-a-boo hemline achievable across more items of the wardrobe), and it’s affordable. Plus it’s a killer style to pair with my favorite fall accessory, a black ankle boot. And that’s the beauty of fashion, it doesn’t matter what the brand is or where you get it, if the style is brilliant then it’s brilliant. Now if you excuse me, I need to hunt through Net-A-Porter for more brilliant brands that they unexpectedly sell.