what to wear for winter
active winter fashions
This month, we’re honoured to welcome famed Olympic speed skater Blake Skjellerup as our cover star. Inspired by both Blake and the anticipation of Whistler Blackcomb Winter Pride, we’ve found ourselves focusing our attention on the very best of winter fashion for active Canadians everywhere.
It just so happens that I have the unique opportunity of writing this article while staying in Vancouver. Despite this being my first visit out west, it’s easy to see that this is a city that lives for the outdoors and the next great adventure. While I couldn’t be more comfortable cozied up at The Four Seasons, the snowcapped mountains visible in the distance are a sobering reminder that the cold weather is on its way.
I decided to take advantage of my current surroundings and hit the streets to see what the locals are representing this season. After a quick stroll through Vancouver’s fashionable Gastown neighborhood, I extended my search by cruising up to Whistler village and taking in some of the truly breathtaking scenery.
When I left downtown Vancouver, I was sporting my favorite, fashionable travel staple — a simple black leather jacket. By the time I had reached the higher altitudes of Whistler, I was desperately scouring the shops in the area for added layers. From Vancouver to Halifax, every Canuck knows that the temperature can change in what seems like an instant. Therefore, you always need to start with a good base.
Any Canadian worth their weight in maple syrup will surely tell you that the goal of your winter wardrobe should be one thing and one thing only: warmth! I’m here to tell you that achieving a look that’s both toasty and tasteful this season isn’t impossible. The key to winter active wear is finding pieces that move with you, no matter what the plan is. Whether you’re hitting the slopes or sipping a warming cocktail by the fire, we’ve provided the perfect mix and match for any activity.
There’s no better way to prepare for the extreme cold than with a pair of ultra cool camouflage patterned Long Johns. This pair courtesy of Shared History begs the question; why did we ever settle for the boring simplicity of the standard white or grey in the first place? This cold weather staple offers a comfy fit and ladies, the alternative ‘Long Jane’s’ offer a slimmer fit for a more flattering look.
Continue to layer your legs with a national treasure, the classic pocket original sweatpants courtesy of Roots. Made from the brand’s Heritage salt and pepper fabric, this long-time fashion favorite is truly one of Canada’s greatest exports since Tim Horton’s coffee made its way stateside. These do come at a slightly higher price point as far as sweats are concerned, but they more than make up for it in terms of quality and timeless casual cool appeal. One thing to note is that these joggers are very roomy so you may want to think about going down a size for a better fit.
J Crew’s flannel work shirt is essential for any wardrobe and comes in a variety of colors and patterns. This is a fantastic piece that you can pair both with jogging pants when chilling out or dress up with jeans and a cardigan when moving from day to evening. Originally intended for men, women have also taken to rocking these light weight warmers by pairing them with leggings or simply tying them at the waste while wearing a denim jacket and beanie for that grunge inspired, Saturday morning coffee run. J Crew factory is a great way to save big, and it offers the added convenience of online shopping so be sure to check it out. Currently, I love these two I recently picked up in red/back and blue/yellow for a bargain at around $40 a piece.
Avoid the chills and embrace comfort by finishing off any winter look with an oversized chunky knit. This half long Intarsia Cardigan from Scotch & Soda is definitely one for the holiday wish list and is sure to keep the heat in all season long. This will also be a wonderful transitional item as you move from winter to spring for those awkward days when a parka is overkill but a simple sweater just won’t do the trick. Our super stylish gal pals over at Fitzroy Boutique are without a doubt a one stop shop for ladies knitwear no matter what you’re looking for. For example, this Pink Stitch Snow White cardigan looks like the perfect piece to get lost in for those cold afternoons that are better spent paired with a good book and a hot cup of cocoa. However, if you’re shopping on a budget and can’t splurge on any new big ticket items, simply update any existing look with the added layer of a festive scarf. This Tirkac Scarf from Penfield has all the makings of a classic accessory that you can return to each time the snow begins to fall.
Once suited, you’ll need to be booted. Whoever decided that Ugg boots were a natural match for winter had obviously never spent much time in Canada. So please, set your sheep skins out to pasture and invest in something more practical for the colder months ahead. The Berkeley Boot from The North Face will help you reach new heights of personal style. Unlike traditional hiking boots, these offer an updated, youthful look with the help of some cool colors while still maintaining the purpose of a sturdy grip. Take these from the snow packed trails to the crowd packed pubs all winter long as it’s the perfect match no matter what’s on the agenda. So while you may not be able to match Blake’s skills on the ice, you can surely go toe to toe with anyone in terms of style all winter long.
So get out there and enjoy all that winter has to offer in a seasonably sensible look that’s all your own. Even if you don’t find yourself preparing for the next Winter Olympics, you’re sure to receive a gold medal in fashion from the OUTVisions style team.
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