Severe Weather

Layers of protection

Toronto was under a severe weather advisory for the last two days. There was some rain and some snow but the real danger came from the cold (flash freezing causes black ice) and high winds (which blew the wind around causing poor visibility and made it feel even colder).

We stayed inside for most of the commotion but last night the alerts lifted and we went to the in-laws for dinner. It was still pretty wretched out so we had to prepare for the elements with layers.

Layer Number One. To protect our skin from the drying effect of the cold, we applied plenty of unguents and balms. I bought Mr. Andrew the shea butter-based Bev’s Skin Cream from a local artist’s market for his birthday. It’s very rich so it takes a while to absorb into the skin, but it does an excellent job at soothing skin and reducing that crinkly, crepey look. The Raven Creek Farm lip balm is a product I first bought a couple of years ago in Manitoba. I love it so much that I ordered more online. It’s almost time to get another batch.

Cold weather is sweater weather but lately I haven’t been happy with my silhouette under my knits so I ordered some new Shapermint bras to help smoothie out my shape. They just arrived on Friday. I wanted something wireless for comfort so I was not expecting a pushed in and up miracle but I’m feeling a little anxious underwhelmed. It was tricky to get the cup pads in place and the bottom kept rolling up (although that may have something to do with the copious amounts of delicious tortiere, salad and baked goods that we ate). As far as the smoothing business, however, it seemed to do the trick.

The other crucial part of the base clothing layer was a pair of merino wool Snag tights. I can’t sing enough praises for these tights. They are breathable, soft and comfortable and they don’t stretch out or roll down. I’ve had them for a couple of years now and they still hold their shape. They are perfect in every way.

Did I mention that I got some new clothes last week? I’ll write up a fuller report later — the weather has been too grey and gruesome to take decent photos. But amongst the new arrivals is this thrifted Lauren by Ralph Lauren oversized blazer (it still had the origins tags on it) which I wore over a sweater and thrifted Pendleton plaid skirt and knee high boots.

Finally the outerwear. My major concern was what if the TTC lost power and we had to walk in the wind and freezing temperatures. I needed clothes that were warm but that would not make me feel to sweaty. The evolution hot matron look is informed by practicality and street style looks on Pinterest. Last night I wore my new-to-me beaver fur, faux shearling vintage gloves (they remind me of a pair Marni made a few seasons back), and my DIY crochet square balaclava. Overall, this ensemble kept me cozy even when the wind sliced through the gaps between buildings, and prevented me from wiping out on black spots ice (thanks boots), yet never made me feel overheated even when we walked two long blocks from the subways (bus delays) or sat on the subway. Also did not return with chapped lips or cracked hands (thanks creams, ointments and gloves.