Growing up in southern California, I experienced winter differently than have my New Jersey-bred children. Back then, a typical winter-day activity could start in the snow and a few hours later end at the beach. My winter gear consisted of a thick sweatshirt, because “it can get really cold at night and even drop into the 40s.” For those really frosty days, some people had a wool-blend coat stuffed in a closet somewhere. Snow boots stayed in a box in the attic for those special trips to the mountains, and friends borrowed from each other if they happened to travel to the east coast. Rain boots were more of an accessory than a necessity, thanks to California’s ongoing droughts, and Uggs—those weren’t even a thing back then so we didn’t have anything to keep our toes warm on frosty 60-degree mornings.
Imagine my shock when I went to college in New York only to find my roommates unpacking multiple coats. It turned out that my oh-so-warm coat that was supposed to save me from frostbite was actually just a starting point in the outerwear department. After pouring over catalogs, my head was spinning, but I settled on a black behemoth of a winter coat. It hit me mid calf, had a giant hood, stuffed with thinsulate, some furry thing around the hood—the works. (I still have it. It was definitely a sound purchase.)
I won’t torture Jewish Link readers with my search for boots—the months of purchasing, trying on, returning and starting all over again with a new cycle of boot inventory. Coats, boots, gloves—it was just annoying and left me feeling like a blob of winter gear. There had to have been a better way to dress for the cold without feeling out of my element.
For this month, The Fashion Link teamed up with fashion blogger Bari Mitzmann to help readers dress for cold seasons, whenever they decide to arrive. Don’t be fooled by the year-round picturesque summery backgrounds in her @Barianna Instagram posts. Though currently a resident of Las Vegas, Mitzmann knows a thing or two about cold weather apparel, having grown up in New York. Mitzmann was more than happy to share her knowledge and help readers blend current styles with some practical (and sometimes not-so-practical, but cute) fashion tips for a winterized wardrobe.
By Jenny Gans