Fashion and Frigidity: A Look at the Locals

Among the characteristics that distinguish Bozeman, the observably eclectic sense of style is remarkable. Having lived on the East Coast, where the population seemed homogenous with the invariability of Sperry Top-Siders, striped tops, pea coats and pastel-toned skinny jeans, Bozeman’s diversity is refreshing. Walking down Main Street, one can observe vintage-influenced outfits, metropolis styles, the outdoor enthusiast look, practical professional fashion, nautical-themes, gothic and punk wear, attire reminiscent of the steam-punk era, and so on. Further surprising, is that the styles continue even though temperatures decline into the negative double-digits. When the thermometer slides even slightly below zero, my outfit choices tend to shrink to the following: sweatpants, beanies, sweaters, blue jeans, snow boots and slippers. Fashion and sub-zero degrees seem incompatible, yet Bozmanites do not adhere to this belief. Through a few essential articles and creative slant, they continue their eclecticality even through frigidity. By experimentation and observation, I am learning the tricks to dressing well in the cold. If you are currently one who maintains a sense of winter style, you have my respect. If you are like me, wondering how to avoid looking frumpy without sacrificing fingers or toes, the following is for you.

1.   Wool- something in which the stylish and warm are fluent. Particularly, wool socks.  Nearly everyone owns a pair; mine sit in the same drawer with hiking clothing. However, those fuzzy little stockings are God’s winter gift to mankind. Utilizing wool socks opens the door to wearing fall boots and summer slip-ons. Even the ugliest pairs of stockings, which I happen to own, can be safely hidden underneath faux-leather and buckles. Additionally, wool socks pair nicely with short snow boots and I have learned folding over the top half inch to show a little fuzz is encouraged. Another trendy wool item is the knee-length skirt, which is toasty when coupled with leggings, my next topic.

2.   Leggings- the all purpose item. Base-layer synthetic leggings are an inobvious key to winter style. The first time I slipped mine on under a pair of skinny blue jeans, I asked myself, “Why have you never done this before?” A slim pair of leggings or a thick set of tights can be worn underneath nearly every pant, and turn skinny-jean-love into winter warmness. Skirts and dresses also look great and fit nicely with synthetic leggings, permitting them freedom from the closet to wait impatiently for spring no more.

3.   Knit headbands- the ear-saving device. My favorite aspect of crochet and knit headbands is their wide variety of styles. Blue and yellow Bobcat colors, ones with flowers and buttons, thick wool ones, and the variability goes on. Additionally, if one has a creative bone, knit headbands are fairly simple to make. Brown and pink wool threads, a trip the craft store for gold buttons, a few YouTube tutorials, and one can produce a decent-looking creation. A cute knit headband can make even the fall-back messy bun look like a winter-savvy hairstyle. Ears are hardy, but they appreciate being warm, too.

4.   Convertible glove-mittens- or as I have heard them titled, “glittens.”  Many Bozeman stores carry them, from synthetic sporty ones, to wool knitted ones, to fleece-lined ones.  Certainly I am not the only one who sacrifices warm fingers to send a text message or carry on a phone conversation while walking to school. Owning a pair of glittens drastically improves the necessary winter travelling, including keeping fingers from freezing to the steering wheel.  Mom will still receive her call home, and you will not risk frostbite in the meantime.

Each Bozmanite has their particular tips and tricks, but I hope these four assist both your wear and warmth this winter. If you have a winter essential that helps you survive and thrive in the cold, we’d love to hear. Tweet us at: @MSUExponent. Go forth and be warm, Bobcats!