THANK GOODNESS Halloween is upon us: Now I can stop whining about the heat and humidity and start complaining about the cold! Time to survey the condition of the Ugg boots in the basement: Check! Also time to see if Costco has those fabulous knockoffs again: Damn! Good news only if you wear a size 6 or 7 shoe—other sizes are outta luck. And where did I put those suede mittens!?
Footwear, headgear, gloves for outdoors, soft things to wrap around chilly shoulders at home (why spend all that money overheating the house when you could be spending it on Botox, right?). That and a few cups of hot chocolate should get me through the winter. And a fire in the fireplace. And good friends. And maybe a fluffy dog or two. Yeah, that’ll do it.
Here are a few suggestions.
When cold weather hits, start with a cozy throw.
LEFT: A Tibetan Faux Fur Throw, 50 by 60 inches, is $99 in Ivory, Graphite or Nickel at Restoration Hardware.
RIGHT: The Minx Blanket, made of sheepskin from New Zealand, the country with more sheep than people! It’s from Bowron Sheepskins, and comes in Ivory, Dark Brown or Black. 4 feet 9 inches by 5 feet 10 inches, it’s $499 at Bowron.
LEFT: If you want to pull out all the stops, go for this Patchwork Mink Blanket from Pologeorgis. Only(!) $5,400 at Moda Operandi.
RIGHT: If you don’t claim this 50-inch-diameter Luxe Faux Fur Bean Bag, your pooch surely will (and why not?). It’s on sale for $239 in Arctic Fox, Lynx, Chinchilla, Mink or Wolf at Restoration Hardware.
Winter leads to plaid. Ballard Designs offers a few options.
LEFT: The Suzanne Kasler Plaid Throw channels the traditional Royal Stewart and Black Watch tartans plus a version in pale neutrals. They’re acrylic, 50 by 70 inches and $79 at Ballard Designs.
RIGHT: In a slightly offbeat color combo is this soft, handwoven acrylic Autumn Oversize Plaid Throw, 50 by 60 inches. It’s $79 at Ballard Designs.
LEFT: Feminine and warm don’t always go together. But this quilted Vest for All Seasons and Northcountry Flannel Shirt combo shows they can. The Rose Wood-color vest goes great with the Rose Wood/Mocha flannel shirt, but the vest also comes in Mocha and eight other colors, if you’re more comfortable playing down the “girl” in the pink (at my age, i’m trying to play it UP!) . The vest is $79.95, the shirt $69.95, both at Coldwater Creek.
RIGHT: If the Ileana sweater from Yeon doesn’t say “warm,” I don’t know what does. It’s a mix of angora, wool and cashmere and a little synthetic for durability. To balance the exaggerated fold-over collar, it’s cropped just a bit below the waist It’s $1,295 at Moda Operandi.
What every winter wardrobe needs: a shearling bucket bag from Mansur Gavriel, in pink or toasty brown. It’s $595 at Moda Operandi.
LEFT: From Bowron Sheepskins, comes the single-sided Minx Pillow, 16 by 24 inches, in Ivory, Dark Brown and Black. It’s $72 at Bowron.
RIGHT: Also from Bowron, an elegant silk blanket with a lambskin border. It’s 2 feet 6 by 3 feet 4 and $99 at Bowron.
Less extravagant than a sheepskin but still toasty.
LEFT: From Lemon, a Double Berber Blanket, 52 by 68 inches, in oxford or white sand. It’s $99 at Lord & Taylor.
RIGHT: A Sherpa and Jersey Throw, in white/navy (a thin stripe) or heather gray. It measures 50 by 70 inches and is $117 at Bloomingdale’s.
Don’t get cold feet.
LEFT: The Black Watch tartan makes me feel warm just looking at it, These loafers have a fabric upper and a faux-leather sole. Mine just arrived and they’re very handsome indeed. They’re $178 from J. Crew.
RIGHT: LittleBird Janet has had Ugg’s Ansley slippers for years and loves them. They have a wool lining and insole, plus a rubber sole so you can take out the garbage without suffering. They’re $100 and come in nine colors at Ugg.
LEFT: Here’s something toasty and oversize from Maison Margiela. It’s a dress (if you dare) or tunic of mohair with exaggerated dropped shoulders, a turtleneck and pockets. It’s $1,270 at Need Supply.
RIGHT: From Pologeorgis, the pink-and-perfect Two-Tone Fox Fur Earmuffs. They’re $250 at Moda Operandi.
Did I mention that BIG is the trend when it comes to puffers?
LEFT: This stylish, even ladylike houndstooth-check puffer jacket from Bacon is $785 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
RIGHT: This Michelin Man-looking coat is faux vinyl (polyester made from recycled plastic bottles!) and $119 at Zara.
LEFT: A few years ago my dog-park pal Lew was hired to teach for a year at the University of Alaska at Fairbanks. His first and best bit of preparation: buying a parka from Canada Goose. He hasn’t regretted it for a moment since. Here, the Kinley Insulated Parka, in seven colors including bright red and Classic Camo, is $825 at Nordstrom.
RIGHT: I felt a little silly living in the Mid-Atlantic states and buying a fur-lined trapper hat, but those late February nights walking the dog were so much the better for it. Let ’em laugh! The Canada Goose Aviator Hat trimmed in coyote fur in $295 at Nordstrom.
Later on, by the fire.
LEFT: Step 1, remind yourself what the fireplace is for. Then toss on a Color Cone for some blue and green flames. A 1-pound bucket of Color-Changing Color Cones is $19.95 at Plow & Hearth. (A bucket containing 2½ pounds is $29.95.)
RIGHT: Step 2, sit down and enjoy what many tastemakers have said is the best hot chocolate around. Rich in part because it’s made with milk, not water, the drink comes from Guittard Grand Cacao Drinking Chocolate. A 10-ounce container is $6.99 at Target.
How about really cozying up? Adopt a Great Pyrenees or two! A few weeks ago my friends Walter and Mary brought home Betsy and Frankie, seen here. These older dogs are b-i-i-i-g bundles of fur . . . and love. Just wrapping your arms around these guys will get your body temp up and your blood pressure down. The Appalachian Great Pyrenees Rescue is the place to contact.