Monday, October 31, 2011

Winter in the Snowiest City in New York State: A Preparatory Guide

Winter in Syracuse is cold.  It is awfully, awfully cold, and awfully, awfully snowy, and if you measure the season by "first snow to last snow" it's about five months long here.  My wardrobe has adapted appropriately: I own a pair of snow boots, and a knee-length down coat, and a warm hat with earflaps, and gloves, and a variety of scarves, and a clear zippered container full of sweater tights.

Here's a typical late-fall, early-winter outfit, not counting under-underthings (bra and panties and so forth):

Winter Wardrobe

1. Chemise dress.
2. Half-slip or bloomers.
3. T-shirt.
4. Wool skirt.
5. Belt.
6. Sweater tights.
7. Wool socks.
8. Cotton-blend cardigan.
9. Scarf.
10. Hat.
11. Boots.
12. Trench coat.

I would need three hands to count all those garments, folks.  Now, the task I'm faced with at this point in the season (first snow was last Thursday!) is adapting the late-fall outfit for a cold, snowy Syracuse winter.  Some of that is easy--swap out the scarf, hat, boots, and coat for warmer versions--and I'm working on warmer slips and bloomers and a set of wool sweaters, as well as the now-yearly ritual of darning and re-darning my ancient wool socks (you know how every cell in the human body is replaced by a new one every seven years?  yeah, that's gonna be these socks pretty soon).

But there's an important gap--namely, the foot or so between the hem of my skirt and the top of my socks.  Tights alone do not suffice!  When my shins get that weird numb sensation and I have to rub the feeling back into them after a ten-minute wait for the bus, it is a problem.

I think I might need leg warmers, you guys.

My question is this: how to go about it?  I don't knit, and don't you dare get me started--I don't need another hobby--but I've been thinking about reclaiming some more thrift-store sweaters and cutting the arms down into leg-sized tubes.  Would that work, do you think?  I'm just desperate for another layer, and I'm not going to go the Edwardiana route of making my skirts floor-length and them hemming them with horsehair braid or some bullshit.  I don't care if I look like an extra out of Flashdance.  Advice would be appreciated.



P.S. Happy Halloween! Today I am dressed as a lumberjack, or, a lesbian from the nineties.


  1. Maybe you could cut the arms off of a very stretchy 90's sweater??

  2. That's what I'm thinking--a trip to the Salvation Army is in order! I could use the original cuffs for one end, and bits of waistband or neckline ribbing for the other, probably--hell, I could even line it if it wasn't warm enough. I'll report back.