Frocks & Socks – The Fall/Winter edit

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It’s been a while since I did a capsule wardrobe update, but I’m still loving this concept! I created a ‘Fall’ wardrobe, forgot to photo it and then Winter arrived, and many of the same pieces stayed put, with a few swaps for warmer layers. I find it interesting to see that I’m very much led by colour each season, whereas my summer edit was full of blues and stripes, the Fall/Winter one has many more autumnal colours.

What have I learnt so far… mostly that you need far less clothes than you think you do. Having less makes sure the items I do have I really like, they fit well and wearing them to death is a pleasure. You would think you would get bored of having the same few things to wear, but it makes finding things so much easier.

This time around I didn’t have as many bottoms – mostly because other than jeans, leggings and a few skirts why would you want to wear anything other than leggings when it’s cold?! I also didn’t really bother too much with shoes. What’s the point. I had a lovely knee high pair of boots I wore before the snow arrived. Then the snow came. So my show requirement it mostly do these boots work in the snow, are they warm, are they comfy and how waterproof are they. Then it’s big boots for snow days, warm boots for dryer days, and brown ankle boots for when its warm, dry and there isn’t much snow on the ground. I could include some more pairs, but I wont wear them so I didn’t.

Of course Winter makes me want to live in knitted jumpers, cosy socks and all the scarves. Now there are the smallest signs of spring I’m looking forward to thinking about my spring capsule. But here is my Fall/Winter edit.

Tops: Tshirts x 4, Vest x 2, Long sleeve top x 3, Shirt x 3, Jumper x 5, Cardi x 4, dress x 5, Bottoms x 4, skirts x 2, shoes x 3 = 35

Strawberry T, Gap: Blue T, New Look: Green T, Old Navy

Grey T, Gap: Black vest, Old Navy: White vest, H&M

Long sleeve stripe, New Look: White long, Old Navy : Dotty long, Dorothy Perkins

Green plaid shirt, Old Navy: Grey plaid shirt, clothes swap: Dotty shirt, Old Navy

Maroon knit, Thrifted: Striped knit, Gap: Navy wool, Gap

Striped Knit, Gap: Blue Knit, Old Navy: Blue cardi, New Look

Peach cardi, New Look: Navy cardi, Next: Grey Knit cardi, Fat Face

Blue dress, Thrifted: Navy lace, Apricot: Black dress, Old Nacy

Orange cat dress, Thrifted: Stripe Knit dress, Gap

Grey wool, Old Navy: Black leggings, Zara: Grey leggings, Gap

Jeans, Gap: Floral maxi skirt, New Look: Bird skirt, Thrifted

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Snow boots, Bearpaws: Snuggly boots, UGG: Brown ankle boots, Thrifted

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X Country Ski-ing

Last weekend, Kiwi and I finally got around to trying x-country skiing. There are several parks near us and this is a popular activity in the winter. The parks convert their usual hiking and mountain bike trails into loops for skiers. Given the amount of snow we seem to regularly have, and the lack of many hills I can see why many skiers take up this winter sport.

I was a bit reluctant to start with as a downhill skier I wasn’t sure there would be a great deal of fun to be had ‘walking’ on ski’s. Due to the lack of hills I figured it was probably going to be a lot of hard work. This was based on having ‘walked’ in normal ski’s which is exhausting.

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Frozen lighthouses

Now the polar vortex has moved on and there is a brief respite in the freezing temperatures, the snow has started melting and the icicles have all fallen off the roof. We spent a day driving up the coast to see how Lake Michigan had fared in the recent cold blast. Although its massive and looks like the sea, its fresh water so it freezes. This make some impressive icebergs that float around on the edge of the lake. It also looks fascinating seeing shards of ice and ice topped surf bobbing up and down.

Having seen some amazing pictures of the coastline we explored Benton Harbour and South Haven. Both have lighthouses that freeze up in winter. this makes some natural ice sculptures that are spectacular. You can walk along the frozen spit to the end of the lighthouse, which in itself feels like exploring Antarctica. I even kept an eye out for whales surfacing in the water – obviously never going to happen due to the previously mentioned fresh water!!

The lighthouses themselves were impressive enough without any wildlife. Our first stop in South Haven found a pillerbox red lighthouse, that really contrasted with the ice sculpture forming around it. We also stopped and walked around the town and had some amazing onion ring stacks in the local pub! I got to test out my winter boots and my new winter coat that fared well keeping me snug as a bug!

At Benton Harbour the beach front had rows of ice dunes that stretched out almost as far as the lighthouse. Here you could access both lighthouses as they signalled the shipping lane. We will be returning once it freezes again for some more shots, and in the summer to lounge on the beach!

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Winter boots

So it gets pretty cold here. We already had our first snow shower in October! Apparently there are all sort of warnings of a polar vortex about to grip us in coldness. I’m not really sure what this means but there are some negative degrees on the weather forecast and more snow showers on there way. Apparently with the combined ‘lake effect’ its going to get really cold. Kiwi and I have a bad habit of ending up in cold places, so you would think I’d be well prepared by now. But I’m not. My warm clothing consists of Ugg boots and Christmas jumpers, possible a pair of fleece lined leggings and heat warmers socks – they have their own togg rating they are amazing!

So I realised how hideously prepared I am for Arctic conditions. I don’t own a single pair of waterproof and warm shoes. I threw out my walking shoes when we moved – they were 14 year old! and leaked. One of them foamed when I walked in the rain from a previous shampoo incident in my suitcase…. but they smelt nice :-)

So I did some on-line browsing and found a pair of waterproof and warm shoes to keep my toes happy. Step forward the Desdemona by Bearpaws.

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I really have no idea why shoe companies like handbags name their products with bizarre names. I noted Bearpaws currently have a hunger games theme going on, you can purchase the prim and the katniss….

I’ve had many pairs of Bearpaws previously – wool lined boots that don’t sag like Uggs, keep their shape, last years and are reasonably priced. If you are in the UK you can usually nab a few pairs at TK Maxx. I wish I’d brought an extra pair last year! I road tested my new boots at the recent rugby match we went to, the day after it snowed and was pretty chilly. They are indeed warm, comfy although they are still breaking in, and they seemed water proof in the snow dusting we had. They also make me feel like I’m back in Cologne at the Christmas markets drinking Gluevine. Its the laces, they should match perfectly with my Christmas jumpers! Now all I need is a down coat that is effectively a giant duvet and I am good to go!