Warm AND Feminine

Two springs ago, I was SO happy to shed my thermals, jeans, snow boots, and jacket for swishy skirts, linen blouses, and capris. I started analyzing why it was I was so happy to leave those other clothes behind, considering that winter is my favorite season. The answer was that, having moved from California, 80% of our wardrobe could be worn year-round there. Now we were wearing 20% of our wardrobe for more than half the year. No wonder we were all sick of those clothes! So we bulked up our wardrobes a bit. It helped, but not completely.

Then this last summer, I had a nasty bout of the flu (aches, fever, bleh) for four days. While I took it easy, I had a sort of period movie-fest, watching: Pride & Prejudice, Little Women, The Four Feathers, Sense & Sensibility, and more. Many of the movies I watched had winter scenes in them. And what I noted as I watched was that the women of past times were warmly bundled for winter AND they looked feminine! That’s why I am so glad to shed those winter clothes…they don’t feel feminine!

So for the last few months, I’ve been adding items to the wardrobe. Now I don’t like to spend much money on clothes…very little, in fact. So I hunted the thrift shops and consignment stores for good deals in feminine, winter clothing. These are some of the new additions:

- A three-quarter length black wool coat (looks brand new) bought for $4.99! Now I will save the bulky parka only for snow play, snow removal, or walks in the falling snow. The black wool coat is much less bulky and pairs well with pretty, feminine scarves.

- A new pair of boots. These I found new at Marshalls and paid for them almost entirely with a gift card. I was so tickled to find boots that fit all the specifications I had in mind: had to look like old-fashioned lace-up boots, had to have almost no heel (for my arthritic knee…oh dear), and had to have great treads (no more nasty spills on ice, please).

- A couple of new boiled wool jackets, as boiled wool is delightfully warm and lightweight. I love the crewel work on this one (a thrift store find).

And I love the sleeves and ruffled front on this brown one (consignment store purchase).

- Velvet made women of the past look feminine in the winter. Not many people wearing velvet these days. But stretch velvet (don’t you love how it’s called that?…like we don’t know it’s really velour, but whatever…)…anyway…stretch velvets are everywhere. I found these three tops, cranberry, plum, and brown, at thrift shops.

- I’m challenging myself to wear more skirts this winter. I’ve realized that I tend to think of my winter skirts as only for church during the winter. But this winter, I’m going to try to wear them more at home and out…long skirts with tights, thermals, knee high socks and boots for warmth. This one won’t be warm enough once its really cold, but I am loving this 1860s-inspired modern skirt!

- Scarves! I bought five beautiful scarves…four of them are the big pashmina shawls. I like the flexibility of being able to wear them as scarves or shawls. The prettiest scarf is this pale blue, damask patterned one. And although its not as large, nor as warm, I just fell in love with this silk backed and velvet flocked silk scarf…so pretty.

I’m looking forward to feeling and looking feminine in my favorite season soon!


  1. GREAT insight. When I can find cashmere @ thrift prices, THAT is a happy day :) Talk about feeling feminine!

    I come from the South/Midwest and remember reacting in shock the first time I saw a New England woman in Birkenstocks with a skirt and tights. But @ least she was in a skirt, not many brave this weather in a skirt.

    deb meyers

  2. Cashmere at thrift prices? I'm waiting for that moment! Good for you!

    I'm going to attempt skirts this winter (wool ones). I may find that they only worked in the past because they had three or four petticoats beneath them. We'll see.

  3. I have never found cashmere in my size, only my daughter's! But always looking :) I love the bell-sleeved jacket you found.


  4. I love this post! What beautiful thrift store finds! I hope you will give us a "warm and feminine" update once it gets really cold:) Let us know what is working for you and what isn't. I love those period movies too and had the exact same thoughts while watching them. Those women never even gave pants a thought no matter how cold, it just wasn't "done". :) I'm trying to wear more feminine clothing in the winter also, I find it easier to "dress" when going out; staying home finds me in sweats and jeans, not the look I'm going for.

  5. Kate -
    Thank you for sharing your world with us. It is so special to see life through your eyes and your words. You have inspired me so many times to look at "my world" in a positive way and see the beauty surrounding me; and to thank God I am blessed to be a homemaker (for nearly 40 years, 23 of which were spent homeschooling our 6 children). I love the name you have chosen for your farm - one of my goals for 2012 just may be to name our little 2 and a half acre farm. God bless you - Esther from NJ

  6. Kelly - I will try to remember to give an update. I'm sure there will be many days when I will still wear sweat pants at home this winter, but this time I'm going to try pairing them with one of my stretch velvet tops (instead of a sweatshirt or t-shirt) and a pretty, simple necklace. I've also found that long, knit skirts are as comfortable as sweats...and so much more feminine.

    Esther - Oh! Your sweet words have touched my heart, and I am truly humbled. May God bless you!


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