Monday, November 17, 2014

American-Made Cold Weather Essentials

Last winter was cold and snowy. Last winter was downright brutal. As a native Upstate New Yorker, you can call me an expert on knowing how to bundle up and battle the snow. If reports are correct, this winter could be just as bad. I've already been taking inventory of my winter gear and making some key purchases to make sure I am ready for it. For me, the key to good winter clothing is function first, style second. Thankfully, I've been able to locate items that both fend off the chill and are fashionable.

Here are almost 20 American-made items that I'd consider cold-weather essentials:

1. James Perse Cotton/Cashmere Rib Turtleneck* -- As a basic warm layer, nothing beats a cozy turtleneck in a cashmere blend knit. The 3/4 sleeves might seem like a weird idea to some for cold weather, but I think it makes it much more comfortable.

2. Emerson Fry Big Cable Turtleneck Sweater -- For those who need a slightly beefier turtleneck. It's no surprise to most that I would pick with this big alpaca-blend cable-knit turtleneck from Emerson Fry. To me this is the definition of winter coziness.

3. Appalatch Indigo Dyed Wool Long Sleeve Henley -- I got a firsthand look at Appalatch's amazing sweaters at Northern Grade Brooklyn. I pre-ordered this long sleeve henley and I can't wait until it arrives. Wool sourced from American Rambouillet sheep, hand-dyed with natural indigo, and machine washable.

4. AG Jeans Stretch Corduroy Pants in Super Black* -- I have two pairs of AG cords and I love them. These black ones would be a great alternative to a black skinny jean in the winter.

5. Splendid Marble Thermal Pant* -- I have several similar pairs of slim lounge pants and they get nonstop wear when I'm at home. I think these are even cuter. Pockets are essential for stowing your laundry card or a few bucks when you need to make a quick dash to the laundromat or corner store.

6. Ramblers Way Wool Leggings -- These lightweight Rambouillet wool leggings can be worn under pants when the thermometer plunges and you need an additional base layer. Machine washable.

7. Tradlands Arapahoe -- This buffalo-check plaid heavy flannel shirt will be my third Tradlands shirt purchase. In the traditional black and red plaid to go with my growing collection of flannels.

8. Pendleton Portland Collection Tolovana Dress* -- If you're going to wear a dress during the winter, make it a lined wool one that can be layered with tights and warm accessories.Three-quarter sleeves, boat neck, front pockets. The last from Pendleton's amazing Portland Collection (and on sale). Available in Red Pilot Rock as well as this Oxford Mix.

9. Woolrich Men's Bethlehem Reversible Wool Vest -- This men's vest could easily be unisex. Reversible, pockets, and a two-way zipper.

10. The Arrivals Artemis Modular Parka -- Ever since I saw this parka on The American Edit, it's been on my mind. Fashionable, versatile, and reasonably priced. Made of olive twill with an optional merino wool shearling removable liner.

11. Topo Designs Wool Beanie -- A classic unisex beanie hat made from worsted wool. Made in Colorado. Also available in navy and olive green.

12. Faribault for Target Wool Scarves in Port Stripe (left) and Cannon Stripe (right)*  -- I'm loving my wool infinity scarves, but perhaps you'd enjoy the more traditional versions. So well-priced, I can't even believe it. Available online only.

13. Upstate Stock Ragg Wool Gloves with Deer Skin in Natural. I just recently purchased these, along with a fingerless pair, and I love them. Made in Upstate New York, tagged in NYC. Men's sizes available as well.

14. Wigwam Rebel Fusion No-Show Socks* -- Although I didn't think an ankle sock would get so much use in the winter, these get a regular workout in my sock rotation. The are just the right things to wear with ankle booties when it gets chilly. I have subsequently ordered more.

15. B.ella Ribbed Cashmere Blend Socks* (shown at top) -- Not only are these a staple for me in the winter months, they've become my go-to gift for friends and loved ones. They are luxurious, warm, and insanely soft. Knee-high ribbing allows you to easily wear them over skinny jeans and leggings.

16. KD Dance Chunky Bouclé Wool Leg Warmers* -- Not just for dancers. Pull these on to keep legs warm. Available in various colors and lengths: 18" (knee-high), 30" (thigh-high), and 48" (mile-high). Made in NYC.

17. L.L. Bean Shearling-Lined Bean Boots (shown at top) -- I love, love these boots. Comfortable enough to wear all day long, warm enough to survive an outdoor bowl game on an icy January day. L.L. Bean should be paying me at this rate; I've had several friends buy these Maine-made boots based on my recommendation.

18. Stabilicers Lite -- This year I'd like to get some steel cleats for my Bean boots. They attach the sole of your boot, giving traction on icy NYC sidewalks. I like that these attach and detach easily, can be put into my bag when not in use, and come in several colors.

19. Faribault Mill Lodge Stripe Wool Throw in Coffee/Natural -- Yes, I've been on Faribault Mill kick lately. Love this wool throw in a natural, easy stripe. Permanently moth-proofed. Great for snuggling on the couch or long car rides.

* Disclaimer: This post contains some affiliate links.

(Photo credits, in order: me, James Perse, courtesy of Emerson Fry, Appalatch, Nordstrom, Splendid, Ramblers Way, Tradlands, Pendleton, Woolrich, The Arrivals, Topo Designs, Target, me, me, KD Dance, L.L. Bean, courtesy of Faribault Mill Co.)