An Ode to Ugly Winter Clothes

December 2, 2013 • Fashion

With the return of cold weather comes the return of moon boots and Uggs and puffy jackets. Coming with it also are the dime a dozen digs at the people who wear them- while we freeze our asses off in Zara faux fur and Uniqlo heat tech. I think, when you get into fashion, you get into many things within it – you can focus your attention on emulating runway looks, you might save up for those runway looks, you might be a model-obsessed, and so on and so forth. There are so many ways to break the industry down into something of a fandom – just as there are a a million ways to be obsessed with football or pop culture. There’s always something to know about, and consequentially, there’s always room to be really snobby and superior.


What I struggle with is the idea of fashion as a mode for coolness rather than individuality. Not even that – I don’t know if you can operate in fashion and have your aesthetics be truly individual. I don’t know what that even means. You usually slip into certain categories of fashion character anyway, and if you attend fashion week, you know what I mean. You just got off the L and you’re on your way to an off-site show but can’t be bothered to double check the address? Hang back, then follow the trail of the people wearing all black; just trail behind the ladies carrying a Celine handbag or three. At the tents at Lincoln Center? When you’re bored, count the number of Robots and other shit bloggers wear. You will always find your people. We all have a cult. It’s very much the same as your quintessential high school experience, only probably more money is involved and the grades are street style relevancy and seating assignments. God, this is why half the time I stay home and watch livestreams and eat pad thai.


I don’t think these kinds of status symbols or aesthetic markers make us any better or different from people who wear Uggs and puffy jackets or other prominent signifiers of Middle America. The whole concept of being cooler than somebody else because of one thing is the basis of fashion – truly embedded into its history, when you consider that certain fabrics and colors were restricted to specific classes for centuries — but it’s also insufferable and boring and it doesn’t have to be that way anymore. In this game, someone is always going to be better than you! You never win! I want to win, so I prefer not to play at all. Talking shit about the people who wear these uniforms of North Face and Uggs and Coach seems really boring to me–maybe because I totally wanted to be one when I was in middle school. The cool kids in my school wore their puffy jackets so well, ok? They really were committed to that North Face via Missy Elliot video scheme while they played wallsies and charmed me into doing their homework for them. Puffy jackets were homage to Missy and Busta Rhymes et all.


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Just driving in my mini-Hummer in my inflatable puffy jacket, it’s whatever.

These markers remind me of the best parts of the late ’90’s. We’re rounding out our current obsession with 90’s minimalism via Helmut Lang by way of Celine and Zara right now, but I’m happily waiting for puffy coats to make their high-brow comeback:


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Bring these into our lives again!!! Give me puffy jacket glamour!!!


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George was high fashion; everybody shut up.
Probably, I’m so interested in puffy jackets and big winter shoes because I’m attracted to the ugly, voluminous shapes, how they take up so much space, and how they’re so divisive. Fashion crowds totally loathe them and prefer black, sleek puffers. Slim, thin shapes are easier to be sexy and androgynous in, and I think this is indicative of a larger problem that fashion just makes literal. Take up less space and you’re sexier. Take up too much and you’re absurd. Or maybe it’s not that, and we all just want to be Bowie. Sexy, alien Bowie, who probably doesn’t ever need to wear puffy down jackets because he’s cold blooded and the Man Who Fell To Earth. He probably doesn’t get cold.


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Does this look like a man who feels? NO.


In any case, I’m well into my search for the ideal puffy coat so I can be the literal embodiment of warmth and unexpected glamour, I expect to see you in the racks soon enough. It’ll happen, I have no doubt.


  • Sarah

    I live in Canada where it’s not uncommon for it to be -30• C and it’s amusing to see the super cool fashionable people to dress in their coats made for a winter in Paris.

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