Witnessing the first pristine, white snowflakes dance atop my car windshield in early December can be a rather heart-warming experience. I must admit though, snow becomes considerably less romantic when I’m exposed to a bounty of hideous UGG Boots, scantily-clad women in less-than-appropriate attire for clubbing purposes and a plethora of disgusting, matching winter accessories, among other things.
While most people admittedly hate Chicago’s winter months (also known as half of the year), it’s safe to assume that some people hate it so much that they lose all sense of reason when it comes to fashion. It’s almost as if they’re completely blinded by their disdain for slush and have completely forgotten how to dress themselves.
Instead of using winter as an excuse to find cute, unique accessories, women shell out almost $200 for UGG Boots every season, which are quite possibly the “ugg”-liest “fashion footwear” to grace the planet. UGG feet look big, round and cartoonish—except not in the cute kind of way. Yes, I know, it’s like walking on a cloud all day long and, yes, they were made in Australia with genuine sheepskin. Call me crazy, I just think there are more original boots for sale that are more affordable and—get this—are actually weather resistant! I can handle below-freezing temperatures, but flared jeans tucked into UGG Boots literally make me cringe. A facemask can protect you from intense wind, but what can I buy to protect me from glancing in the direction of those shapeless, chestnut-colored monstrosities?
UGG Boots aside, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the mini-dress and stiletto look in January. You know the type. It’s the girl who wears a sequined top as a dress with opaque leggings and pumps, falling over herself with a limp cigarette between her fingers, sobbing into her bedazzled cell phone while shivering and openly complaining about how cold it is outside of a bar at 3 a.m. You’re not wearing a jacket and it’s 32 degrees. That’s why you’re cold. You sacrificed your comfort and you run the risk of catching pneumonia for a chance to have a one-night stand.
I’m also extremely saddened by the amount of matching winter accessories I witness on a daily basis. A red, cable-knit scarf with red, cable-knit gloves topped off with a red, cable-knit hat just makes me sick to my stomach. When did people determine that it’s socially unacceptable to look cute and marshmallow-like during the wintertime? Wear a hat with ear flaps that you acquired in the 4th grade and a scarf your sister’s cousin knit you last summer at day camp. Eclectic winter accessories are endearing. Let us not forget the adorability of when our mothers made us wear hats with pom-poms and little puffy coats. I see no reason not to continue looking adorable as an adult. And nothing says adorable like a gaggle of friends wearing mismatched winter accessories.
A lot of the time, I feel like we Chicagoans are so disillusioned by cold weather that we neglect the wholesome ideas of sledding, hot chocolate, snowball fights and accessory shopping. More people should check out holiday do-it-yourself craft sales for mittens with buttons on them. Or, hey, here’s a novel idea—you could even knit yourself something that’s 100 percent unique. Falling prey to the clichéd trends—which aren’t actually trendy in the first place—is not your only option.
I’m fully aware that I’ll inevitably run into my personal fashion faux pas all winter long, but I’m merely suggesting that you, Chronicle readers, break the mold a little bit. Replace your UGGs with some one-of-a-kind boots from a local boutique. Be bold and wear floral print gloves. Ask your mom if you can borrow her vintage-inspired scarf. I’m begging you. Just embrace the amount of layers you’ll be sporting for the next four months. I promise that the quirky items you choose will continually make you smile during the grayest months of the year.