Friday, January 31, 2014

Inspirado: Maggie from Northern Exposure


Used "Arctic Conditions" army surplus coat: Armynavydeals
Snow boots: Sorel via consignment shop
Scarf: Asos
Bomber hat: Once bought it for an ex boyfriend but he didn't want it so I took it 
Mittens: Hand made by my sis-in-law Alessandra

I was going to say that this isn't an outfit curated for style -- just what I've been wearing to cope with the Polar Vortex and all that. It's true that I have a LOT of more fashion forward coats: an orange fitted overcoat, a Scandinavian wool cape, a 70's shearling coat, a 1950's swing coat -- none look ideal with the snow boots I prefer when there's a foot of snow out and it's -15°F/-26°C with the windchill. 

But I have to admit that even though there are clearly utilitarian reasons behind wearing my army parka and bomber cap, there's still an aesthetic image in play for me when I wear them; a certain, unintentional stylishness that's distinct but tough to describe. It's something about the oversized nature of serious winterwear; and something about being a tough, smart, good lookin' babe underneath. Smart because you know that you need a real coat when it's cold as a bastard outside and you need to help your dad jumpstart the truck, or chop wood, or look for your dog in the field out back -- or maybe something else from my upbringing, or probably yours. 

The best pop culture icon I can think of to represent this niche cold-weather style is Maggie from the 90's series Northern Exposure. Looking back on it, I probably took a lot more comfort and inspiration in her character's wardrobe than I realized.   


Technically, if we're exploring 'Hot Girl in a Big Parka' as a trope, there's also a shitty Kate-Beckinsale-sploitation movie I had to review for work a couple years ago called Whiteout.


I'm open to more examples if you can think of any.






I don't have much to add except that 1. I almost fell down while trying to get my footing in the snow to take this picture, and 2. I agree about the big, utilitarian parka being stylish, even if it's unintentional. A woman being tough and handy is just sexy, it's that simple. And a woman being unafraid of her masculine side also highlights that which is most feminine -- or however that saying goes. -MC


12 comments :

  1. Something Timmy said a couple years ago stuck with me: The stupider you look in winter, the smarter you look. Basically, the more stupid looking your winter clothes are, the smarter you look. Though, you somehow managed to look smart and awesome in your winter clothes.

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    1. You need another wool skirt in your life:

      https://www.etsy.com/listing/46094740/60s-wool-plaid-skirt?ref=shop_home_active_12


      I'm mostly sharing it with you because I wish I could fit it! It has the most adorable pockets!

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    2. Timmy and I are of a mind! I literally taught almost exactly this principle to Gbear when she was three, gender obsessed (as kids that age are), and didn't want to wear her winter coat because it "wasn't fancy." I said that if you see a woman who chooses to dress fancy when it's too cold for her outfit, she becomes less pretty because you know she's not being smart. I tried to also emphasize that being pretty just doesn't always matter and isn't that important, but it was that first idea that stuck! :D

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    3. Also: Fair enough, this skirt is adorable!

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  2. OMG I watched NE so obsessively when it was on!! You are right that Maggie is a fashion role model for interesting reasons. Part of why her clothes look appealing is what they represent about her personality.

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    1. Totally! Maggie's got no time for bullshit, or for fussy outerwear! ;D

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  3. You have that same quality BTW. MC is right tough babes are sexy!!

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    1. You are too kind, babe. I aspire to Maggie's tough babe status, that's for sure. :)

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  4. Maggie O'Connell was among my few crushes on TV characters. Dressing to quite clearly be so comfortable, Maggie seems comfortable *in her own skin*. Confidence is the sexiest trait, and knowing how to use everything in a tool box is a close second.

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