The Freeze & Thaw Cycle


Within the span of a week Chicago experienced both a small blizzard (8 inches of snow fell) and a thunderstorm– it’s definitely been an atypical winter this year. Up until two weeks ago the temperatures were still hitting the 50s; every other January I’ve lived here it’s been 10 degrees or below!
Since moving to Chicago from Los Angeles in 2007, I have had to come up with ways to beat the lethargy of winter, it’s definitely easy to go into “hibernation mode” when everything is slushy outside and it gets dark at 4PM. Instead of nesting into my apartment I challenge myself to re-explore one neighborhood each week to take photos, shop and discover areas that may have previously gone overlooked. Two weekends ago my roommate Adeline and I decided to poke around Lincoln Square, the historically German neighborhood that now houses tasty restaurants, a $5 movie theater (The Davis) and locally owned shops. We brunched at Julius Meinl, an Austrian cafe, then wandered around the snowy streets.
If you’re curious about the first photo in the post, we came across this industrial pipe near a furniture store in the Ravenswood neighborhood area. Thankfully Adeline is indulgent with my blog photo whims and didn’t question why I’d want to take a photo inside a huge pipe. I was tempted to pose as Da Vinci’s “Vetruvian Man” but thought that might be a bit much.

There are rows of late 19th century brick buildings and little 2-story bungalows from the 1920s and ’30s lining the side streets of Lincoln Square.

Julius Meinl is known for its coffee and its delectable baked treats. Somehow I resisted the “Chocolate Decadence” above in favor of walking to Cafe Selmarie for some Swedish cookies.
Perfectly frosted cupcakes at Julius Meinl.

There is no shortage of tempting confections in Lincoln Square, my favorite bakery is Cafe Selmarie, a Swedish bakery and restaurant with amazing chocolate croissants and rich buttery cookies. I always purchase the traditional Linzer cookies filled with raspberry jam– they look as good as they taste!

While it can be difficult to stay stylish and warm during Midwest winters, I still manage to wear my vintage and thrifted dresses and skirts (no pants for me!) by wearing HUE brand wool tights or Cuddledud thermal leggings paired with knee high wool socks. When it’s snowy I wear my vintage lined galoshes and bundle up in a 1970s wool coat with roomy hood.
Yes, I was able to wear a short skirt in 20 degree weather and not feel cold. As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, I have been wearing more separates lately and have thus tried to stock up on sweaters and skirts. The 1970s fairisle sweater was a happy discovery at the thrift, I also bought its twin in cream the same day. It’s the first time I have worn a pullover style sweater in years, I’d stuck to cardigans since abandoning the chunky Felicity-style sweaters of the ’90s. Thankfully this vintage sweater is cropped and isn’t too bulky, cheers for warmth AND style!


1970s wool toggle coat with faux fur leopard trim: Crossroads Trading Company
1970s fair isle sweater: Thrifted in Chicago
Black Skirt: Buffalo Exchange, Chicago
1970s galoshes: Thrifted in Chicago
Red wool beret: Gift from my mom
HUE brand wool tights
What are your winter dressing tips? Also be sure to check out Refinery 29’s Chicago Winter Fashion Streetstyle Snaps slideshow for more seasonal style inspiration.

Comments 0

  1. i love your outfit! i am in omaha and the weather here has been similar. heck, i took the dog to the dog park yesterday! your photography is wonderful. its been a few years since i have visited chi-town, this post is making me want to visit again.
    my hubby is starting to be more of a willing participant when it comes to taking pics for my blog. i love how your roomie didn't question the pipe pic, she just knew 🙂

  2. Love the sweater! Isn't it great to have friends who understand our "artistic" bloggy endeavors? You have such amazing bakeries in Chicago. When I come to visit, I can't manage to get out of one without a big bag of goodies to bring home and share!

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