Winter Workhorses

I'm about to head to frigid Ontario for a research trip. (Go ahead. Laugh. Who goes to Kingston in February?! Especially with a rail blockade??) 

Never mind. That's what I am doing. Hopefully, I can go skating while I'm there. It will be some compensation for freezing my buns off. 

Before I go, here are some winter outfits from my more temperate climate, along with Finds for the real workhorse items this year. You've seen some of these photos before. 

Contrary to popular myth, it does sometimes snow and get quite cold in Vancouver. I even had to haul my real parka out for a couple of days. :) It also rained for 59 of 61 days in December and January. Surely that is some kind of record of horribleness. Still. I am not complaining. 

Workhorse items in Finds. 

Some are brand new: the Comrags 2 piece dress; the Sorel boots (a bit loose on the heels, but I've added an insole and am dealing with it); the CoH boyfriend jeans. 

Some are new this year: Cons, BR sweaters, silver and snake booties, wide leg jeans and pants, boot cuts, blanket scarf, windowpane blazer. 

Some are old favourites finding new life: basically everything else. The blue moto in particular is getting new love from me. I only wore it about twice last year and suddenly I am reaching for it a lot. You never know, right? 

This post is also published in the youlookfab forum. You can read and reply to it in either place. All replies will appear in both places.


  • kellygirl replied 11 months ago

    Ok, I'm going to stop complaining about being cold and cool weather in general. Clearly, I have no idea what cold is...  You look so good in blue and so pretty in everything. I am loving the cropped pants that showcase your fab boots so well. I have to say that my eye has totally adjusted to this look--on others especially. I don't feel like I have it quite down but I'm getting there. Killer workhorses. YLF!

  • Xtabay replied 11 months ago

    You're killing it, Suz!  Every outfit is a 10!  I'm especially enjoying seeing those fab red boots again.  Have a great trip, and stay warm.

  • notsaf replied 11 months ago

    Great collection! Grounded and cohesive. Love the moto on you!

  • Angie replied 11 months ago

    "Contrary to popular myth, it does sometimes snow and get quite cold in Vancouver. I even had to haul my real parka out for a couple of days.   It also rained for 59 of 61 days in December and January. Surely that is some kind of record of horribleness. Still. I am not complaining"

    YOU GET IT. Thank you. Our ongoing wet and windy cold weather is relentlessly unpleasant.....

    Now onto your KILLER style, that has never looked better! I love it all, Suz!

    In-particular, I love seeing you milk wide crops, add red accents, incorporate '80s and '90s fabness, wear silver and blue to perfection, and sport arty chic elements in an elegant way. The soft drape looks fab with the angular drape. The strict blazers are fun with the playful shoes and romantic scarves. 

    Nice to see the moto in action :)

  • Runcarla replied 11 months ago

    You’re not kidding when you say you like blue!  Crushing on the Parkhurst cloche :-) 

    I don’t think you are coming into a cold front so much as messy weather! We’ve heard the low rumble of the trains passing through town since Saturday, so something’s working.  However, you could always take the Megabus!

  • Suz replied 11 months ago

    Carla, I have to take the bus. My train was cancelled. And I can't take the bus on the day I was scheduled to travel because there were no seats on the bus -- so I had to rearrange my plans. Such is life! 

    And yes, the blue must get a bit tiresome! It does even to me at times, but less so in winter. 

  • Runcarla replied 11 months ago

    Oh, Suz - NOT tiresome.  You are being true to yourself and what you love.  Like, today I’m wearing white jeans and a red sweater!  :-D

  • smittie replied 11 months ago

    You always look fab. I see you got the red converse! They look very practical and fun.
    Thanks for including those street and house pictures. The atmosphere is so idyllic when it’s just snowed!

  • Sal replied 11 months ago

    You are so good at looking like yourself and having a signature style, but tweaking it gradually.  It is a mix of true style and work I know - but you do have such a great collection of pieces.

    What I admire in particular is how you do this all year - in the depths of bleak winter through to hot summers and blustery spring.  I can do it in summer but struggle to express my signature style in winter - maybe this year in my 50th year.

    I like them all - highlights to me were the fuschia, the beanies and your great accessories throughout.  And no apologies about blue please - you rock it.

  • suntiger replied 11 months ago

    Of course I like the two piece dress the most (don't suppose it comes in black or burgundy?), but love the first top and floral scarf too!

  • Cardiff girl replied 11 months ago

    I’m sorry Suz but we hold the record for rain at the moment,just about half the uk is currently under water and it’s still coming down,however looking at your winter outfits has cheered me up,you even look good in a bobble hat.

  • Bijou replied 11 months ago

    Everything Sal said!

    You look gorgeous in all of these. Your denim collection makes your jeans and topper looks so different because you have not stuck with just one silhouette. I have mainly skinny jeans and get bored with them, so your outfits are great inspiration to me.

    Love your use of boots and accessories. The NAS Paul Green boots are wonderful on you.

  • CarolS replied 11 months ago

    Suz, I have a hard time picking a favourite from this fabulous lineup, but I think 2 is fabulously simple and chic, 5 has a fun, retro vibe and 18 and 21 do an especially fine job of rocking those wide leg cropped jeans. Love the red boots!!

  • madeline replied 11 months ago

    I love your style. I can’t even pick a favorite-but I will say you inspired me with the striped turtleneck and skirt.
    I have similar items in my closet and will try them together this week.
    Safe travels to you!

  • lisa p replied 11 months ago

    Love the roofline on your house - so interesting ! I can’t conceive of 59 days of rain - 2 consecutive days of rain are enough for me ;) I continue , after 5 years here (maybe ?) to marvel at the perfection and cohesiveness Of your wardrobe . As Angie says : you put the work in , and it shows . Your jeans ensembles are great , and it’s nice to see your wide-legs getting worn in the winter . I pulled out a pair of mine ( frankly forgot I even had them- still w tags on ) yesterday to consider for donation and kind of marvelled at all of that fabric .I simply don’t get what I want from wide leg denim and think I’ll cut my losses with the 3 or so pair I have and call it a day .

  • lisa p replied 11 months ago

    I’m curious , too , about the skirt in pic #9 . Does it front exposed zippers or am I seeing things ? I quite like this !

  • Joy replied 11 months ago

    You look fabulous. Enjoy your winter adventure.

  • CocoLion replied 11 months ago

    I love your style.  Whenever I see your WIWs I think, so chic, yet so approachable.  One thinks:  I want to meet this person!

  • JAileen replied 11 months ago

    Wow! Is that Vancouver?  I guess it’s not as temperate as I thought.  I love your wardrobe and love when you post outfits so I can copy them when I have the elements.  :)      I have the same snakeskin boots, but I wish they were your silver ones, instead.  I can wear silver without a second thought, but snakeskin?  Well, it feels like too much for me.  Obviously I love it, though.

    Our precipitation is at about 50 percent.  This is not good for those who like to drink water in the summertime.  However, the last few days have been gorgeous here.

  • catherine replied 11 months ago

    Every one of these is spectacular. You look lovely. Loving the wide crops, especially.

  • shevia replied 11 months ago

    Apart from the gorgeous two piece, the multiple skirt uses, the wide jeans, fabulous boots, and each outfit, I want to mention the gorgeous berry lipstick you are wearing. Gorgeous! 
    Good luck on your trip - Vancouver will look better than ever when you return!

  • Suz replied 11 months ago

    Thank you all so much for your kind words and thoughts! 

    Shevia, this is my plain old ordinary every day lipstick, but you know what? I love it. It's Lise Watier Sheer and Shine Tutti Frutti and it is so nourishing to dry lips! 

    Thanks, Catherine

    Janet, yes, that's Vancouver! Mind you, this year it was only like that for about a week. (Last year it was cold and snowy for longer -- every year is different.) I still need a winter coat and hat to go out, mind you. But we now have primroses, snowdrops, hellebore and a few camellias blooming. :) 

    I want to encourage you to keep trying with the snakeskin. Because I know what you mean. I found it really tough to wear these at first and I wasn't sure why? Oddly, getting the silver pair made it easier to wear these ones more often. I see the uses more easily. I can throw on the silver without a thought, yes. And the snakeskins need conscious styling. But they aren't duplicates and they both work well. Wear them with anything that has white or white in the pattern, or a navy/ white or charcoal/ white pattern. 

    Denise, that is sweet. I wish we could meet in person!

    Joy, thank you!

    Lisa, thank you. The skirt in #9 is a Boden paperbag waist skirt from last year. I would never have bought this skirt in Ontario because its season would have been too short for my walking lifestyle. But it works here in Vancouver for spring, winter, fall. Note, also -- I am not bringing the wide legs to Ontario!! They're just not warm enough for winter in that climate. I'm bringing BF jeans (and warm socks/ boots) and not-quite-full-length boot cuts (they won't drag in snow) and a skirt and thermals! 

    Madeline -- thank you and I hope you do make that outfit! Show us if you get a chance to take a photo!

    Carol, I knew you'd be a fan of those boots! They look like Docs! :) 

    Bijou, ditto to you re the boots. I do think current denim makes all the difference (for me). Angie is the one I have to thank for that revelation. I've been a jeans-and-top person my whole life and it really can get stale, truly -- and sometimes feel a bit too tomboy, too -- but with current jeans it always feels a bit fresher and happier, somehow, and more interesting. That's how I keep my style alive. 

    Cardiff Girl, the minute I wrote that about the rain I felt guilty. The situation by you is horrible! I hope you are holding up. And thank you!

    Suntiger -- thank you! And no - the dress doesn't come in burgundy or black but it did come in a couple of other colours. All sold out now, alas...

    Sal, I hear you loud and clear re the challenges of style in all seasons. It's soooooo much easier here on the west coast than it was in Eastern Ontario. But even here it can be a challenge. It's funny -- for a long time I had a hard time feeling stylish in summer. Now, spring and summer are my favourite seasons for dressing -- I love being able to wear dresses without hose and crops without tights, etc. etc. Winter is definitely harder. But also, you have to commit to it -- you have to accept that you have these seasons and need a certain number of pieces in the closet to make outfits with. That was hard for me for a while. You always look sensational to me, so I think you are being hard on yourself. But it might help to identify what elements of winter dressing discourage you, and then maybe we can brainstorm solutions. The forum really helped me a lot with this way back when. 

    Smittie, yes -- fresh snow is so pretty, especially when it melts in about a week. :) 

    Thanks, notsaf, Kelly, and Xtbay

    Angie, thank you as EVER!

  • Helena (Torontogirl) replied 11 months ago

    You look terrific Suz! We've teed up a few days of milder weather in Ontario just for you :) Hope travel goes smoothly xx

  • RobinF replied 11 months ago

    I love Vancouver and hope to get back to visit again (although not in winter :) )! It's been actually sunny here in Michigan for like 5 days! Cold but still! Crazy for this time of year.

    Love these looks. I am in awe at how well you change things up but still look very you. I am interested in the jeans being the trendy piece. Mine have always been very much more an essential and not trendy.

  • lisa p replied 11 months ago

    I still chuckle at southerners'  perceptions of winter.  Anyways, Suz - I did notice that skirt in your finds but didn't realize it was the same one you were wearing .  It's SO pretty - I really wish I could figure out how to wear skirts.  And your comments to Bijou about keeping a basic denim /top look fresh were really interesting - making a note to  myself about this.  

  • The Cat replied 11 months ago

    Suz, I remember you have told us before that you like your prints to include white. No wonder. As clearly illustrated in several of these pics, prints including white echo your sophisticated salt and pepper hair in a most stunning way.

  • avicennia replied 11 months ago

    Suz, sorry to be late to the conversation.
    But I’m impressed by how you pull off ankle boots with cropped, wide leg pants. I’m dedicated to that silhouette, but I can’t seem to pull it off with ankle boots. They look odd and choppy, ending just at pant gem. I’ve been wearing either pumps or tall boots,

  • Mirjana replied 11 months ago

    WOW, I can't stop looking, and really couldn't pick favorite, sooo beautiful outfits . I am impressed how you styled them , very inspiring to me. You look terrific!!!

  • lyn67 replied 11 months ago

    All fab practical and stylish the same time outfits-i dunno why but wanted to pet them all while watching- so many textures, yummy colors  and a feel of luxury alltogether! Brava Suz, you alwas look fab, no matter the season or life!

  • Elizabeth P replied 11 months ago

    Always wonderful seeing a bunch of you, Suz.  TFS.  You really do have your style figured out.

    Have a good trip to ON!

  • Karie replied 11 months ago

    Very nice! My favs are 10, 13, and 17.

    It’s been cold here too. But spring is just around the corner!

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