Cold weather cycling gear?

Hello, all! I hope everyone is hanging in with this COVID madness. I am still here. I even made an actual fashion purchase recently -- but the goodies have not arrived so I can't show them off yet. Assuming they work.

My question today concerns gear. Specifically, biking gear for cool to cold weather.

A few weeks ago, I tore my medial meniscus on a run. Then, like a fool, I kept moving around on it, thinking it was a muscle pull and would just "get better." Reader, it did not. :(

Finally, I went to physio and was told in no uncertain terms to get off that leg! 

Well, you know me and my walking. This is not an easy order for me to follow. Especially during pandemic lockdown when going for a walk is not only a great form of exercise but the only allowable way to socialize! Yikes!!

Luckily, the physio also prescribed bike rides. So I've been out there every day for about an hour or so. But for now, I can't go for any kind of "power" ride -- I'm limited to low resistance and that means slower speeds.

Temperatures here have been hovering between 6 and 10 C...and oopsie! I have just figured out that I do not have proper cold weather biking gear.

What in heaven's name should I wear? So far, I've been layering merino base and second layer with my short puffer (not completely windproof and often too warm -- I get all sweaty even in supposedly breathable merino). My legs are in fleece tights (also not windproof, so my legs eventually get cold). My feet FREEZE even in double layers of wool socks. And my hands mostly freeze, too.

The only part of me that feels right is the head. The head is good. For the head I have a little merino cap that goes under the helmet and seems to do the trick.

I've ordered a few options to try. A reflective windproof waterproof jacket. A thermal jersey to wear over a merino layer. Thermal tights. And lots and lots of merino layers (but that's another post!) Deliveries here tend to take a long time, so who knows when they might arrive.

If anyone has ideas, I'm listening.


Yay from me! Double plaid.

As I mentioned on the blog, my very first purchase of clothing with my own money included a pair of Stewart plaid wide leg pants, cuffed at the bottoms. Oh, how I loved them. I even duplicated in a bright red plaid (and wore both pair of pants constantly). 

At the moment, my plaids are more sedate, but I would happily spring for a brighter pair if I find the right ones. 

These culottes are now almost in the OBG evidenced by Roxanna's recent threads, J. Crew sometimes comes through with interesting, slightly fashion forward items (for the time) in very high quality wool. 

These pants date from 2016. Angie mentioned these in a post at the time they were released but I think I was the only forum member to buy them?  People objected to the pleats and wide leg at the time....I mean for themselves....and also the high waist. 

Admittedly, they are a lot of pant -- but in this calm glen plaid I don't find them too much at all. 

Anyway...I still love them. Beautiful drape, lovely fabric, comfy. I wasn't able to wear them as much as I might have wished back in Ontario, where I bought them -- the wide legs meant the cold wind whipped up my legs, and long undies felt bulky underneath and too hot. In my current climate, they are plenty warm for much of the winter with knee highs. 

I also bought the blue sweater at the same time. Another real winner that got very mixed reviews at the time...(I don't mean on me, I mean from J. Crew customers, who didn't like how short it is.)

Various shots of new, shorter hair...and double plaid, with the boots! 


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OBG the champion

This LL Bean Mariner is probably my third. Bu5 vn so it is an oldie. I wear it all the time in so many ways there was no possibility of styling it in a completely new way. So casualized suit and sneakers it is.

I also duplicated in a different colour and wear both versions heavily.


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OBG #4 Blue leopard

I somehow missed the (essential) reminder that we are supposed to try to wear our older items in a fresh way if we my week so far has been a mix. Yesterday's outfit was straight from 2014 (except for the white sneakers when I went out!). 

Today I'm 2013 on top and 2018 on the bottom. :) 

This stretch silk leopard shirt from Ann Taylor is from (I think?) 2013 and is one of my favourite shirts ever -- it is a "goodie" because of the soft fabric, perfect fit, the fun pattern -- and it's in ALL my key neutrals, so it mixes so easily with everything else in the closet. It's warm, though, so I only wear in fall/ winter -- which no doubt has helped it to last so long. 

The Lord and Taylor  merino turtleneck is maybe a cheat since this is my second iteration of this same item since I joined YLF (I wore the first one so much it developed holes). Obviously, a workhorse item for me. It's particularly useful for travel. Can be a base layer, a top layer, a mid-layer. I don't overheat in it, but it keeps me warm. Inset shoulders keep it neat and tailored. 

Wearing with high waisted jeans and western belt from 2 years ago, not oldies but still goodies. 


OBG #3 The Blues

Today's items include some of my earliest purchases after joining YLF. 

J. Crew Thomas Mason tuxedo shirt in periwinkle blue. This was pricey for me when I bought it, but I fell in love with the fabric and bought two others in this line, that I also still own. The higher neckline works with short hair and the pleats are my yang version of ruffles. 

With it, wearing my CoH white jeans. Lower rise than is current, but I love the fit and feel of these and they come in so handy. 

Also, an old leopard print belt from Canadian Tire. Remember those, Carla?? 

When I go out, I'll add my white sneakers and the Reiss blazer, a real workhorse bought at the YLF 8th birthday gathering in 2014. And the H&M scarf from last week. 

Inside --- new house shoes. But more on those in a future post. :) 


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WIW: #OBG Pantsuit plus pink

I bought this beautiful Elie Tahari stretch wool suit in April 2014, at YLF's 8th birthday bash! 

It's beautifully made. Lovely, lightweight wool with a bit of stretch, gorgeous stretchy satiny lining, beautiful and unusual details like the zipper tooth edge along the front and the tiny leather insets in the collar. The sleeves are perfect for scrunching.  I am sitting at my computer in the jacket now and it is not in the least constricting. 

But I confess, having bought it, I almost never wore it as a suit. I wore it as separates, and rarely wore the pants at all. And then it got too snug, with weight gain, so I didn't wear it, period, and was just about to pass it along, when COVID hit, and I lost weight, and now it fits again, and guess what? There is nothing more comfortable for daily wear in a pandemic than stretch wool. And the whole "casualize" a suit thing suits me To. A. Tee.  and makes suit-wearing feel natural even in these oh-so-casual times. 

Today I am wearing it with my new sweater in pinks and my pink flats (inside) or pink runners (outside, if I go there in all the rain). I had to make a rather inelegant cuff because the pants are hemmed for a 2 inch heel, but hey, it's okay for here in the house. DYOT for the win. 


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I'm going to give this challenge a go, mirror or not. :) 

I went through my closet and my Finds (which date to 2014). In Finds I've posted anything from 2015 back. And, well -- it turns out to be a huge proportion of my wardrobe! I am feeling pretty darned good about the use I get from my clothes at the moment! 

Of course some of these are seasonal summer or deep winter items that I won't be wearing in the next week. 

In the meantime, I decided to start (Like Liesbeth) with a plaid shirt! I almost donated this one last year because it had become a bit snug with weight gain. But I lost the weight and it fits again so I ended up keeping it. It's so cozy. The perfect shirt for a cool day when you don't feel like wearing a sweater over top indoors. Fun for holiday wear, also. 

Wearing with pearls to juxtapose with the boyish hair. The earrings are my late mother-in-law's -- they must be 80 years old at least! Also wearing Kit and Ace stretch wool trousers, that dress it up a bit from jeans. And my fuchsia flats.


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The Long and Short of It.

Hi, all -- I haven't been around as much as I'd like, but I'm following along and hope to be able to contribute more meaningfully soon! 

I haven't made a lot of purchases this autumn, but I did just have an outing and wore actual booties for a change! Wow! It felt amazing! 

If I could find a better quality light grey sweater that won't pill like this one from BR, purchased last year and driving me nuts ever since (OY!!) I would be so delighted. Taking all leads.... as you can see from two photos featuring the same item, this type of sweater is a wardrobe essential for me. 

Also, new hair! I'm back to a short pixie. It had been four months between cuts!! 

In other news, I should have my full length mirror up within the week! Yippee! 


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WIW: Pink paisley

I haven't shopped in a while, but after my closet cleanout I decided a few new items were in order, one being a lightweight knit top with some bright colour. You all know I love blue...but honestly, so much of my wardrobe is blue that there are times when it can get a bit boring. And since red was my colour of the year...

I also got new sneakers from Fitflop .I ordered a half size down and am very glad I did. A previous pair of sneakers from this company was far too wide and "messy" for me -- my feet could not fill them out so they didn't offer the support they were meant to. These will be fun and easy shoes for suburban walking in dry conditions or to do errands in town. Plus, sale price. I'm a huge lover of their sandals for my summer walks -- they have cured my plantar fasciitis. Hence my attempts at company loyalty -- which sometimes work out, and sometimes do not. :) 

They are replacing my platform Cons. They don't serve quite the same function since they are not waterproof and not high tops, but they do inject fun into the fall outfit creation. 

Hair -- it's been three months -- yet again! -- since my last cut. Hoping to get one next week. It's driving me nuts. 


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Not a Walking Wimp: For Anchie

Anchie, I'm offering some additional tips/ ideas for urban winter walks for you. I posted some on Chris's great thread, but there I described my current winter wear for walks in a fairly temperate suburban environment; here, I'll tell you what I used to wear for a much colder and more urban setting. 

Like you, I wasn't big on true gear for my walks in an urban environment. Just didn't feel right. (I do wear much more gear now that I am walking in a different place with different kinds of roadways.) 

Here's the kind of outfit I tended to wear in Eastern Ontario's cold winters. I walked in all conditions. Even a few ice storms (I don't advise it.) 

The kinds of items you'll need include: 

1. Comfortable but fashionable footwear with a good tread. I highly recommend seeking out some kind of sneaker boot for this purpose. Either that, or an excellent low heeled chelsea boot. Examples in Finds. 

Make sure the footwear is warm enough or has enough room for good wool socks. 

2. Wool socks! :) 

3. Underlayers. I preferred to wear my regular casual clothes, more or less, with some adaptations. But of course you can also wear gear if you like. Anyway, beneath my regular clothes I often wore -- camisole or longer sleeved base layer, sometimes with long underwear -- heattech or similar. 

4. Clothes. I usually wore jeans and a wool or cashmere sweater. I think I'd be uncomfortable in office wear -- a bit too restrictive. But there are certainly some wool trousers and even jackets that could work. 

5. Coat. For me, usually a puffer. I have various weights for various purposes. I also have a "gearish" rainproof coat with cozy lining that I could wear in warmer temps if it was wet. 

6. Scarves, hats, gloves, sometimes mitts. 

I grew to love cold-weather walking. It's invigorating. And it makes the winter go by so quickly. 

Here I am in Kingston, late last February. 


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