Addicted to winter fashion: The power of the layer

I loathe being poofy and shapeless in the winter months. I’m not the curviest person, so I hate feeling cylindrical because of a monstrous sweater or unsightly parka. There will be no Gore-Tex to keep me warm, and I’m ethically opposed to the Canada Goose jackets everyone swears by (I’m not a fan of torturing animals AND looking stupid in the resultant garment). I’m going to find the most form-fitting coat I can.

Thus, layering is my best friend.

I’m not sane, responsible and sage about clothing like my mother is. She has clothes for each season, and she stores them away or brings them back into circulation accordingly. I have one season of clothes, and it’s the Emy season. I don’t care if it’s -20ºC or 30ºC, I’m still going to wear little black dresses or leggings and tank tops. You can keep your pants and long-sleeved shirts to yourself.

The ticket here is to have discreet buffer layers. Last winter, I bought a few pairs of plain leggings: one very, very thin cotton pair, one normal spandex pair, and one pair with a fleecy lining. Never mind long johns and their drooping crotches, weird double butt stitching and poor fit — we can’t be trudging through the snow with crotch discrepancies in our layers. That’s not comfortable.

So, depending on how cold it is or what your outer layer is, slap on a pair of buffer leggings that fit you just right. For example, I’m a HUGE Black Milk Clothing fan, but bless their Australian hearts, their leggings turn to sheets of ice strapped to my buns in the depths of Canadian winter. They’re also delicate and pricy leggings that I can’t afford to stretch out or damage — this is where the thinnest tights come in! They don’t interfere with the integrity of my Black Milks, but they keep me toasty.

On the rare occasion I brave a pair of jeans, this works too.

Several shirt and sweater layers a key as well, because they allow you to manage your temperature – there will be no freezing or breaking into a sweat in your coat! And invest in at least one sweater that covers your waist. I may not care much for my ovaries and their functionality, but mama always told me to keep them and my kidneys warm.

While you’re at it, double those socks – one normal pair and one fleecy. Don’t forget your earmuffs (unless you want hat hair. I do not), and make sure your gloves have smartphone-friendly fingertips! Those were a godsend after one winter of pecking at my iPhone with my nose.

Finally, if nothing else, this season is the perfect time to incorporate some plaid love into your wardrobe with a fluffy scarf. You can never have too much plaid.

*Image “Stormy” courtesy of  Maggie Smith at

Emy Stantcheva
Emy Stantcheva is a lifelong music junkie-turned-music biz dabbler, from music publicity and artist management to the not-for-profit sector. By day, she champions the indies at Canadian Independent Music Association and MusicOntario, and moonlights as Lifestyle Editor for Addicted and rep for southern rock n’ roller Basia Lyjak. A healthy living fan (yes, vodka is a plant), vegetarian of 20 years and lover of cooking, wine and craft beer, she’s always on the lookout for tasty and cruelty-free wares and fares. She’s also known for her hoarding of cats (she has four) and leggings (300 pairs and counting). With her feisty way with words, Stantcheva brings a fresh and intelligent perspective to Addicted’s Lifestyle section.
Emy Stantcheva