Saturday, October 15, 2011

Is This the End?

...of the summer I mean? Like the UK (or parts thereof) we've had a bit of a late blast of summer and it's been lovely in Chicago. Many people don't know that Chicago summers can actually be unbearably hot and humid. Temperatures in the high 90's (farenheit) and humidity that's hard to imagine for Brits. In times like that, you don't see many people on the streets as everyone's taking shelter in air-conditioned buildings.

Now, the weather is more autumnal. Bright and sunny, but light jacket or sweater weather. This typically lasts for 2-4 weeks before we're plunged into another season from Hell. For someone who loves to wear jackets, it's annoying that I have such a short jacket season. Once the temps really drop, even moderately padded coats don't cut it and fashion goes flying out the window. We're talking below freezing for at least mid-November till the end of March, and when you add the wind chill factor in it will literally freeze the hairs up your nose. (I know it always sounds wimpy adding the wind chill factor in, but we're right on the shores of Lake Michigan and those winds come whipping down from Canada. Brrrr.)

 Look, - even pretty, skinny models and bright colors/colours can't make these coats look half way decent.  And, they're actually not that easy to maneuver in. Drop a glove and you almost have to lie down on the floor to retrieve it.

Talking of gloves - none of your elegant, slim leather affairs. Ooh, no. Leather lasts till about early November at a push; then it's more of a chunky look:

Gorgeous aren't they?

All I can say is -- It's a bloody good job I'm not a fashionista.


  1. All I can say is..... if you've ever experienced being chilled to the bone.... these coats and gloves are very sensible & cosy. Practicality seems to be more important than fashion in a harsh winter.

    I'm looking at snow grips and wondering how I can bend down to take them on & off in heavy coats because they are wonderful out on the ice & snow but lethal when trying to skid on wet shiny shop floors.
    I wish there were seats outside all supermarkets for the sole purpose of putting on & taking off snow grips without risking breaking my neck. Maybe I should lie on the pavement to do it but then how would I get up?!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  2. I feel your pain. Jacket weather is my favorite as well and so far we've only had about two weeks of it where we could actually get outside (no thanks to never-ending rain.)

    Hope you'll enjoy your weekend in DC. Sounds like it's jacket weather, at least in the evening.

  3. I still try to be as fashionable as I can while still being practical. Of course, I've never lived through a Chicago winter. The winters in Holland have become quite bad, but I don't think they are as bad as yours. Brrr...I mustn't think about them.

  4. It's a little better here - the Fall is actually really nice and seems to last right through till the end of November, and it doesn't really get bitingly cold till near to Christmas. But then, ski jackets will be at the ready for the next 3 months, and you're right, forget fashion - last year I lived in furry boots, ski gloves and a downy hooded coat.

  5. Apparently we're in for a big frost tonight yet it's a beautiful day. I'm spending the day repotting and putting all tender plants in the greenhouse sat on polystyrene (a tip from a nurseryman)

    Really like the gloves.... I might need them here, up the mountain, this year.

    BTW it was nice to meet you at CyberMummy.

  6. Forget fashion....being cold is awful.

  7. That woman in the picture is smiling, so she must be warm and happy.

  8. Stood watching Boy #1 play football yesterday (for 3 hrs, god help me) in the snow. Yes, that's right. SNOW. Didn't settle, because it was attractively interspersed with freezing rain & sleet. So that was OK...

  9. And I thought that all North Eastern girls braved the elements in nothing but short skirts and high heels!! A night out in Newcastle upon Tyne in the midst of winter is an eye opener...

    I really don't care about looking good - its warmth and comfort all the way for me.

    Keep warm and toasty.

    Lou x

  10. I'm sorry but I could NOT live in Chicago! Or anywhere with winters like that. I'd be suicidal after a month, and I'm not kidding. I'm always so relived to make it through the British winter, and it's mostly not even that cold here.

  11. I think the thing that makes Chicago winters bearable (to some) is the fact that there's very often blinding sunshine to go with the bitter cold!

  12. Wow. I didn't know the Chicago weather was that bad. Especially considering the fact that one of the dream states I'd like to move to after graduation is--yes you guessed it--Chicago. The funny thing is I live in Arizona and I have never ever seen snow. Of course, I could go to Flagstaff for a day or two but I just want to experience living in a State/city with snow for more than a year. Chicago is still in my top list of after grad states but I'm not sure I can handle the humidity. Maybe the snow, but the humidity part is just not a good idea for my hair lol

  13. OMG too cold for me......surely huge FUR (faux of course) coats would do the trick??? Lx

  14. I've lived in Chicago my whole life, and as much as I complain about winter, I just don't think I could live somewhere where it doesn't snow at Christmas time (unless, of course, it's too cold to snow...did you know that does). But like you said Mum, most often when it's bitterly cold, the sky is crystal clear with so much sunshine that you can't help but be happy. And, since extreme heat makes me want to shoot any person within a 2 foot radius of me, I take bundled up in the winter to 98 degrees with 100% humidity.

    And you're not cool in Chicago if you don't have a down North Face coat :) I have the one that comes to about my knees for my mile long trek from Union Station to work at the Merchandise Mart. It does a good job keeping the wind from freezing you -- did you ever notice it has a way of blowing in your face no matter what direction you are walking...

    Ugotreasure -- don't let the weather scare you. Chicago is a great city to live in :)

  15. I'm with Lu - what about fur? Or does it suffer the same fate as the nose hairs, I wonder?

  16. Fur - Chicago is one of the only places (I think) we're everyone still wears fur and doesn't give a hoot about animal rights etc. (I can't bring myself to, but there you go.) I wear a huge down coat to my knees too, but apparently fur is THE only thing that really does the job.

  17. It's been an Indian summer here (though I'm never too sure what that means...) searing heat in between torrential rain. But its never cold enough to wear those michelin coats. Always thought they looked quite can never see what lies beneath...


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