I think I’d welcome the chance to wear sweaters, wool coats, scarves, and toques if our winter season wasn’t so painfully long. Sometimes the challenge of dressing up for work while staying warm feels entirely defeating. I’m one of those people with inadequate circulation; I’m cold all the time, I avoid air conditioning as much as possible, and I’ve been known to shiver when even a light breeze blows my way. I don’t believe my intolerance to cold is a sign of “weakness” (in spite of people’s accusations). There’s something else going on. And I long for creative ideas about and greater access to “dressy” work clothing that will make Wisconsin winters a more manageable experience.
I know I’m privileged to be raising this “concern” in the first place. I do have means by which to stay warm in a range of inhospitable climate. But the very notion of people NOT having these means is fucked up. What options are out there? What sorts of efforts are being made to provide winter clothing to individuals without these provisions. It seems as though these sorts of efforts become more visible around the holiday season, when shit gets REALLY cold and Jesus encourages people to be a little more considerate and generous. But holy fuck, it starts to get cold early in this part of the hemisphere, and maybe this is something we can afford to think about year round... what can we do? How can we organize and distribute and support with or without the big J on our side? Let’s talk about this.
I also want to talk about animals. Like I do with humans, I form deep and indescribable bonds with some animals, share amicable rivalries with others, and avoid a few species as best as I can. One of my best friends in the entire world is a basset hound. And one of my most despised enemies happens to be the rabid, littering squirrel that stares me down from the neighbour’s yard. That said, I’m not going to make a coat out of zee. I’m so frustrated with the winter wear industry’s insistence on fur (the obvious), down (the seeming less publicized or have I just totally missed the outcries?), cashmere (oh don’t you mean Kashmir, the region of political strife and territorial dispute between India and Pakistan…um maybe we should be researching some historical lineage here), angora (pet bunny made Marxist factory worker alienated from zee’s labour), wool (mass production of farm animals)… What does that leave us with? Synthetic micro fibers stitched into winter wear by workers on the outsourced assembly line, sweatshop labourers, brown people “just grateful” to make their dollar a day? Let’s talk about this too.
Wearing long johns under pants cuts off circulation at my waist where I carry the most flesh on my body. (Let’s talk about this three.) I can wear pants, no problem. And long johns, also no worries. But long johns under pants equals too tight. My sweetbaby Meridith introduced me to the thigh high socks at American Apparel, which have proven to be the answer to my long john dilemma. As a short stack, these socks go high enough to cover my entire leg and thigh and they are truly warm. They have an aesthetically decent ribbed design (looks pretty good with skirts and boots) and they don’t roll down like nylon thigh highs often do. AND I’m so excited that I don’t have to waste ten minutes getting my pants and long johns on and off every time I pee. But holy fucking balls are they ever expensive. They run approximately $17.00 a pair, which breaks my heart and the bank. Nevertheless, I’ve shelled out the money and now I wish other people would/could have this option. I wonder if American Apparel would be willing to donate clothing to organizations helping those in need seeing as I’ve just given them a free promo.
But while we’re on the subject of American Apparel, would it kill them to be less sizeist? Their large sizes do not run across a sufficient spectrum of largeness, and at the risk of canceling out my request for them to donate clothing I want to say I’m deeply irritated by this. I WANT to support them for their claims to be sweatshop free and I sure am fucking thankful for this thigh high discovery but size, as this blog will proudly reveal, is a really important matter to me.
Next time: Why does Kate hate bow ties? Stay tuned for a tell-all interview with shocking details you won’t want to miss.