Winter Wardrobes from the Past
Winter Wardrobes from the Past
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Winter Wardrobes from the Past

By Elaine Elliott

Fashions come and go just like the seasons. But it’s always fun to reminisce about past styles. From giggling hysterically to oohing and ahhing with intrigue, these outfits are sure to get you thinking about your own winter wardrobe selection. And who knows, maybe you have some of these fashion relics in your closet!


Knee Length Pea Coats 

Some things never change and this timeless coat will always look classy and sophisticated. In the 1960s, a lot of these pea coats were fur-lined at the neck and bottom for extra warmth and flair. Women would wear tights and a short dress underneath the pea coat to attract all the attention to the jacket itself.


These warm wool coats were originally worn by sailors and army men all the way back to the 1700s. The knee length coats were called bridge coats and were worn exclusively by officers. Similar to how these officers demanded attention, bridge coats became a distinguished fashion staple for women in the 20th century.


If you want a more formal winter coat with a nod to the mod, never underestimate a long pea coat!


Muff Hand Warmers 

Muffs looked like giant fur blobs engulfing the hands of Victorian women for years. Nowadays muffs seem ridiculous but back before winter gloves were popularized these furry hand warmers were probably quite practical!


Fur-Lined Toques 

These brimless hats look effortless on the top of the heads of all the 20th century women who wore them with grace and poise. Hair styles and earrings could still be on full display since these hats didn’t cover much. Oftentimes a winter toque was made with mink fur. In the 1920s the hats were worn among the elite but became more and more accessible to everyday women as the decades progressed.


Toques are hats of the past and the former fashion staple rarely makes an appearance in today’s fashion scene. And to be quite honest, it doesn’t look like these hats were very useful anyway since they only warmed the very top of the head.


Regular Clothes for Skiing 

Believe it or not, people in the 1950s and before used to ski in pants, a wool sweater, gloves, and well, not much else. You can even find vintage photos of folks skiing in shorts and t-shirts! It was surely a fashion statement that looked good on the slopes but men and women must have been freezing after a couple runs. 


Some of this influence derived from the scarcity of fabrics during wartime in the 1940s. And synthetic, fast-drying materials didn’t even come about until the 1950s and wouldn’t become normalized until later.


Neon Ski Wear 

Thirty years later, ski fashion drastically changed in the 1980s. Skiers were wearing bright neon windbreakers, spandex, snow pants, and jackets with distinct geometric patterns. The bright (and nearly blinding) attire at ski resorts in the 1980s made a lasting influence on fashion. Even though it’s not the prominent look on ski slopes today, it’s still a common style among many skiers and snowboarders.


Once waterproof Gore-Tex and other modern apparel technologies were invented in the mid to late 20th century, it made a lot more sense for color to pop in ski clothing. Beforehand, neon wool and tweed would have been harder to dye and produce compared to brightly colored synthetics.


Moon Boots

Think Uggs but made with shiny puffy fabric in fun colors. They were thick and bulky and resembled astronaut clothing, hence the name moon boot. Oftentimes the word “MOON BOOT” was written in white across the top part. The boots became popular in the 1970s and paid homage to Apollo 11’s first landing on the moon.


One thing is for certain, trendsetters in the 1970s were warm and snug when they wore these kicks!

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