The Official Winter Bundle-Up

Whether you prefer to dress in a uniform of black or in a bevy of color, no matter if your decorations are teeny tiny and gold or outrageous, loud and bold, no one gets to escape the inevitable, imminent and (if I’m going to be dramatic about it) frightening prospect that is THE WINTER BUNDLE.

It starts out innocently enough. You get out of bed, look out the window and think, Hmm, it looks cold outside today and I hate hypothermia, so I’d better dress appropriately for once. You reach for your insulated undershirt; it’s thin as air and immediately you question why you bought it in the first place. This air-shirt won’t do shit, you think to yourself. But hubris can be dangerous.

Next you put on a normal top. Normal in the sense that it doesn’t have any heat technology promised in its wrappings, but for the sake of drama let’s assume it’s a cotton turtleneck. Over your head it goes, and as the crown of your head peaks through the birth canal of fabric you feel the first signs of flush. Never mind that, you’re almost late for work.

So next you look around for a sweater — what sweater can I wear over a turtleneck without looking like a school teacher? — and settle on a crew neck sweatshirt in the eternal quest to emulate Phoebe Philo. Sweating yet? Carry on, solider. It’s negative something degrees outside. I just saw a bird freeze and fall off a branch, and you, my friend, are still pantsless.

On go the tights, then the jeans. A pair of socks top your feet like a reverse sundae’s cherry and then come the boots: leather casings over suffocated skin sweating tears in remembrance of summer. Tootaloo, mothafucka. Summer’s long gone. 

Now the coat! Find your coat. Jam your arms through each sleeve and wriggle your hands until they pop out each side but be careful — BE CAREFUL! — don’t let your sleeves bunch up at the elbows because then you’ll have that painful gap of wrist-skin just asking to be frost bitten. This usually takes two tries for most humans. I’ll wait.

Ok it’s on. Now you’ll need a scarf, preferably the largest one you have, and wrap it once, twice, thrice around your neck so that to turn your head right or left you actually have to turn your whole body. Don’t forget the gloves. And the hat. And your keys. Okay, you can leave now.

Down the stairs you wobble — five flights if you’re lucky — and by the time you reach the bitter cold of the great outdoors and wind hits you like a refreshing blast of ice chips to the face and your cheeks are all rosy and you’re about to say something dumb like, “Winter isn’t so bad!,” I’ll bet you a million dollars plus all the air-shirts in the world that you left your cellphone upstairs and also…you have to pee.

Who’s ready?


Photo by Iain McKell

  • lol love this post – I live in Malta in Europe so we don’t reach he same sub temperatures but i does get cold for a month and since I’m not used to it I tend to become a bundle of clothes 🙂

  • Gabriela

    * who’s ready

  • EMR

    This was my morning today. It’s -25C, -33 with the windchill today. Yeah, I know it’s only November.
    The worst part is somehow trying to make yourself look workplace appropriate in twenty layers.
    Blame Canada!

  • Sydney Carver

    This is hysterical and so so true!

  • Sonya

    I know exactly what this is all about. I live in Chicago, across the street from Lake Michigan. The arctic air that blasts down my street for 4-6 months a year is brutal.

    Also, I wear two scarves when it is super cold (single digits and below). One beneath my coat and then the huge infinity scarf/muff thingy over the coat. No skin can go uncovered!

  • Quinn Halman

    I just love your writing so much. I have nothing else to say besides the fact that I think that “Beautiful Soul” was written about you.

  • allie

    Hahaha I love this post! So relatable

  • I’m not ready at all…I need more bulky sweaters that I can fit some flannel, or at least a turtleneck, underneath without looking like a marshmallow puff.

    Got a great oversized cable-knit sweater from Uniqlo a month ago. I’ve worn it more times than I should say. Might need to buy it in more colors so people don’t think I’m the weirdo with only one sweater. 🙂

  • Hilarious and seriously great post! So damn accurate.

  • liv

    I live between two warm climates and although I attended uni on the east coast, I never really have had to bundle in such an extreme way (save for the one winter trip I took to New York and the college tour trip I took to Canada). I love being able to dress “wintery” without needing to be incessantly bundled, because I sure do hate the cold. However, I do wish to experience the winter bundle every now and then and to experience *truly* dressing for winter. But, I probably wouldn’t be able to survive the cold more than a week.

  • Bethanie

    Living in Phoenix means I never have to do this. My winter-iest coat goes untouched most of the time, because to put it on for a morning would just mean having to deal with it in the middle of the day when it’s too warm for a heavy coat. BUT, I will have to spend 3 weeks in New Jersey in January for work, and I fear the “real winter” will kill me. I’m trying to stock pile actual winter items before then.

  • Brie

    the sweating, oh gawd the SWEATING!

  • Shannon

    Worst part is that awkward moment when someone tells you that you have snot running down your nose, but you didn’t realize it because your nose is so numb. Then, you realize that you don’t have a tissue and have to wipe it off with your cotton mittens. You think that you’ve wiped it all off, but no, your cheeks are numb too. Your mittens start to stiffen and freeze and you are left to wonder why you even put mittens on in the first place. Note to self: never buy expensive mittens.

  • Luarnaiz

    This post is so hillarius. I am not a winter person, lucky for me I live in a super warm country, right now 21° C and going up. This is our fall. Its Clear and sunny and its beautiful, dont get me wrong. But sometimes we miss the winter we’ve never had. So once the months with R start youll see girls in the streets wearing black tights and knee lenght boots, because the morning was cold (15°C). It’s not that we are ridiculous, just sometimes we wish we had the opportunitty for dressing up a little bit.

    One month per year is more that enough. Lets not over react.

    Kisses from Mexico.

  • Amelie

    I. Desperately. Want. That. Where I live, it’s freezing. (more proof for why I love spring and summer)

    The Neon Guava

  • Rebecca

    Being a senior in high school, I often have been swindled by my parents into applying to school up north. “Boston is such a great city!” they cheer over and over and over again. However, after feeling the frigid air these past couple of days and after reading this masterpiece, my friends, this is the exact reason why I refuse to go to school up north.