Faux Pas of SnoPocalypse 2010

The contents of our closets are dictated by a number of factors including: our vocation, our age, our personal style, our body type and the average weather of the place where we live.  When any of these conditions changes, our wardrobes, too, must change. 

Some people handle change well.  When it snows, these people put on a hat, a scarf and some snow boots and head to work in style.  Other people massively over react in the face of change.  These people use adverse conditions as an excuse to do crazy things like hoarding groceries and wearing any of the following items:

If I was entering an elementary school behind a precocious 3rd grader, a hat shaped like a bear would be adorable.  But since I am walking into a Congressional Office Building on my way to a committee hearing, a bear hat is just silly. 

If you are old enough to possess a Staff ID badge for the U.S. House of Representatives, you are too old for a bear hat.

During snOMG! 2009, I saw three pairs of these boots roaming the streets of D.C. (this photo, however, is borrowed). Needless to say, I was surprised.

It looks like Sasquatch went for a wax and got interrupted half-way through.  And what District resident wanders into a shop and buys these for utilitarian purposes? 

This year excluded, when was the last time that the weather in D.C. was bad enough to need them?  Unless you live in the Great State of Alaska and participate in seal hunts, these boots are unacceptable.

It’s a terrible thing to lose a friend, but wearing shearling-lined Moc-Slippers on your commute is a deal breaker.  I simply cannot condone this type of behavior. 

It’s tragic really; her Kate Spade heels gave me such hope.  But since she refuses to go into a treatment program, I’m afraid I have to think of the health of my own footwear.  It’s friends like these who convince you to try Uggs, and Uggs are a gateway drug.

If I can wrestle some time away from my desk for lunch, I will try to hunt down a few more faux pas for your perusal.  But which cold weather fashions drive you to drink?


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  1. Raina says:

    do u know anything about fashion? whats wrong with the fur lined moccasins? Ive seen Nicole Richie wear a pair, and I dare you try and question her as a fashion icon. I dare you.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  2. Anna says:

    I don’t think fur lined mocs are a big deal – but fur lined moc SLIPPERS on the commute are downright wrong. With so many other warm options out there, I don’t think there’s an excuse for wearing slippers on the Metro. And plus – if the ground is wet they get disgusting. Because they’re slippers. And they don’t have a durable waterproof sole. Because they’re slippers.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  3. heidi says:

    @ Raina: Fur lined boots like that are fine for weekends but for working? Commuting? That’s pushing it. I would never stroll into a professional office wearing such footwear at the risk of being a laughing stock. Nicole Richie may be an "icon" (though she’s hardly the kind of icon that say Audrey Hepburn was) but Nicole Richie doesn’t really have a job outside of attempting to set fashion trends – may of which land with a big thud. Those boots would be one of them.

    I think if anyone should question what they know about Fashion it would be you because really, the more I think about it, Nicole Richie is NOT a fashion icon (she set the trend of those stupid around your head hippy style headbands didn’t she? yeah those? Are not fashionable.)

    And belle, that bear hat is almost as bad as the kid with the panda hat on RW DC – who wears that crap off the playground?!?!

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  4. ShoeGirl says:

    I adore your blog, but this time, I am going to have to disagree with you. While, I, too am terrified of DC-ers running around in yetti boots and Tai Shan inspired hats, the women of this city do need warm weather boots. Uggs are ugly. No one is going to argue that they are attractive. I was living in Miami when they first hit the scene, and while I didn’t understand the denim mini/ugg combo, I have learned to appreciate their value as a DC dweller who commutes by foot. While I do not prefer fur lined mocs, they provide warmth and comfort. I love my flat black boots, and I spent months searching for the perfect pair. That being said, I refuse to wear them in snow and ice. Not only are they would that be the fastest way to ruin their perfection, but I will most likely end up flat on my back with a broken leg, forced to hobble around on crutches and orthopedic loafers. I love my leopard print heels too much for that fate. I may disgaree with you on this one, but I still love reading your blog everyday.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  5. HT says:

    Thanks for this, Belle!

    Fur-lined moccassins look great if you’re an adorable grandpa, shuffling around your living room and wondering when Matlock is coming on. But to those DC women who wear them around the city "because it’s snowing" — A) they’re not waterproof, B) they don’t cover enough of your foot to actually keep you warm, and C) they have zero traction. Oh, and D) … you don’t look cool/carefree/indie/like a real "guy’s girl." You look like a grandpa. Act like an adult and buy boots, for god’s sake.

    Sorry, the cold brings out the snark.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  6. Belle says:

    @ShoeGirl–It’s okay, you’re allowed to disagree. Several of my best friends are Ugg wearers. ­čśë

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  7. Amy says:

    IMO, the sheer black nylons with open toed shoes are just as bad as the mocs.

    And am I the only one who assumed Raina was joking?

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  8. Mom In Heels says:

    Actually the Kate Spade shoes are a fashion don’t. Those are cocktail party / going out shoes — definitely not office appropriate. I cannot quite tell by the pic but I think they are satin…that puts them squarely in the after work hours wearing zone for me.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  9. Kim says:

    Puffy Coats! Even Twiggy would look like an overgrown Michelin man in one! No matter how hard you try, it has the shape of a blanket, even ones nipped in at the waist. It’s cold, but not colder than wool coat weather. If your 3/4 length coat doesn’t cut it, buy a longer one. Just do not buy a plastic (esp. shiny) igloo looking jacket!

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  10. Rachel says:

    Hi Belle, I totally agree with you about the yeti boots and the mocs, but I also agree with ShoeGirl’s point about not ruining a pair of leather boots in the snow. So I would like to know what kind of 2-feet-of-snow footwear you recommend. As a DC-dweller, the closest thing to snow-appropriate shoes I have are a pair of wellies. They’re really only meant for rain and don’t provide enough traction, but I wear them in snow because they’re the only truly waterproof shoes I have. Do you have a suggestion for better snow boots that are attractive and utilitarian?

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  11. Belle says:

    @Mom in heels @ Amy–We were headed out so that is the reason for the satin shoes. Also, the tights are dotted. I prefer opaque but she’s 22, I can only do so much.

    @Kim I too dislike the puffy coats. Not very fashionable, but some people can pull them off.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  12. Jill says:

    I recently saw two people on the streets of New York wearing Uggs scuff slippers as shoes — arguably worse than the slippers above because there’s truly no mistaking them for anything but slippers.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  13. dcm58 says:

    Raina WAS joking, right? Please tell me she was – right?
    If she honestly thinks Richie is a fashion icon, then she needs SERIOUS attention . . . but then why would she even read this blog? it is for sensible people, right?
    oh my.

    as for uggs – they aren’t waterproof either! And they really aren’t that warm . . . you need a good pair of waterproof boots with traction soles. I got a great pair at Puma, ironically. With thick socks they are perfect in snow. And they are still relatively fashionable — I wouldn’t be embarrassed if the partner at my firm saw me wearing them.

    February 5, 2010/Reply
  14. queendweeb says:

    Seriously, you are going to diss Chewbacca boots in two feet of snow? They’re WATERPROOF. Honestly, I wouldn’t wear anything but my Yetis out in this sludge-they were a lifesaver in the past few storms. If you’re smart, you get the black ones so they don’t take damage from the puddles, though.

    Likely one of the pairs you’re kvetching about was mine; I own six pairs, hahaha. I’ve been a fan of them since the early ’80s, when I was a little girl. Worth every penny in the sleet and ice here-they’re grippy and nothing gets through the fur.

    February 6, 2010/Reply
  15. queendweeb says:

    Also, one point-those fur boots? Not UGGs. UGGs are synthetic-the Fluff Mommas will get destroyed in the snow. The good ones are goat fur, for the most part, and are waterproof. The photo looks like a vintage pair, but the common brands are Tecnica, Pajar and Oscar-one of those companies is the same one that makes those hilarious Moon Boots.

    February 6, 2010/Reply
  16. Streets Ahead says:

    I have had a lovely day in Washington looking at all the fashion and style out there – I am sorry you did not see these boots that I did!

    Have a look at my style blog!

    February 7, 2010/Reply
  17. MB says:

    Is no one going to defend that adorable hat? Get a life! It’s cute!!!! With the bleak winter we’ve had, we could use a reason to smile.

    February 7, 2010/Reply
  18. Rania says:

    You guys are all dumb as hell. Nicole Richie may not be an icon in your eyes, but the international fashion industry sees otherwise. Vogue has declared her an icon and had her in their pages…are you really going to go against Vogue and the mighty hand that is Anna Wintour? Really? Fashion is about expressing yourself, and of course you couldn’t say she is on an Aubrey Hepburn level…but to say Nicole isn’t a fashion icon is cringe worthy.

    February 8, 2010/Reply
  19. J says:

    Wow, you are SO wrong about the bear hat. It’s awesome! We "uber-mature" congressional staffers could use a little child-like fun around here. I don’t who Bear Hat girl is but she’s welcome in my office anytime!

    February 12, 2010/Reply