Pick Six: Polar Vortex Edition

Are you cold?  I’m cold.  Despite growing up in the great state of Montana, I have never adjusted to the cold.  My Mother’s Southern genes created a weakness within my DNA that makes me unsuited to snowy weather and sub-freezing temperatures.  But alas, there is no escaping it.  No other choice but to drape myself in wool and hunker down until the spring.


The worst part about December is that all of the quality television shows have retired until the New Year, so you’re forced to watch shows you would never, ever consider watching before, like Designated Survivor.  (K hates watching it with me.  I can’t help it, the show is full of some really ridiculous plot holes, and don’t get me started on the D.C. basics it gets wrong.)  But while it may be a terrible show, the outerwear choices are utterly sublime.

This Ted Baker Knee-Length Aurore Coat in Camel comes in at $549. Or you can do what I did and pick it up from Selfridge’s in the UK for $315 (not including import duties and shipping).  And if you’re good on full-length coats, do check out the shorter hot pink Elethea coat ($449) in the same style.  It’s got so much sass.




I need a new pair of dress gloves.  I have no idea what became of mine, and my fingers are freezing.  This faux-fur pom-adorned Banana Republic pair ($88) caught my eye.  But I think I need a pair that allow me to use my smartphone, so maybe these Ralph Lauren two-tone gloves ($52) or these Charter Club cashmere-lined gloves ($53) are a better choice.




I love hot cocoa, not because of the chocolate, but because of the marshmallows.  I like to lightly char the edges with my brûlée torch (great gift idea) to enhance the flavor, but cocoa with marshmallows, for me, is the flavor of the holidays.  These Snowflake Marshmallows ($10) caught my eye.   But if you want to do something really special, or you can make your own and cut them into any shape you like.



How hot is this fringe-tweed jacket from Ann Taylor ($179)?  I love, love the trim.  I’d pair it with their Devin wool trousers in ivory and coordinating ivory blouse for a monochromatic look ala Olivia Pope.  And remember, when wearing ivory, a pair of pearl earrings and an updo brings an ethereal, elegant quality to the look.


K travels a lot for work, and when he’s gone, the snow shoveling duties fall upon yours truly.  It’s a great workout, but halfway through the driveway, my toes turn into ice cubes even with my Sorel boots on.  Which is the perfect reason to treat myself to a bath (or at least a de-frosting foot soak) using Laura Mercier’s Creme Brûlée Honey Bath ($45).



For many of us, traveling for the holidays means long plane and train rides.  I stay cozy on the plane with a warm wrap, and this year, my favorite travel item is on-trend for winter.  This Rag & Bone Double Faced Wrap ($425) is a classic.   For something more affordable, this Echo Boucle Cape ($59) is a nice option.  I also like this Madewell Cape Scarf ($80) in tonal stripe with pockets.  Just want a simple scarf?  This Ann Taylor Blanket Scarf ($59) is a great option.



  1. Susie Cambria says:

    Love the Rag & Bone wrap! But would love it more, and even buy it, if it were made in the US. Haven’t found anything I love in that category, but when I do, I’ll share here.

    December 15, 2016/Reply
    • Mpls says:

      Check out the Faribault Woolen Mill – made in MN. I know they’ve had capes in the past.

      December 15, 2016/Reply
      • Mpls says:

        And it’s half the price.

        December 15, 2016/Reply
  2. Meg says:

    I LOVE the Ted Baker coat so much. This may be a stupid question, but why is it so much cheaper in the UK?

    December 15, 2016/Reply
    • Belle says:

      Import duties, I think. I often find Chloe shoes and other int’l brands for less at Selfridges or Matches or ASOS. It’s a great way to save on Ted Baker, Whistles, etc.

      December 15, 2016/Reply
    • Anna says:

      Could also be that it’s a British brand. Maybe a weak pound also has something to do with it?

      December 15, 2016/Reply
  3. Amy says:

    Those BR gloves are usable with tech – you can tell by the index finger and the review. Too cute!

    December 15, 2016/Reply
  4. amanda says:

    That Ted Baker coat is beautiful but I don’t think it’s particularly warm. I tried it on in person and found it to be on the thin side. Not suitable for a truly winter coat.

    December 15, 2016/Reply
  5. Sof says:

    If you like the style of the Ted Baker coat but not the price, Nordstrom’s carries this similar Kenneth Cole wrap coat for <$200: I got it in the light grey and really like the look (though it's pretty long, and wouldn't work well on ladies shorter than 5'7 or so)

    December 15, 2016/Reply
  6. Bethany says:

    If it’s below freezing I just can’t wear wool coats. Doesn’t matter how many layers I have on, it’s just not warm enough. Gotta break out the down parka for this kind of weather!

    December 16, 2016/Reply
  7. KJ says:

    Any suggestions on what to wear to a wedding in the polar vortex? My cousin is getting married in Minneapolis in January. I live in Arizona and have no idea what to do.

    December 16, 2016/Reply
  8. Tessa says:

    Hey Belle, did you end up keeping the Ted Baker coat? Got a quick review? I’ve had it bookmarked at Selfridge’s for a few months waiting for the black to get restocked in my size.

    February 1, 2017/Reply
    • Belle says:

      I ended up deciding I should send it back for financial reasons on the 29th day of 28 returnable days. If you happen to be a size 2 (which is 4-6), I would be happy to sell it to you. It’s a great color, and I really like the cut. It seems warm enough for a regular winter, but where I am is having very very cold winter.

      February 1, 2017/Reply
      • Tessa says:

        Ah, thanks for the response. I need one size down. Glad to hear you like the cut and it’s fairly warm — I’ll keep checking back and hopefully it gets restocked. Good luck finding a home for yours!

        February 1, 2017/Reply