If you’re anything like me, winter makes you feel pretty crummy.
Between the decrease in light; the lack of visible green, growing things; and spending less time outside and/or with friends, I go through a bit of a depressed period. On top of all of that, I find it much harder to present as femme in the winter – especially if I also want to be warm.
There’s a lot that I do to try and combat the winter blues including seasonal medication, making sure I have plants in my home and workspace (preferably ones that I can see grow over a relatively short period of time) and, perhaps most important for me, is stepping up my femme game.
I find it’s really easy for my femmeness to be erased in the winter if I’m not careful and this affects me in two main ways:
1. My femmeness is important to me and I like being read as one
2. In the winter I’m surrounded by more grey, black, and muted colours than any other season. This, coupled with the lack of light, triggers depression in me.
The second one hits me even harder because I am a femme who mostly presents as male and it is very, very difficult to find good winter clothing that is any sort of colour in the men’s section.
To make things worse, I don’t have a whole lot of disposable income to spend on things like a new, colourful winter coat just because I want one that isn’t grey when my grey one is in great shape. Femmephobia tells us that things like spending extra time and/or money on things that are pretty as well as functional is frivolous and high maintenance at the best of times.
Not only are we being “impractical” by wanting things that look pretty but it’s also further made challenging by the fact that winter gear simply doesn’t come both warm and femme and when it does it’s either really expensive or only in a few small sizes or it’s poor quality. If you’re a male presenting femme or a femme of size, it becomes exponentially more difficult to find anything that fits even two of the above criterium. I know so many femmes – myself included – who have opted on the side of style and our physical health has suffered as a result of not being warm enough.
So below I have compiled links to some of my favourite “affordable” (meaning $100 or less) winter femme gear. Note that “femme” and “colourful” are not synonymous but they are linked (for me). Not all of these items are ones that I own or have used, but they are all on my list!
Warning: Unless I have specifically noted otherwise, I do not own these items and therefore cannot personally comment on their fit/how warm they are.
The above two links are essentially the same product, just a slightly different price. They are cute and cozy in real life, and I want them in basically every colour they’re sold in. They are pretty amazing.
This takes about a month to arrive but it’s even cuter in person and well worth the wait! I’ve worn it in -18C weather (with a hood overtop) and have been comfortable in it.
Probably not the warmest scarf out there but it’s so cute so I had to put it on the list anyway.
I love this one. It looks so cozy and warm and it’s definitely next on my list.
Doesn’t look as warm as some of the other options, but still pretty nice. Possibly a better fit for fall/spring.
I love this one so very much. Look at those buttons!!
Holy jesus christ am I ever in love with these gloves!! They come in a couple other colours as well and they are the prettiest things I’ve seen in a while.
I think these are one of the only things on my list that I personally don’t want. They are so very cute but not really my style. I like the checkered section a lot, though.
I own these! They are just as cute in person as in the picture. They fit tight and take about a month to arrive with standard shipping, as a warning the quality is a little poor and I only expect them to last a couple of seasons but they’re much warmer than I expected and their inner lining is a deep purple which I love. The quality is fine, given the price I paid, but just keep that in mind.
Those little bows!
Most winter coats aren’t affordable but these are on the lower end of the scale.
My personal favourite thing to do with coats is to buy them a size larger than I need, that way I can throw a thick zip-up sweater on underneath to add extra warmth and another hood (I like sweaters with fuzzy insides like these). This is not the most practical suggestion for some people as you may not be able to get the coat in a larger size but it helps if you doubt the coat will be warm enough.
I like coats that are cut like that in the bottom.
SO pink. I’m a big fan of the bow.
I have a feeling this one is a bit of a lighter jacket.
I love basically everything about this one, especially the colour.
This looks pretty cozy.
I’m a fan of the necklines that look like infinity scarves.
Pretty basic but the weird shoulder-buttons make me like it more.
See above comment about scarf-like necklines.
These are basically the cutest boots that I can imagine.
Adults’ Shearling Insoles
blamebetty.com is gorgeous and has great things in larger sizes. Winterwear tends to be over $100 but keep an eye out for sales!
fatgirlflow.com has some incredible resources to check out – some that might be more relevant right now are “Winter Coats Up To Size 34”, “My Favorite Winter Accessories”, “Where to Buy Wide Calf Boots for Plus Size Babes!!!”, and “Plus Size Jackets for Fall”.
H&M makes some thick warm tights that are great for wearing in the winter with skirts or dresses.
Etsy and second-hand stores are also always a good place to look!