In Defense Of Mittens

Usually I love Hadley Freedman, the style writer at the London Guardian. First, because she’s in London, so I automatically assume everything she writes is more cultured and posh. But second, because she writes about style in a way that’s intelligent and thoughtful without the usual “LOVE ZOMG I’M DYING” tripe that passes for “criticism” these days.

But now you’re on my bad side, Hadley: You’ve gone after mittens.Mittens! In an article titled “It’s OK To Keep Warm With Scarves, Thick Tights And Woolly Hats. Just Make Sure You Don’t End Up Looking Like An Oversized Suri Cruise,” she writes to a lass named Leila who is concerned her “cute childlike” winter outfits might be less than sophisticated. She writes:

“Mittens, Leila, mittens? No. These are not acceptable. You have now gone past the point of Bonpoint Chic [emulating the pricy children’s cothing store Bonpoint] and entered the world of Pedo Chic.

The only reason Bonpoint Chic worked was because the various garments were both practical for adults and pretty to boot. When you get into clothes that only children should wear due to their slightly reduced motor skills, you have a problem. Thus, woolly tights and princess coats: yes. Mittens and babygrows: no. Do you understand the difference? Have you thrown away those mittens yet? Good.”

Hold on a second. I do not look like an over-sized Suri Cruise. That bitch has way better clothes than me. Furthermore, I will never throw away my mittens. Yes, I am completely aware of how ridiculous I look in my mittens and, no, I don’t care.

What makes mittens so attractive to me is the ability to wiggle my fingers around inside for warmth. You don’t have to have poor blood circulation to appreciate that! I have worn the same pair of H&M mittens for approximately four years: they are soft and fluffy and almost look like I have small, white furry rodents attached to my hands. But what makes these my main mitts? They’re about an inch thick on both side — nearly impossible to hold a Starbucks cup with, but impervious to winter cold and wind. If the tips of my fingers ever start to feel frosty, I do a little “spirit fingers” dance inside my mittens and I’m set.

This year I even upped my mitten collection with a chic pair from Wink pictured here. Yes, I said “chic.” They are heather gray, fur-lined and worth every single penny of the (eeeeek) $45 I spent on them. On occasions when my big fluffy white mittens might prove embarrassing — say, a swank cocktail party — these are the “fancy” mittens I wear for dress-up.

Does that mean I’m embracing what Hadley calls “Pedo Chic”? If that is the case, so be it. Because you know what? Every winter I am warm.

[Guardian UK]