Snowy Fashion
Monday, January 14, 2013 at 11:13AM
J. Preston in Prague

I woke today to giant snowflakes. Big chunky ones...each the result of collision after collision of microscopic flakes, forced into a swirling tango as they swooped through the corridor in front our building. At 9:00 it was only a light dusting.

By 11:00 it had become a more persistent snow, prompting responsible shopowners to locate their snow brooms. Wenceslas Square turned into this... 


and this...

...and had me thanking my foresight in wearing the Hummer of snow boots. The big-daddy Sorels, lined with felt and fur and enough tread to take out a Smart Car if the need presented itself. These bad boys are about 7.5 lbs. each, and seemed an absolute necessity in the wilds of wintery Spokane, where we lived across from a 100-acre snowy park and went skiing every other weekend. I'll admit they look absurd in the city, especially in contrast to the stilettos which the women STILL insist on wearing. The other night, while walking to dinner, John pointed out one woman who seemed to be walking on 6 inch metal chopsticks for heels and she was striding along, as if she were ice skaing, unlike myself who still has to walk with my eyes to the street to avoid landing flat on my face.

I also have purchased one of those serious winter coats, which place me squarely on the fashion map of Moscow, Warsaw or...Prague, I guess. It's a parka that goes down to mid thigh, and belts nice and tightly around the waist (there's no excuse for these girls not to show their figures) and feels like someone has wrapped me with a waterproof comforter and rope. It's delightful. It also makes me wonder why I've been dressing like the Michelin Man every time it snows. More practically, I'm never, ever cold in it.  It has a giant hood, with a rim of fur, that actually narrows my peripheral vision to about half a foot to the side of directly in front of me. When I walk with John in the metro or on a crowded street, I have to stop and swivel my head to both sides to make sure I haven't lost him. 

As I was crossing Vodickova Street today, a street that intersects with Wenceslas Square with a constant flow of trams, I forgot to swing my head to the left and the right to make sure I wasn't one giant Sorel bootstep away from becoming a street-crepe. Half way into the street I panicked and threw my hood off to see if there were any trams coming. At that moment, a woman coming in the opposite direction caught my eye and I knew, by her relaxed look I knew that I was safe, for surely you could see in the reflection of the pedestrians coming at you if you were going to get hit by a tram, couldn't you? 

And it occurred to me that it's the flow of foot traffic that keeps me warm here. I mean, it's cold, really freaking cold. But it's hard to feel that walking to work in 24F Degree weather is unbearable when you are surrounded by people. People in fashionably belted fur-rimmed parkas. People in stilettos. People in shorts and stockings. And don't forget the Japanese girls in bunny hats and mouse mittens. It's a fashion show out there. There's no time to feel cold. 


Article originally appeared on The Wanderlusting Expat (
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