Photos by Brooklyn Benjestorf, modeled by Kitty Kitty Bang Bang, except as noted.
The Northwest is in the throes of our notoriously prolonged cold-season and bundling against the elements is a daily jigsaw puzzle of balancing style and proportions while adding layer after layer of clothing. For fashion-savvy Seattlites, winterwear is a welcome challenge. It’s an opportunity to get really creative with how you put yourself together each day, and is a huge part of why Seattle is more “stylish” than it is “fashionable”. We, probably more than most, are aware of the utmost importance of keeping a wardrobe well stocked with standout pieces made from quality, dependable materials.
The absolute best way to ensure both the durability and originality of your clothing is to shop local designers and boutiques. Collections are limited and crafted with care, and the money you spend stays in your local economy, which is another thing we Seattlites are quite fond of. Each piece tells a story: where it came from, who made it, the design influence, how the materials were sourced. Knowing where it came from adds a specialness to your clothing, a greater connectedness to the world.
In hopes of facilitating that connection, here are some of our favorite items found at locally owned and operated shops around Seattle.
Silvae Jacobs Pleated Skirt from Craft & Culture
The midi skirt has been making a bold resurgence over the past couple of seasons, and the length is positively ideal for Northwest winters. Short enough to avoid absorbing a water line from the wet sidewalk and long enough provide excellent coverage, the design is quite practical, while it’s silhouette recalls a classic 1940’s refinement. The pleated leather in this number from Seattle-based online boutique, Craft & Culture, is an unexpected way to infuse high fashion into functional work-day wear, a signature of local designer Silvae. Paired with a demure button up or even a crew neck tee, the Jacobs skirt is a sleek, contemporary approach to business casual attire.
Dusen Dusen Grey Grid Denim Sweatshirt from Glasswing
Sweaters and sweatshirts are a must for layering against the cold, and the structural distinction of this denim piece from Dusen Dusen is an alluring and originative take on the style. Slightly cropped with a boxy silhouette, the top layers best over body con dresses for a pulled together look, but can be easily dressed down with a pair of high waisted skinny jeans. Its minimal geometric print is modern and eye catching, and is muted gently by the grey denim, creating a subdued presence that pairs well with both colors and neutrals. The denim is soft against the skin but tightly woven, keeping you nice and warm. Glasswing’s co-owner, Alisa Furoyama tells us she had been following the Washington D.C. based Dusen Dusen before Glasswing even opened their storefront, and she loves how the architectural and graphic arts background of the designer finds its way into the clothing. The influence can certainly be seen in this sweatshirt, with the lines of the print laying over the curvature of the body like a topigraphic grid.
H by Hudson Horrigan Bootie from Edie’s Shoes
All of the boots and booties for sale at Edie’s Shoes offer a divine combo of chic, urban style, premium comfort, and exceptional durability. The boutique’s buyers, owner Erin Dolan and her assistant/shop manager Nicole Biagi, take great care to find shoes that speak to the particular needs of fashionable Seattlites, which means considering an active lifestyle and inclement weather along with a metropolitan meets rustic aesthetic. These H by Hudson booties are an elegant entwinement of these factors, softening the motorcycle influence with a feminine urbanity. A signature pair of ankle booties with a small, chunky heel is a winter wardrobe staple, as they can polish up a casual look with leggings or denim and are the perfect height for pairing with a midi skirt. With H by Hudson’s enduring quality and timeless design, these booties will carry you through several seasons.
Against Nudity Montreal Coat from Retail Therapy
Having a toasty, well-fitting coat is the most essential item a Seattlite can have in their wardrobe. Many of us end up with an extensive collection over the years in various cuts and styles, but there will always be one that finds more time in rotation than the others. The touch of French influence and classic design in this wool trench from Canadian label Against Nudity Montreal is one of those timeless top coats that you will find yourself pulling out of the closet year after year. You can’t go wrong with a neutral grey, which is not only versatile in color but will disguise stubborn stains, and the velvety wool is strong enough to endure several seasons. “I like things that last forever,” says Retail Therapy’s owner and buyer, Wazhma Samizay. This coat will hold up for ages, both in quality and design.
Sous Les Vêtements Silver Body Chain Harness from Open the Cellar Door
Body chains are a stunning jewelry trend that’s usually reserved for the spring and summer, worn with swimwear or peek a booing from revealing tops. The flash of bling from surprising places is opulent and seductive – it’s a shame to hang these chains up when the cold weather rolls in. Keep these babies rocking through the winter by wearing them over your high-necked tops and turtlenecks. The harness design of this piece from Seattle-based jewelry line, Open the Cellar Door, works wonderfully for this kind of layering, as its delicate triangles spread gracefully across the breast. Open the Cellar Door carries a variety of body chain styles (as well as many other darkly dreamy pieces, generally featuring small animal bones), and each chain can be custom-made to order. Winter is the season to break out the witchy wear, and these designs are full of black magic.
Knuckle Kiss Jewelry from Ghost Gallery
When you’re cozied into hats and scarves, jewelry can tend to get lost under all that fabric. You have to go bigger and bolder if you want it to stand out, and winter is the perfect time to experiment for those who tend to fear large jewelry. The Knuckle Kiss collection, designed and created here in Seattle, is fantastic for this. The dauntless brass draws the eye, an earthy alternative to a flashier gold, and their timeless geometric design make them a versatile addition to your wardrobe. Found at Ghost Gallery, where you can get lost gazing at their seemingly endless selection of art, this collection includes necklaces, earrings, and rings in a variety of shapes and sizes, all handmade and one of a kind.
‘Red Red Wine’ Lipstick from Atomic Cosmetics
Winter calls for a bolder lip as our tans fade and we need that pop of color to help brighten up our face. This shade from Atomic Cosmetics strikes that ideal equilibrium between color and neutral. Made from totally ethical and non-toxic ingredients right in house by the shop’s owner, biochemist/biophysiologist Dr. Jennifer Dietrich, all of Atomic’s products are designed to be safe, luxurious, and packed with striking pigments. The brown red color of ‘Red Red Wine’ looks gorgeous against most skin tones and is subtle enough to work for day and can be gussied up with a smokey eye for night. The shade is very on trend, especially when defined with a brown-toned liner. It’s just the thing to polish off any ensemble this season and will transition seamlessly into the sunnier styles of spring.