Fashion of Boone: Winter wear in warm temperatures

Meredith Nanney, Reporter

For those experiencing their first winter in the High Country, it can be difficult to know where to start when building a winter wardrobe.

Local retailers offer selections of apparel suited to the Boone climate and knowledgeable staff who make recommendations suited to an individual’s needs.

Mast General Store employee Zachary Dunn said brands KÜHL and Fjällräven are trending this winter.

“Everybody knows Patagonia and North Face, but KÜHL is one of our up and rising brands. It’s the word for ‘cool’ in Swedish. We have a huge selection for both girls and guys,” Dunn said. “Everything we have is out in the store; we brought our last bit of inventory out about two weeks ago. It’s a great brand. It’s been very successful for our stores.” 

Fjällräven is most well known for their Kånken backpack, a minimalist style bag that prominently features the brand’s logo of a fox, however, Dunn speaks highly of the brand’s winter wear options. 

“(Its flannels and sweaters) are 100% wool, so they’re very warm and very well made, tailored mountain couture, you may say,” Dunn said.

Mast General Store shoe salesman Christian Backman stressed the importance of quality when selecting winter boots.

“Blundstones are definitely the most popular, and honestly, I do recommend those quite a bit. They’re durable, they are very water resistant and they’re good shoes. That’s probably the most popular,” Backman said.

Due to Boone’s uncharacteristically warm weather this season, Footsloggers employee Coleman Hamrick said lighter-weight coats are the current trend.

“What’s popular is insulated down jackets, usually in the color black. Black is always a classic. For guys, blue is popular, and for ladies, a plum color is popular this season,” Hamrick said. “A lot of Patagonia sells, fleeces and things like that. Big parkas are just too warm right now.” 

Dunn said layering is vital to surviving the winter in Boone.

“(Mast General Store specializes) in stuff called base layers, which is just your initial first layer you’re going to put on if you’re going hiking. Something that’s going to grip to your skin that’s going to keep you warm but not overheat you,” Dunn said. “You want to have the right apparel on to go into the woods or go into the mountains and enjoy your hike and not be frozen to death.”

Whether it’s a specific item of apparel, seasonal color trends or layering tips, local retailers are bridging the gap between function and fashion for winter wear.