Staying Hot in the Cold

Advice on crop tops, plunging necklines, and how to wear them in the winter without freezing.

Despite all my best efforts, I am not thin. I’ve got quite the tummy on me, my thighs are too big, and my arms are definitely on the flabbier side. For a long time, I let this limit my wardrobe. I ignored my interest in fashion because, according to set beauty standards, I didn’t fit in with the demographic. Dressing up and experimenting with “looks” just wasn’t for me in Middle School, and though I was upset about it, I was mostly comfortable in my too-big, formless graphic tees and straight-leg jeans. My hair was frizzy, I wore gross, wire-framed glasses, had chapped, cut-up lips from my braces, and wouldn’t ever dream of wearing something even as innocuous as shorts.

After a long, secret love affair watching countless fashion and beauty videos on YouTube, I finally decided to say “screw it,” and slowly but surely, I began not to care so much about what’s deemed an acceptable way to love my body and instead decided to show it off in pretty clothes. In the midst of my new-found confidence I learned something surprising about myself: I love dressing slutty. Now, I’m not saying I walk around in fish-nets, six-inch-heels, and nipple cover-ups (though if that’s your style, all the more power to you), but I do like something more form fitting, and, ideally, working with some major cleavage-action.

Another surprise to my wardrobe came with the Boston winter. Being from Puerto Rico, all I knew how to dress for was the eternal, eighteen-year-long summer that was my life up until then. Coats and fleece-lined anything was not in my wardrobe vocabulary. At that point, I had gone four years strong embracing my curves and showing skin—most of my clothes consisted of short skirts, tight jeans, crop tops, and shirts that were super low cut (though my thighs are still not my absolute favourite thing about myself, I’ve got great boobs, and yes, I like people to know).

So, I reassessed. And after surviving one of the coldest and snowiest winters Boston has had to date, I think I can confidently say that there are plenty of ways to wear provocative clothing without freezing your well-displayed tail off. And if you’re as much a fan of showing off what the good lord gave ya as I am, I’ve got some tips:

First, define what “slutty” means to you. You don’t have to bare your figure in order to highlight its foxdaciousness. Instead of wearing hot pants in these cold, unforgiving tundras (which, sure, you could still do—just get yourself some fleece-lined tights, at least), encase your regions in bodycon styles. These illustrate how shapely you are just as effectively as skimpy clothing, minus the threat of frostbite. It’s easy to find bodycon pieces with sleeves, longer lengths, and backs. The internet is a veritable trove of these—just search “bodycon long sleeves” on almost any clothing website for an abundance of stuff that’ll keep you feeling hot in more ways than one.

Although I am a devout champion of the crop-top lifestyle year-round, I choose ones with elongated sleeves and other cozy-ass details, like turtlenecks, which are thankfully “in” again. There are tons of turtle-neck crop tops out there for all styles—both form fitting and box-y (which can be slutty if it’s short enough, I promise). I also look for heavier knits than just plain old T-shirt weight. I suggest checking out American Apparel, which is pretty much a gold mine for all things sweaters and slutty warmth, including a particularly nice, fuzzy cropped sweater that I have in two colours and wear at least once a week.

If you insist on exposing yourself to the frigid elements, as I so often do, pick one warm-ish skank-perfection piece and layer over it. I’ve been living in American Apparel’s Cotton Spandex Julliard Top, which is an all-but-frontless long-sleeved wrap top that gives me great cleavage, paired with lined, high-waisted skirts and the aforementioned fleece tights, plus a thick, fuzzy sweater, because sometimes I know exactly how to make myself happy. If you’re looking to perv out on more formal occasions, I’ve definitely seen a bodycon dress or two on Nasty Gal made of velvet featuring plunging necklines. Or sweater dresses with cut-out backs that are low-cut to the point of breathless/braless abandon. And thigh-high boots definitely always help in the event you want to add a healthy (and warm) dose of badass in with your look.

Sure, they’re all napkins if you compare them to chunky knits or down jackets, but they’re really warm napkins, if you choose the right styles and materials. I’m almost 100% certain this is the reason matching sets and lace-up tops were created. And luckily for you, my budding arctic eroticians, they’re en vogue, which makes finding any and all of these pieces ridiculously easy. You can combine all of these principals and seek out pieces that work for you and fit your comfort level, whether it’s high-waisted skinny jeans, warm tights and a lined skirt, plunging necklines, form-fitting bodysuits, or tight turtlenecks. Whatever you choose: Stay warm, your royal hotnesses.

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Photos by Tom McLaughlin