The appeal of a one-piece snowsuit is pretty straightforward. “It’s a nice feeling, like you’re in a sleeping bag, but it’s a little bit sexy,” says Dinah Luxton. She knows what she’s talking about. As the Toronto-based outerwear designer behind her namesake brand, Luxton, she’s done a lot of research on the subject.
It started for Luxton when she found herself outside, playing with her kids in the winter, and freezing. She decided to do something about it. “I found a pair of really amazing vintage bomber pants, and I took them to a pattern-maker and asked her to make some changes in a black silk fabric,” she says. Then she started wearing them everywhere. “It completely changed my winters.” Still, there was more work to be done. Eventually Luxton took the bomber pants and added a top to them to make a winter-ready jumpsuit — in other words, a snowsuit. “I wanted to throw something on that was lightweight, thin, wipeable, incredibly warm but not hot or heavy,” she says.
“With the jumpsuit, the whole look is more streamlined and androgynous. It was completely different from the traditional silhouette of outerwear,” says Luxton, who worked as a buyer before starting her label. “It has a bit of an edgy feel to it. It has an attitude,” she says of her all-black style, which has pockets so you don't have to carry a purse. “It’s not Patagonia, and it’s not Gucci. It’s something in the middle.” But convincing people to switch from parkas to snowsuits isn’t always easy. “Getting someone to take the leap to wear a jumpsuit in winter is a total mind warp,” she says.
It’s not a common article of clothing, but for some, that’s part of the appeal. During a recent cold snap in New York City, Eva Chen, the head of fashion partnerships at Instagram, started wearing a full-on Eddie Bauer snowsuit. It was exactly the same puffy style you likely wore as a kid and instantly became one of those things that’s so “ugly” it’s cool. Soon, you could spot them on stylists and designers like Shiona Turini and Rebecca Minkoff.
Unlikely though it may be, the fashion snowsuit has become a thing, a thing likely to get even bigger next winter. And since it’s pretty versatile, it’s easy to style with most accessories too. “I love it with a basic toque and everything from leather gloves to big down mitts,” says Luxton. “I wear Stella McCartney boots with it or the Proenza Schouler hiking boot a lot too.” Her favourite combo might be the most unexpected. “The coolest look is when you wear it with a short sock and a trainer. It looks amazing, and then can peel off the sleeves and tie them around your waist.”
Ready to bundle up in head-to-toe style? Keep clicking for six totally grown-up snowsuits and brace yourself for the next snow storm.