Denver weather is unpredictable, as we all know with piles of snow landing on this city in mid-April, while lucky bastards in other places are already planting spring vegetables. And thanks to our local meteorologists, (who can't predict weather any better than drunk psychic televangelists), we never really know what to wear when we leave our houses. But there are no viable excuses for putting misguided fashion sense over basic safety and comfort. So here's our list of five things that people shouldn't wear in Denver when it's snowing. And as we are all intimately aware, snow comes early, often, late...and often.
5. Sandals with socks Denver is not the cheapest city in the world to live in, but it's also pretty far from being the most expensive, which is why I find it hard to believe that there are so many people here who can afford nice sandals -- but don't have enough left over for a decent pair of snow boots. Common sense would dictate that when the ground has frozen, wet stuff on it, you should wear shoes that cover your feet. But I have seen numb-toed dipshits slogging down sidewalks wearing socks and sandals when there's snow on the ground (so it's obvious this wasn't a wardrobe accident, because it wasn't snowing earlier) and even a few really special folks wearing Crocs. I dunno which is more stupid: sporting sandals or plastic clogs with holes in them in the slush. Either way, I feel truly sorry for the people in the buildings they are walking into, who have to clean up the soggy sock-drippings off of the floors.
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4. Expensive shoes of any kind I understand the want, or need, to buy expensive footwear. Shoes, boots, heels or even pricy flip-flips make your feet look cool, are usually made from finer materials than the cheaper versions, and often last a lot longer -- making high-dollar footgear a good investment. So why, then, would anyone plod the snowy, mushy streets of Denver in shoes that are ill-equipped for bad weather...and way too expensive to ruin? I wonder why these people don't just use the age-old trick of changing shoes from snow-friendly ones to nicer ones once they get to work, or inside whatever warm, dry, freezing water-free place that's their destination? Who, exactly, are they trying to impress--other idiots? Watching people ruin expensive shoes is downright heartbreaking -- for the shoes, anyway. 3. Shorts, a tee....and a vest Okay, so unpredictable weather changes are exactly that here in the Mile High City, and it's perfectly understandable to get caught between seasons every couple of hours if you aren't careful. Dressing in layers is a good idea, having a hoodie is a better one, and the best idea of all? Poking your head out the door for a moment to make at least a rough assessment of what weather conditions will greet your ass when you leave your house. We've all seen those ding-a-lings wandering outside, in the snow, wearing shorts, a thin, short-sleeved T-shirt...and a vest. I've always given these folks props for at least having the forethought to wear a fleece vest when it's snowing, and have usually been duly impressed by the stylish vests I've seen, all color-coordinated and the like. But keeping your thorax somewhat protected from the damp and chill while your arms and legs are gangling around picking up snowflakes? Not cute.
And for the record: This outfit does not make anyone look badass and impervious to the elements. We know your ass is cold. You are being made fun of a lot, even if it isn't out loud, to your face.
Continue reading for our top don'ts.
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2. Unlined denim jackets Denverites wear a lot of un-pretty but totally functional snow gear like those Fargo hats with the plaid insides and fuzzy ear flaps; thermals with cartoon characters on them; old, thrift-store ski parkas from the late '70s and hand-knitted scarves and mittens in appalling color schemes. But lucky for us, all of these things went from redneck to hipster at some point, so function and fashion are both represented. But while a few vintage outerwear items may have stood the test of time, they cannot effectively withstand an assault of snow. Case in point: the denim jacket. I'm old enough to remember the '80s and early '90s jean jackets -- acid-washed, white fringe, occasionally stretch-lace or swirls of neon paint. There were also ones with warm inner linings, but all of these seem to have vanished in the forgotten-fad vortex, leaving only the terribly thin, totally rad, completely non-water-resistant versions that gaudy hipsters love to swan around in -- during blizzard conditions. Wet denim stuck to skin is like the wrapper on a popsicle: There but for the grace of god. 1. Boots with tall, skinny heels I constantly see ladies -- and a few men -- mincing their steps through ankle- or even calf-deep snow wearing boots with heels so tall and thin they should come with a training video on how to walk in them under normal circumstances. And this suicidal footwear seems to not only be popular with some Denverites, but it appears to have become some sort of insane sissy-test for those heading downtown. Don't get me wrong: Having sexy feet is usually appealing, but there is nothing remotely sexy about a butt-brained fashion-junkie slide around on icy walkways, teetering and pitching back and forth like a drunk clown on unicycle. Watching this scares the hell out of me vicariously, and the nerve-wracking show I see every time it snows reinforces my belief that strippers may be smarter than people with nine-to-fivers, because even exotic dancers have the sense to wear shoes with platform support.