I remember my first winter in Montreal as a university exchange student. I had stupidly purchased my winter coat in advance, without input from anyone who had actually lived through a Canadian winter. You might say: Aren’t you Canadian? Hadn’t you already been through twenty Canadian winters by that point? Yes, and no. Yes, I’m Canadian, but winters in the lower mainland of British Columbia do not count as Canadian winters. I chose a very short, almost bomber-style jacket. Sure, it was an insulated coat great for temperatures well below zero, but basically 75% of my body is below my waist and was left fully exposed to the elements by my puffy (expensive) purple coat. I might actually have been able to rock my chosen jacket in Montreal if I’d had a Honeybea Bumwarmer™. Alas, they were only invented in 2007, and I only discovered this most-Canadian and most-logical fashion invention a couple of months ago!
The Original Honeybea Bumwarmer™ is made at the Honey Designhive in Toronto’s art and design district. (A place that also suffers from “Canadian Winter Syndrome.”) It’s a skirt meant to be worn on top of skinny jeans, yoga pants or leggings for both reasons of fashion (the layered look) and function (for bum warming). The skirts are made by “artfully recycling castaway, premium knit sweaters.” Each one is unique! Adorable, right? The pockets are funky and useful for storing handkerchiefs. The season of “MOM! I need a tissue!” has begun, after all. I like to imagine that the sweater’s previous owner also stowed some Kleenex in there. I also love the buttons. The skirt doesn’t open, of course; the button closure has been stitched down. If you’re not down with buttons and pockets on your skirts, they have designs to suit ANY taste! Solid colours, Fair Isle, stripes, even appliqued flowers—there’s a look for every cold bum at the Honeybea Etsy Shop! (And yes, she makes one for little girls, too!)
My Bumwarmer™ has solved many of my cold-weather apparel dilemmas. Firstly, while I adore leggings, I prefer to wear them with a shirt that covers most of my bum. I’m really tall and have an abnormally long torso, so many of my shirts aren’t long enough. Adding a skirt completely solves this problem. Secondly, my butt is always cold, even when I’m indoors! If I’m working at my computer in the winter, you’ll likely find me sitting in my chair inside a sleeping bag or wrapped in a thick fleece blanket. Thirdly, I’m trying to up my style game just a teensy bit. My Bumwarmer™ looks so freaking cool and keeps my derriere oh-so-warm!
Beyond that trifecta of awesomeness, Honeybea Bumwarmers™ are the pinnacle of ethical, eco-friendly fashion. Artfully upcycling amazing, abandoned sweaters? So smart, so simple, so perfect. Although Montreal winters are a thing of the past for me, Calgary winters are my new normal, and they are also very Canadian.
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