Christen Harper was born to be in SI Swimsuit. The 28-year-old is comfortable and confident in a bathing suit. What she wasn’t prepared for was a life of bundling up in layers and bracing for frigid temperatures. But that’s what the model had to do when she moved to Michigan in 2020 with her boyfriend, Detroit Lions quarterback Jared Goff. And the transition was an interesting one for the Southern California native.
“The hardest part for me was adjusting to the lack of sunshine in the winter—it made me just want to stay inside all day,” says Harper. “I had to prioritize ways to get outside, go to a coffee shop, try new restaurants, go for walks, go to a workout class to keep things interesting.”
Going outside this time of year in the Great Lakes region means some solid winter gear is in order. “Nice quality and cute winter gear you are excited to wear makes the process of leaving the house fun and exciting,” adds Harper, who shares her top five winter accessories.
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“A nice turtleneck bodysuit that you can layer or wear on its own is key. The one I love is from Commando — it’s definitely been my most worn piece of the winter.”
“[Everyone needs] a pair of boots that are cute and a pair of boots that are functional. I love Alohas; they are a sustainable brand and have the cutest high-quality boots! My functional boots are from The North Face. I could wear them on long walks in the snow, and they kept my feet so warm and were super comfortable.”
“The key is finding and investing in a nice coat that will keep you warm that is also stylish. It’s pretty much all that matters in the winter as it’s all that people see, and it’s the main thing keeping you warm. There are so many amazing brands that make cute coats and puffers. One of my favorite pieces this season was a vegan leather puffer from Aritzia; it went with everything and was soft and warm. Other brands I love are SAM, Save The Duck and Noize.”
Barefoot Dreams Scarf
“I feel like a scarf is a fun accessory to brighten up outfits and also add another layer. Acne Studios makes really cute ones. But I have to say when it comes to comfort and warmth, I pick up my Barefoot Dreams scarf the most. Also, we list Acne Studios as one of the Top 5 but she’s really most recommending Barefoot Dreams.
North Face Gloves
“I always thought gloves were dramatic until I moved to Michigan and my fingers almost fell off. They are a must anytime you are going for a walk, and now so many you can still use tech with them on. My go-to pair was a not-so-cute but very functional pair from North Face.”
Although it was an adjustment for Harper, she enjoyed her time in Detroit. “My favorite part was experiencing the magic of the seasons for the first time,” she says. “Southern California is so beautiful year-round, but I never realized what I was missing out on. Fall is so beautiful when the leaves change, and you can go apple picking. There is nothing better, and it feels so much more festive heading into the holiday season when i’’s a little snowy out, and you want to bundle up and get cozy.”
Harper adds, “There is something so fun about experiencing each season to the fullest, and I feel like Michigan really knows how to do that!”
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