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What winter signs mean for you

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Today is the first day of winter and the shortest day of the year. Is it dark outside yet? Once again, I've invited the insightful Kathryn Connolly, BA, RHN, of Simply Astrology, to shed some light on the coming winter months. You can back track and read her advice for fall equinox here. Kathryn has been an Astrological Counselor since 1991. She shares her light-hearted celestial insights about life and, of course, fashion, at each new season.

Illustrations by Elizabeth Stilwell

Harness the cooler months to your advantage

Winter is a time of hibernation and afternoon sunsets. We crave hearty soups and dress in woolen layers, dusting off skis and rooting for our favourite hockey teams. Christmas spirits warm our hearts as New Year’s resolutions percolate in our heads. Old Man Winter lands a powerful one-two punch: yet another February blizzard followed by freezing rain and treacherous highways. 

We wake to darkness and leave work in darkness. Snow Bird retirees and spring break students migrate south for sunny climates and party times.  The rest of us hunker down, anticipating brighter skies, Irish whiskey and hardy crocuses in March. We remain ever hopeful of early spring, even if Farmer’s Almanacs and Groundhog Day predict more white than green on the horizon. 

Illustration of the Capricorn zodiac sign by Elizabeth Stillwell.CAPRICORN: (December 23 – January 20) represents career, responsibility, structure, fathers, authority and accomplishment. While others are relaxing over the holidays, ambitious Capricorn is formulating her top three 2017 goals with her mentor’s blessing, an annual tradition like A Christmas Carol with egg nog. Ever on task, she’s organized her closet, programmed her new smart phone and exchanged that girly gifted blouse for a coat that means business. Follow suit by ringing in the New Year with career and life plans in place and give dear, old dad a hug. 

Illustration of Aquarius zodiac sign by Elizabeth StillwellAQUARIUS: (January 21 – February 21) represents connection, friendship, originality, change, technology, science and energy. February is heart month. What better time to connect with cherished friends and romantic partners than on Valentine’s Day? Or spend family holiday Monday without social media? To brighten mid-winter blahs, volunteer some time, make new friends, take some risks and get more tech-savvy. Expand fashion horizons by wearing something a little outside tried-and-true comfort zones. Every closet needs a little red!

Illustration of Pisces zodiac sign by Elizabeth StillwellPISCES (February 22 – March 21) represents spirit, music, film, dance, intuition and sensitivity. Pisces has distant memories of that first snowfall, her new boots now salt-stained reminders of endless cold. Wait…was that a robin? Spirits lifted at the hint of spring, she’s off to the clubs. At Saint Paddy’s parade, she mixes green beer and blarney with the best. Her faith restored, she’s ready for the 3 Rs: Recharge with home facials, mani-pedis and mineral soaks. Refresh with lighter colours and flowing lines. Revisit with future dreams to keep the faith. Not a bad way to usher in spring.

The stars of fashion

“In a world full of trends, I want to remain a classic.”  Iman

Ms. Capricorn earth sign wears a status wardrobe to project success to the powers-that-be. Since she firmly believes clothes make or break fledgling careers, she wisely invests in conventional, timeless classics, destined to make her mark in corporate corridors. 

COLORS:  blue, charcoal, midnight and navy blue, indigo, beiges, subdued earth tones, greys, white, cream

FABRICS:  wool, linen, pinstripe, raw silk, argyle, cashmere, 100 percent cotton, mohair, woven wool twill suits, herringbone and tartan plaid twill

PREFERENCES: designer pant/skirt suits, crisp white blouses, silk scarves, precious gems, elegant pumps, tailored blazers, ¾ length jackets, creased dress pants, sweater coats, leather purses and briefcases, preppie styles

“Be eccentric now.  Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.”  Annah Stretton 

Ms. Aquarius air sign naturally stands out in a crowd. Her winning formula, not that she ever follows a recipe: bright accessories and asymmetrical hemlines completed with a great pair of open-toed, lace-up heels. Can you see her now??? 

COLORS:  purples, violet, bright and clashing colors and fabrics, anything goes in any combo

FABRICS:  recycled vinyl, geometric and zany patterns, shiny recycled synthetics and techno fabrics like polyamide, polyester mesh, super-shiny metallic polyesters, neoprene, spandex and lycra, rubber, plastic

PREFERENCES:  trend setters, teen trends, geek/nerd fashions and glasses, multiple layered necklaces, nostalgia, retro, punk, goth or techno-fashion, funky tattoos, piercings and dye jobs, cell, gadget and iPad accessories

"I don't design clothes. I design dreams."  Ralph Lauren

Ms. Pisces water sign prefers to blend in, subtly drawing you into her soft, romantic aura. She’s the quiet one in a floral pastel scarf, matching blazer, flowing skirt and strappy sandals. Just like that, you’re under her spell, mermaids and sea nymphs frolicking in your imagination.

COLORS:  aquamarine, pastels, blue/greens, whites, lilac, pink, opaque, mother of pearl, florals, iridescent, sea foam, lavender, pale shades

FABRICS: bamboo jersey, silk, linen, chiffon, crepe, moire (watered silk), voile, patterned lace

PREFERENCES: evening wear, long dresses, sexy lounge and sleep wear, dance, yoga and theatrical costumes, fans, jewels, wrap skirts, bodysuits, satin slippers and glamorous shoes

WINTER SOLSTICE: DID YOU KNOW?

  1. Solstice, Latin for solstitium, means "the Sun stands still". The Sun, a fixed star, does not move; the tilted Earth revolves around it. As seen from Earth, the Sun reaches the southern Tropic of Capricorn, appears to stand still, then reverses direction. 
  2. Winter solstice happens in a moment, though we celebrate the whole day. In Ottawa, ON, that is December 21, 2016, 5:44 A.M. EST, when daylight measures only 8 hours, 42 minutes and 51 seconds.
  3. This marks the year’s longest night, over 15 hours of darkness, and first day of winter as the Sun enters Capricorn. Aquarius and Pisces are the other winter signs.
  4. The Earth is actually closest to the Sun a few weeks after Winter Solstice. In fact, the earliest sunset happens a few days before, and latest sunrise a few days after.
  5. The farther north we live, the quicker daylight increases, the opposite in more southern latitudes. The Summer solstice, longest daylight of the year, takes place around June 21.